Chaussons Aux Pommes

My mother didn’t really cook. But she did make key lime pie, until the day the top of the evaporated milk container accidentally ended up in the pie and she decided cooking took too much concentration.
— William Norwich

Forging ahead in my "I KNOW HOW TO COOK" challenge, I am learning some important lessons:

1. It really only takes a few ingredients to make incredible food.

2. Either the French are very VAGUE by nature, or in the interest of supporting their stereotype of American's being terrible cooks they are omitting details like amounts of ingredients from recipes.

3. Even the French think it's ok to use purchased puff pastry! Never was going to make it myself, and this just reaffirms WHY.

4. My own home cook "instincts" are being put to good use-- I'll be ready for an Iron Chef battle after this little project.

5. Don't look at the pictures in the book-- let's just say it's not like Martha Stewart directed the food photo shoots.

Once again I find myself perusing the recipes, deciding on what to make next. I open the book to the cakes and pastries chapter, see Chaussons Aux Pommes, and am SOLD! Apple Turnovers it will be. Expecially since I'm allowed to use storebought puff pastry. As a kid, turnovers were a favorite treat of mine. I've always been a big pie fan, and this is like a little piece of pie all wrapped up in flaky pastry, baked to perfection!

Here is the recipe:

Chaussons Aux Pommes:

  • 9 ounces puff pastry (one sheet)
  • Butter, for greasing
  • Flour, for dusting
  • 6 ounces apple compote (see recipe below)
  • 1 egg yolk, beated
  • Scant 1/3 cup superfine sugar

Compote De Pommes:
  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet apples
  • Superfine sugar, to taste (um, what the hell does that mean? I guessed at 1/4 cup, and it seemed to work)
  • Vanilla extract or lemon zest, to taste (vanilla OR lemon zest? Wha?? I went with both and did 1/2 tsp vanilla, and about 1 tsp lemon zest)

Peel and core the apples and cut them into quarters.
Put in a nonreactive pan with the sugar, 1 cup water, and vanilla or lemon zest.
Bring to a boil and cook on high heat for 15 mintes.

Preheat oven to 425 and grease a baking sheet with butter. (I just used a silpat pan liner). Roll the pastry out very thinly on a floured work surface.
Cut out even circles 5 inches in diameter using a bowl or cookie cutter. I didn't do this-- what a waste of pastry, and I wanted mine in the triangle shape so I cut 9 even squares with a pizza cutter.
Place a good tablespoon of apple compote on each one.
Fold in half, moisten edges with a little water and press down to seal, forming a crescent shape (in my case, triangle).
Place on the prepared baking sheet. Brush with egg yolk to glaze and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 30 minutes.

They turned out scrumptious:

Stay tuned for my next I KNOW HOW TO COOK recipe!! Bon Appetit!


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