For Christmas I treated myself to a copy of Bon Appetit Desserts: The Cookbook for All Things Sweet and Wonderful. With the book came a free subscription of their magazine which inspired me to make their crisp cocoa pecan cookies. I decided to finally make something from the actual cookbook so I choose the French Apple Turnovers (Chaussons aux Pommes). You can find the recipe here.
With my mixer Rebel out of the picture and my breadmaker dead, I needed an easy recipe that did not require special equipment and this one looked super easy. I had the puff pastry defrosted in the fridge, lots of time on my hands and a bowl full of apples so I was good to go.
I only had half the amount of apples needed for the recipe so I decided to make half the recipe. I peeled, cored and cut a quarter of a pound of Granny Smith apples (about four cups) and put them in a medium saucepan with 2 tbsp of water, 1 1/2 tbsp sugar and a little fresh lemon juice.
Turns out that four cups of apples was more than enough. I broke down the filling with a fork and chilled the filling in the fridge. Then I sieved the filling because it was still quite wet. Turns out that I had enough filling to make the entire recipe!
Here was the hard part. Figuring out how to make the turnovers. I rolled out the pastry until it was around 15″ square. “Cut pastry into nine 5″ squares. Place 1 generous tablespoon filling in center of each of eight squares.” What?! Nine, eight…??? It made no sense! I read it over and over, it never ended up making sense to me. There was room on the page for a diagram but nothing, there was no visual help at all.
I was so confused I could not wrap my head around this recipe at all and there is obviously a typo when it comes to quantity. I gave up and went off the foodie map and did what felt more natural to me. I made six larger turnovers and filled them. That worked so that is what I did.
I brushed the edges with the egg wash and folded them over corner-to-corner. Because they were not perfectly square I trimmed off the edges.
The recipe just says to pinch the edges together but I used an Alton Brown technique instead. I rolled a fork back-to-front towards the pastry, sealing the edges shut. He says this is the best way to bring the pastry together and it always works.
Brush the tops with the egg wash.
You can see at the back I tried to do a fancy rolling edge until I remember Alton’s technique! LOL. “Sprinkle lightly with superfine sugar, if desired.” I preferred to use PC Organic Sugar mixed with a little cinnamon. I use this mixture on top of the crust of my pies all the time. I cut three slits on the top of the pastry.
You must chill the dough again in the fridge for 15 minutes and then bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a preheated 400F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350F and continue baking for another 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.
Cool for at least 15 minutes before serving which is tough! These looked so pretty and delicious I wanted to attack them right away but I made a tea and waited. It was worth the wait, they were perfect.
Honestly, the recipe (when it comes to the ingredients) is so simple that I thought the turnovers would be boring. It ended up not being the case at all. They were perfect! My husband and I absolutely adored them. I wish I had made so many more! This recipe is a keeper and perfect for those without special equipment. I just wish the instructions had been better.
Thanks to the crappy directions which lead to confusion and frustration, I can only give this recipe four out of five wooden spoons even though flavour-wise they deserve a five. I would have been happy to give it a perfect score but the lack of direction and obvious mistake when it comes to quantity makes that impossible. What a shame because these were so delicious!
If you are looking for a great treat this weekend and happen to have some puff pastry and apples, try these treats out but do yourself a favour, make them my way!
Have a great weekend everyone!
~ Suzie the Foodie