Delightful pastry lesson 2
Yesterday we had our second lesson in Amsterdam at Douglas Delights and because of the fact that the highway is being worked on around Amsterdam we were up at a ridiculously early time. We had to check wether we had to go by train or if we could still go by car. We went for the car in the end and we were early! Our class was supposed to start at 9 am and we were there at 8.30.. But I am sure that is not really of interest to any of you.. 🙂
So what did we do this day? If you remember from lesson 1 we had made puff pastry, so today we were going to turn this puff pastry into little applebags (I have no idea how to call these in English… If you know, please let me know!). Apart from that we made the filling for the Joconde we made last week. We decided to go with Passionfruit mousse, so we made that. For the shortcrust pastry that we also made last week, we decided to go with Creme citron and in addition to that we also made Creme Mousseline. Now for today I will not be telling you anything about all of that, as none of it is entirely finished. Well, let me refrase; it’s finished but we couldn’t bring it home as it was just barely out of the oven and too fragile to transport. So that will have to wait for next week. (don’t you just love the suspense…lol)
For now I will stick to the one thing that we did bring home; those lovely apple thingies. First of all, we had to make an applecompote to use as filling. Making an applecompote is not really very difficult but you can obviously vary enormously in flavors. We started out by pickle the apples that we were gonna use; Jonagold 50% and 50% golden rennet. The difference between the two is that the rennet is a very dry apple, not aromatic and it gives the right amount of sour to a compote. The Jonagold has a lot of moisture inside, plus is a fragrant apple and sweeter then the other one. Together they form a good combination to make a nice compote. Jonagold and Elstar are quite similar in taste, so you could easily swap those two. The apple season is just starting here, so Carle was lucky to find the first Golden Rennet’s of the year.
- 3 Jonagold apples, peeled, cut and chopped into medium sized pieces
- 3 Golden Rennet apples, peeled, cut and chopped into medium sized pieces
Take a fairly large pan and cover the bottom of the pan with a layer of sugar. Not too little but also not too much. Maybe half a centimeter thick. Cover that with as little water as you can. The sugar has to barely be covered by the water. Bring the sugarwater to a boil, but make sure NOT TO STIR until it caramelizes. If you stir the sugar it will crystallize and become hard. You can slowly swirl the fluid a bit inside the pan by moving the pan around. Just so the sugar dissolves.
As soon as the sugar becomes brown and starts to smell like caramel add the apples to it and stir well, making sure the caramel gets evenly distributed amongst the apples and does not stick to the pan. Cook until it starts to resemble the apple compote structure (mousse with some chunks here and there)
Let it cool off and then taste if it is sweet enough. You can add a little more sugar at this point if you want to or add a little cinnamon. (we added some cinnamon..)
We had ofcourse already made the puff pastry the week before, but if you need a recipe; here you can find the recipe from the Daring Bakers challenge we did about a year ago.
The puff pastry was rolled out to a thickness of about 3 mm. Make sure you roll it out as evenly as possible as that will help to bake it evenly too. We cut out circles using a circular cutter. I think it was roughly 15 cm in diameter. Those circles were then slightly rolled out a litte bit more rolling from the center only, to make them a little larger and to make the folding process a little easier.
Then use a pastry brush to wet the outsides with eggwash and fold the other half of the circle over the ball of compote and seal it shut using your fingers first and pressing it closely together to make sure it will not start to leak once in the oven.
Once you’ve filled them all and put them on a bakingtray with sufficient space in between use the eggwash to go over all of the apple thingies. Let it dry for a bit and repeat this process. After you’ve let the eggwash dry for a second time you can carve little figures into the dough which will show if you start baking them.
Preheat the oven to 220C, put them in the oven and bring the temperature down to 190/200C. Bake until golden. Once golden remove from the oven and sprinkle a layer of icing sugar on top of the applebags. If you then transfer them back into the oven and put it on 250C the sugar will melt and form a shiny layer of melted sugar on top which makes it look really nice. But make sure to pay close attention as it does burn easily (as we found out!)