How is everyone doing? Strange times indeed, but one thing that is for certain, nature hasn’t changed at all despite what is going on around us. The areas where I walk my dog Dylan have carried on as normal this year, paying no attention to the pandemic that we find ourselves in the middle of.
The blackberries came and went as normal, I managed to grab a few, but I didn’t harvest any in earnest. There were some sloes and I was a bit savvier with them, they’re now steeping in some gin, which I’m hoping will be ready by Christmas.
Finally there were apples, every year the orchard yields so much fruit. It was one calm morning, following an incredibly windy night that I found the apples for these Chausson aux Pommes. Unable to reach the high up sunkissed fruit, I satisfied myself with the fallen fruit that was barely bruised. I even have enough apples left to make some apple crumble pies, which I hope to bake soon and share here.
The other reason these pastries came about is because I was fortuitous enough to have some puff pastry in the freezer that I had made for another project. It’s a beast of a recipe to handle, but it makes far more pastry than you need for one recipe and keeps the freezer well stocked.
Others of you may recognise these Chausson aux Pommes translated as ‘slipper filled with apple’ as apple turnovers. I just don’t think that name does them justice, buttery rich flaky pastry filled with sweet, spiced apple. Delicious.
Most varieties of apple will work, but if you’re using a sweet eating apple I would reduce the sugar a little, I like some tang from the apple to give a bit of a bite. I’m not sure what varieties they have in the orchard where I found these, but they are akin to a Bramley apple, which are readily available at this time of year.
Chausson aux Pommes
- 250 g Bramley Apples peeled, cored and chopped into 1cm cubes
- 25 g Unsalted Butter
- 25 g Granulated Sugar
- 1/4 tsp mixed spice
- 250 g Plain Flour
- 250 g Strong White Bread Flour
- 10 g Fine Salt
- 50 g Unsalted Butter
- 200 ml Water
- 450 g Unsalted Butter shaped into a 15 x 15cm square and kept in fridge
- 1-2 Egg yolks for egg wash
- Place the apples, butter, sugar and mixed spice in a saucepan and cook over a low heat for about 15 minutes until softened and pulpy. Place in a bowl and leave to cool, then transfer to the fridge.
- Make the puff pastry following the instructions here. When you get to step 9, divide the pastry into 2 blocks, place one block in the fridge to rest for a further hour and place the other in the freezer for use at a later date.
- Prepare two baking trays and line them with greaseproof baking paper. make sure you have room in the fridge for the baking trays as you will need to chill the chausson for 30 mins before baking.
- Roll the pastry out to a thickness of around 5mm on a floured surface and then using a 15cm cutter (I used the base of a 6" loose bottomed cake tin) cut out a circle of pastry, spoon a tablespoon of apple filling onto one side of the circle leaving a gap around the edge, then brush egg wash around the edge by the filling, fold the pastry over and press down the edge to seal it.
- Place the chausson on the prepared baking tray and cut out another 15cm circle, place a spoonful of apple filling on one half and seal with egg wash. Make sure you don't add too much filling as you don't want it to spill out. Repeat these two steps until you have 9 pastries. You will need to gather up the pastry and keep rolling it out again and again to make 9.
- Brush all of the pastries with egg yolk and place them in the fridge for 30 mins to firm up. Pre-heat the oven to 210C/190C Fan/Gas 6-7.
- Take the pastries out of the fridge and using a sharp knife, gently score designs in the pastry. Don't worry if you cut through a bit too deep in places, it's fine, the pastry will puff up to fill any holes.
- Place in the oven for 15 mins, then reduce the temperature to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4 and bake for a further 15 mins or until golden and baked.
- When they are baked, leave them on the tray to cool for around 15 mins, then transfer them to a cake rack so that the bottoms will remain crispy. These are best eaten the day they are made because they become quite soggy, but will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for around 2 days.
Thanks for reading.