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There are many staples to French breakfast, the most famous being, obviously, the croissant. But there is another very popular one that is often underestimated in North America: “chausson aux pommes” or as it is called here, apple turnover.
I personally prefer apple turnover to croissants. This is my favorite French pastry and I know it is for nostalgic reasons. My father used to work in a catering company, and very often, he would bring us leftover unsold items. Among them were tons of apple turnover that I would fight over with my siblings.
Even today, a warm apple turnover, with the crunchiness of its puff pastry, combined with vanilla applesauce is something I fall for every time.
For the puff pastry, we will prepare a quicker, simpler version where we will make all the folds in less than ten minutes. I call that the “good enough” puff pastry. It’s a little less flaky than the real deal, but flaky enough for us to enjoy without the trouble of waiting for hours between folds!
For the applesauce, I opted for one flavored with vanilla bean, and a bit of cinnamon but you can use any spice you fancy.
Keys to succeeding
– Make sure that all your ingredients are cold when you mix them in. The temperature will make it easier to make the folds in record time.
– Use good quality all-purpose flour. This will make a difference in the taste of the puff pastry.
– Butter should also be of good quality as it counts for a good amount of the pastry.
– Don’t forget to flour your bench and the dough as you are making the folds. Add more flour if your dough starts to stick to the bench.
– Let your dough rest in the fridge after the folds for about one hour. This is to let the gluten “relax” and allow for rolling it out thin.
– Make sure to cut your apples in small cubes to make it easier for them to absorb the butter and sugar.
– Keep stirring every three minutes.
– The apples have been properly cooked when there is no more liquid in the pan. We don’t want to caramelize them but rather “confit” them. That’s why they are cooked at a low temperature.
– I use pink lady apples, as I prefer their taste in an apple turnover.
- 250 g All purpose Flour (1 1/2 cups)
- 200 g Unsalted Butter (1 cup)
- 5 g salt (1 tsp)
- 120 mL water
- 700 g apples peeled, without the pit (approx 6 apples)
- 70 g butter
- 50 g Brown sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- half a vanilla bean ( or 2 tsp of vanilla extract
- Make sure all your ingredients (except flour) are cold (fridge temperature) before starting. Cut your butter into small two-centimeter cubes. Mix all ingredients with your hands or the flat beater of your stand mixer.Mix just enough to make disappear the dry bits of flour at the lowest speed (should take a minute). Do not overmix; you should still see big chunks of butter.
- Flour your bench and your dough. Spread your dough to give it the shape of approximately a 45x15 cm (18x6 inches) rectangle.
- Make a simple fold also called letter fold—the dough is folded in thirds, as you would do for a letter that you’d place in an envelope: step 1
- Step 2
- Rotate the folded dough 90 degrees to your right. Spread the dough like a rectangle again and repeat the fold. You have to make at least four letter folds, five if you can. If the dough resists too much, stop folding and let the dough rest for at least 20 minutes in the fridge before resuming. Always rotate in the same way. Make the folds as quickly as possible while the dough is cold. Once the dough starts to heat up, the butter might start leaking. Cover the dough with saran wrap and let it rest in the fridge for at least an hour. In the meantime, make the applesauce.
- At medium heat, melt butter in a pan. Once melted, add sugar and stir. Add your apples, previously cut into small cubes, to the pan with a tsp of cinnamon and half a vanilla bean. Cook at high heat for two to three minutes, and then reduce the heat to low to let them simmer in the pan. Cook them on low heat for 25-30 minutes. At the end, your apples should be softened; the liquid in the pan should have been completely absorbed by the apples.Use a hand mixer to puree your apples into applesauce. Let the applesauce cool down to room temperature.
Apple turnover assembly
- Spread your puff pastry dough until it is two millimeters thin. Using a bowl and a very sharp knife, cut circles of puff pastry. Stack the leftover puff pastry that cannot be cut in a circle and roll them out until you can cut circles again. You should get six to seven circles of puff pastry. Dip a brush in water; dampen the edges of your dough(that will help close it). Fill with 1 ½ tbsp. of applesauce (make sure to not overfill the pastry). Close the puff pastry onto itself. Brush your apple turnovers with egg yolk. Let them rest in the fridge for 20 minutes. In the meantime, preheat your oven at 360°F(180°C).Before baking the apple turnover, you can make patterns using a lame or a very sharp knife on it. Use a toothpick to pick the dough. This will prevent the puff pastry from exploding while cooking. Bake for 30 minutes. It’s better to eat them warm. I enjoy them for breakfast with tea!