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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Apple puff

Not long ago my neighbour wowed us with some homemade egg tarts and sardines puff. The flaky pastry kept me awake like the Madelines in Proust's 'Remembrance of Things Past'. Finally, I pluck up the determination to make some puffs myself. Sardines is not hubby's favorite but the majority is neutral to apple. So here is my ever first apple puff. The puff's great actually, but lacks a polished appearance. Homemade, you will call it. Flaky outer, tangy crunchy apple interior ( sounds like the description of some shoe, doesn't it ? ) but the overall appearance should be even better with more practice.

Puff pastry

Makes 3 giant puffs !

250g plain flour, sieved
250g butter, room temperature and cubed
150 ml very cold water
1 tsp salt

Sieve flour, salt in a big bowl
Add cubed butter
Rub butter roughly with flour
Make a hole in the center of the dough
Add 2/3 of the cold water.
Sitr water and buttery dough with a knife to make dough
Rest 20 minutes in fridge

The following steps are tacky to start with but gets better as the dough is 'processed'.

Retrieve dough and transfer to floured surface
Roll dough making a rectangular shape
Divide to thirds
Fold top third and bottom third into the center third
Roll into 3 times the length in a rectangular shape

Make a quarter third
Fold as before.
Roll dough to 3 times the length

Repeat one more time.

Transfer to a floured pan, cover and chill for 20 mins before use

Apple filling :
Here, I don't use raisins as Austrian puffs do not contain raisins, so says an Austrian. Please correct me if I am wrong.

3 apples, peeled, cored and sliced ( I use an apple core that cuts into wedges, then an egg cutter to slice wedges )
2 T brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
2 T floor ( to absorb liquid when cooking in the puff )

Toss apples with spice,walnuts and sugar
Chill until ready to use

Apple puff :
1 egg, beaten.

Preheat oven to 220 C
Prepare non stick baking tray with parchment

Remove pastry puff from the chiller and cut into rectangles.
Spoon a small amount of apple mix in the middle.
Wet edges with egg wash
Fold and seal edges, pressing with a fork
Brush surface with egg wash and poke breathing holes with a fork.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until brown.

Remove puff and cool down on a rack. Enjoy but watch out for the flakes !

Tip :
Neaten edges with a pizza roller.Reserve leftover pastry for griselli sticks.
Elongate pastry, twist. Bake along side with puff for some impromptu griselli sticks
Leftover pastry should be neatened , repacked and frozen for further use.

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