Chaussons Aux Pommes (Apple Turnovers) - Step 1
Actually, I'll be making Chaussons aux Cerises, that is, the same thing with cherries and also with apricot and I'm going to try it with Kim's favorite apple butter.
Step 1 is making the puff paste. Not that hard but it will take some patience. Here is how I was taught. I had thought I'd put this recipe up here already but I can't find it so here it is.
3 cups AP or Bread Flour
1 cup pastry flour
1 t salt
2 t lemon juice, I use fresh
1 1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound of butter (take this out to warm up. It needs to be chill but workable.) The best thing to do is use your rolling pin to knead and pound the butter into a nice flat cake shape. Working it like this will warm it up. I like to warm it by putting it in the microwave for 30 second and then leaving it out for 20 mins.
I first blend the flours and salt. Then I add 1 cup of water to the mixture and the lemon juice. I use a 20 qt mixer with a paddle. Then I add the butter a little bit at a time and continuing adding the rest of the water until I get a smoothish dough.
Knead for 8 minutes. I normally do this on medium. My mixer has 1, 2 or 3. Three is an airplane taking off. It's very fast and I mostly use it for brioche. If you are kneading this by hand, make a well, pour in the 1 cup of water and the lemon juice stir and then knead violently. Pound it for 8 minutes. As soon as you have a smooth elastic dough, wrap in plastic and let sit in the fridge for 20 minutes to rest. If you have the time, let this rest 2 hours.
The next step is to roll out the dough as thin as you possibly can. I like to put a little bit of flour on my steel tables and roll it out. Remember, always roll from the middle and only in one direction. When you are done with the first half, flip it over and roll out the other half. You can roll the dough in the width direction if you need to. By one direction I mean, from the middle out and always away from your body.
Once you have it rolled out, put the butter cake in the middle and then fold all the corners up and fold again until you get a nice square and the butter is completely covered. Rolls this out and then do a book fold. That is, fold so that both ends overlap in the center. Rap and put in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes to rest. By the way, if your kitchen is hot, good luck. It's easier to do this on steel or marble. I use a marble rolling pin. You can put your marble in the fridge between folds if your kitchen is hot.
Sorry, I didn't take any picture because I wasn't going to go into detail about making puff paste. I was just going to say, make or buy puff paste and leave it at that but I had a change of heart and decided to give you the full magilla. You can still go out and buy the puff paste. Making päte feuillettée is a challenge.
OK. Secrets time. One of the most important things is, at each stage of the 4 or 5 folds you will be doing is to have it square at the end. Let me show you. When you take your paste out of the fridge is should look thusly...
As you can see, I've already done the covering of the butter and the first fold. Then I roll out.
Now, secret two is, roll out the dough as thin as you can without getting any bubbles or tears. However, if you do tear or get popped bubbles do not worry. Just repair what you can and fold. Depending on how bad it looks, you may want to throw a little and I mean a little flour on the popped dough or if butter squishes out.
I always lightly dust my table top and again I mean lightly. Notice in this picture I got it pretty thin. If I had the time or was making this for my guests, I would have gotten it even thinner. But this is thin enough. It's about 1/8 inch.
Now we fold.
If you do a book fold, that is in 3, with both ends overlapping in the center, then you need to do 5 folds. I normally do a book fold and turn the book sideways and fold up the ends to meet in the center. If you do this, all you need is 3 or 4 folds.
And remember, make sure you end up with a square look to your folded dough.
Then wrap in plastic, I reuse the plastic, and put into the fridge for 20 mins. Repeat.
When you are done, fold and then let rest in the fridge for at least 3 hours, overnight is better. OK. Maybe you can cheat with only 2 or 1, if you want to be a hot dog. Enjoy your puff paste.
What to do with it next. Making cream puffs is easier. Maybe you should go read that post. You can make those in time for Christmas or even Christmas Eve.