The extent of my baking knowledge up until now has been to follow the instructions on the back of the ready mix boxes. Come along with Shae and myself as we embark on a six week baking challenge where we push our comfort zones and try baking recipes we have never done before!
Week 4 – Apple Turnovers
We chose apple turnovers because we wanted to make a puff pastry. In particular, we wanted to make a full puff pastry. Normally, a turnover recipe has you use pre-prepared pastry rolls from the store, and while that greatly cuts down the work and time required, it doesn’t teach us anything about the process!
So how does one make a flaky, crisp pastry dough? Easy! All you need is flour, water, salt, and a metric ton of butter.
We all put our aprons on, Frugal Boy too after much convincing, and got out the stand mixer to combine 5 cups of flour with a teaspoon of salt and 2 cups of water. You’ll want to add the water in slowly otherwise the dough gets very hard and tough to roll out.
While you are doing that, you’ll want to get out a block o butter. This recipe called for 2 cups worth. Sandwich it with plastic wrap and get out something heavy, like a rolling pin.
Then pound the butter flat and stick it in the fridge to chill.
After the dough has rested, and the butter has chilled, you can roll out the dough.
And yes, that is the manliest apron we have.
Once the dough is rolled out, place the butter on top. We are going to start laminating the dough and butter.
Here begins the lengthy part. In order to laminate the butter and dough together, you will repeat folding the dough and butter into thirds, rolling it out flat again and sticking it back in the refrigerator to chill. You don’t want the butter to melt into the dough. After about six times of doing this, you will end up with a nicely layered dough/butter creation.
The whole point of layering butter in the dough is to have it expand (some might even say puff) when baking. The butter steams up and gives a wonderful flakiness to the finished pastry.
Now that you have your finished pastry dough, you can roll it out to a 1/4 inch thickness or thinner and shape as desired. Traditional apple turnover recipes call for cutting out squares from the rolled dough, placing the apple filling into the square, and folding the dough over before baking. We opted to make cups instead.
Look at those beautiful layers!
We finished off the apple cups by adding a sugar glaze.
They are best eaten fresh from the oven. Over time they will get soggy and lose their crispiness. If you buy the pastry dough pre-made the recipe only takes about 60 minutes to make. If you make the dough from scratch, it will take several hours.
We have two weeks left on this 6 week challenge. Leave a comment on what we should try baking next!