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Apple Turnovers

27 Jan

You know what I love? The fact that an apple turnover could easily be considered breakfast, when if you really think about it, it is so very veryyyy not a breakfast item. It is dessert. But who cares?!

Using the puff pastry we made in class, we made the Palmiers (previous post) and these apple turnovers. I love apple desserts: apple pie, apple turnovers, apple crisp, baked apples, etc. etc. This, however, I only LIKED. The recipe definitely could have used more cinnamon, a touch more sugar, a touch more flavor. But they were good, and now I can place a check next to apple turnovers in my looooooong list of ‘things to make’.

Apple Turnover Filling

  • 2 oz. unsalted butter
  • 4 tart medium-sized apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 c. light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg (used as a wash for the pastry)

In a large saute pan, melt the butter, and then add the sliced apples. Cook for 3 minutes. Add sugar and salt till combined. Simmer for 2 more minutes. Combine cornstarch and water, then add to apple mixture and cook until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Cool.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the puff pastry to roughly a 12″ x 12″ square. Cut in half vertically and horizontally, so that you have 4 squares, 6″x6″ each. Lightly brush egg wash along all 4 edges of each square. Place a small amount the filling, about 1/4-1/2 c. into the center of each square. The amount will depend on the size of your squares. Fold one corner of the pastry over to the opposite corner, creating a triangle. Using a fork, seal the edges. If any of the excess liquid seeps out, wipe away with a paper towel until you are able to seal the edges. Coat the top of each turnover with more egg wash, dust with granulated sugar, and cut a small slit into the top so that steam can release in the oven. Place onto baking sheet.

Bake until the pastry is evenly golden and flaky, about 20-22 minutes.

Remove the turnovers from the pan and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. (Though they’re best served warm~a la mode!)

Yield: 4 turnovers

Enjoy!

Yes, please.

Home-made Puff Pastry

23 Jan

So here we have, Puff Pastry. My last two pro baking classes were devoted to the puff and to croissants. (which we’ll get to later) We ended up using the puff pastry for apple turnovers and palmiers. Verrrry classic recipes, but both verrrry good.

The puff pastry is time consuming to make, but extremely worth it! It’s hard to find a butter-based pre-made puff pastry in stores, but if you can, stock up! I know Pepperidge Farm makes a favorite puff pastry among home bakers, but unfortunately it’s made with ONLY shortening. You can find butter-based puff pastry in specialty stores and some Whole Foods, but they’re on the more expensive side. A great deal is Trader Joe’s who carry it seasonally, but then you have to stock up!

If you have some extra time on your hands and are in need of puff pastry, then go for it. It’s really not that difficult…just takes time. J

Puff Pastry

  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 c. cake flour
  • 10 ½ oz. unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1 ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¾ to 1 c. ice water

 

Sidenote: The instructions call for a food processor, but you can do this just as easily with a bowl and your hands.

Combine flours and salt in food processor fitted with metal blade. Cut 4 tbsp. of butter into small pieces and add to processor (keep the remaining butter in the fridge). Pulse until mixture is like corn meal. With motor running, add ¾ cup ice water and process just until dough beings to hold together. If dough is dry, add more water a tablespoon at a time, just until the dough begins to hold together.

Transfer dough to a work surface and knead very lightly. Flatten to a disk, lightly flour, wrap in plastic, and chill for 30 minutes until firm.

Lightly flour remaining butter on both sides and place it between two sheets of parchment or wax paper. Pound butter with a rolling pin to flatten and soften it. Don’t be afraid to be loud! When the butter is flattened to about ¾ inch thick, fold it into thirds, lightly flour again, and place back in between the paper. Pound again and repeat this process a few times until the butter becomes flexible. Work quickly though so that your butter does not become too soft and oily. Shape the butter into a 6 inch square and return to the fridge to cool, but do not let it harden.

Take dough out of fridge and roll on a cold, floured surface into a 10 inch diameter circle. Take the square of butter out of the fridge and place in the center of this circle. Pull dough from opposite sides around the butter and press down to seal the edges. Repeat with the side of your fist to make sure the dough is sealed.

Turn the dough over that it is seam side down. Pound lightly three or four times with the rolling pin to begin flattening and smoothing out the butter. Roll quickly to 20” by 8” rectangle. If butter begins seeping through the dough, pat with flour to keep the butter in tact. Starting with the narrow end, fold the dough in thirds like a business letter, and then have it facing you like a book. This is the second ‘turn’. (some recipes may call this first fold only the 1st turn, but in this case, it is our 2nd turn.) Make 2 indentations in the dough with your fingers as a reminder of how many turns were done. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.

Put dough with fold facing you and do two more turns. Each time you roll out the dough and fold it into thirds is considered ONE turn. (refrigerate between turns if it gets too soft) After you’ve completed these next 2 turns, mark the dough with four fingers and refrigerate 20-30 minutes again.

On the day you are using the dough, do two more turns, for a total of 6. Refrigerate until firm and then roll, cut, and bake as desired.

Cinnamon Raisin Loaf

14 Jan

Ooooohhhh Mama! How’s about these apples? I needed a good, home-made gift for the holidays and this did the trick! I think next time I’ll make a glaze to put on top, but either way, if you eat this puppy warm, it’s as good as gold. 🙂

Cinnamon Raisin Loaf

From Annie’s Eats; originally from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook

  • 1 1/8 tsp. instant yeast (rapid rise)
  • 1 c. warm milk (at least 105 degrees)
  • 3 ¼ c. all-purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter,  room temperature
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1¼ tsp. salt
  • 1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  •  3/4 c. raisins

Filling

  • ¾ c. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten, room temperature

Directions:
In a standing mixer, combine the yeast, warm milk, flour, butter, sugar, egg, salt and cinnamon.  Mix until a dough forms and then switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed until the dough is mostly smooth and clears the sides of the bowl, about 3-5 minutes.  Add in the raisins and allow to continue kneading about 3 minutes more, until the dough is smooth the raisins are evenly mixed in.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, turning once to coat.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat down into a disk. Fold the bottom third of the dough up and fold the top third down, like a business-letter. Then fold the right and left sides into the center in thirds, forming a rectangle. Press down to seal.  Return to the bowl, cover and let rise again until doubled, about 40 minutes.

Generously butter a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan.  To make the filling, combine the sugar, cinnamon and water in a small bowl and whisk until well combined.  

Return the dough to a lightly floured work surface and roll into a 10 by 12-inch rectangle.  Brush lightly with the beaten egg. Sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture, leaving a thin border around the edges. Fold in the edges of the long sides of the dough about 1 inch.

Beginning with one of the narrow ends, roll the dough up into a tight spiral log, gently pressing as you go.

Pinch the seam shut, and place the loaf seam side-down in the prepared baking pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a clean towel and let rest until the dough rises just above the edge of the pan, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425˚ F.  When the loaf has risen, brush the top of the loaf lightly with the remaining beaten egg.  Bake until the loaf is golden brown, about 45 minutes.  Cool in the pan 5 minutes, then turn the loaf out and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

Focaccia Alla Salvia

7 Jan

This bread is incredible. Eat some as a snack, use it to sandwich a chicken pesto panini, or use the recipe as a pizza dough. Love it. This is one of the recipes we made at my baking class this week. I’ll definitely be saving the recipe.

Focaccia Alla Salvia

  • 1 T. plus 1 tsp. Dry Yeast
  • 2 1/2 c. Warm Water
  • 1 tsp. Sugar
  • 2 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 6 1/2 c. All-Purpose Flour (or 1/2 all-purpose and 1/2 bread flour)
  • 1 T. Table Salt
  • 1/2 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for brushing on top)
  • 20 Whole Fresh Sage Leaves
  • 1 T. Coarse Salt

Roughly combine (doesn’t need to be smooth) warm water, yeast, sugar, and 2 c. of flour to make a sponge. Let sit for 20-30 minutes.

Add the 2 T. olive oil, salt, and gradually add the rest of the flour. Knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. You may not need to use all the flour. Keep adding the flour while kneading until the dough is slightly sticky, but doesn’t stick to the surface of your table or counter. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and let rise till double in size, about 35-45 minutes.

Drop dough into sheet pan and spread to the edges. Dimple the top with your fingers. Distribute olive oil and top with sage leaves and coarse salt.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. Remove from sheet and cool on wire rack.

Enjoy!

Focaccia Alla Salvia