Chaussons Aux Pommes (French Apple Turnovers)
Read the story behind this recipe in the Bon Appétit Cooking Life column, Paris in a Pastry. Author Molly Wizenberg, writer of Orangette, shows us how to channel our inner Parisian and take the American apple turnover to new level.
I attempted to make these a month ago, but I had difficulty locating the all-butter puff pastry. Margarine was easy enough to come by, but would the French make these with margarine? Quelle horreur! I finally found it at a Whole Foods in the refrigerated section. It was at the top of the shelf, and I almost missed it entirely because I was looking for a box like the Pillsbury brand. This one was made by Whole Foods and came in a clear plastic container with minimal writing on the label.
These weren’t just a success, they were a home run. I made them a couple of weeks ago, and Luis is still talking about them. The blend of apples Wizenberg recommends create a sweet filling with just the right amount of tart. With very little added sugar, and even less lemon juice, it’s really apples boiled down in their own juices—a celebration of apple. I plan to make more this weekend.
If you want to be extra fancy and call these by their French name, which translates to something like “slippers of apple,” (correct me if your French is better than mine, which is highly likely, since mine is awful) pronounce it shoh-sohn aw pom. Even if you get it wrong, it’s likely that no one will know enough French to correct you anyway, but maybe that just applies to those of us who live in Texas.
Also, the pastry shell should be nice and browned. I think I took mine out a minute or two too soon. Check out the link above to the original article for Wizenberg’s photo. I forgot to photograph mine until there was only one left, and the prettiest ones had already been eaten. Le sigh.
Chaussons Aux Pommes
For the filling:
- 3/4 lb. Granny Smith apples
- 3/4 lb. Golden Delicious apples
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tbsp. sugar
- 3/4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
For the pastry:
- 1 14- to 16-ounce package all-butter frozen puff pastry (1 or 2 sheets, depending on brand), thawed
- 1 egg, beaten to blend (for glaze)
- Superfine sugar (optional)
To make the filling:
Peel, core, and cut apples into 1-inch pieces (about four cups). Place apples in medium saucepan; add 1/4 cup water, three tablespoons sugar, and lemon juice. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Cover; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until apples are very tender, stirring frequently, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat. Gently mash apples with fork or potato masher until mixture is very soft but still chunky. Cool completely. Filling can be made two days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.
Position one rack in top third and one rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 400°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
To prepare the pastries:
If using 14-ounce package (one sheet), roll out pastry on lightly floured surface to 15-inch square. If using 16-ounce package (two sheets), stack sheets together and roll out on lightly floured surface to 15-inch square. Cut pastry into nine 5-inch squares. Place one generous tablespoon filling in center of each of eight squares (reserve remaining square for another use). Lightly brush edges of one pastry with beaten egg. Fold half of pastry square over filling, forming triangle. Press and pinch pastry edges with fingertips to seal tightly. Lightly brush pastry with beaten egg. Sprinkle lightly with superfine sugar, if desired. Repeat with remaining squares.
Using thin, sharp knife, make three small slits on top of each triangle to allow steam to escape. Place triangles on prepared baking sheets. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
Bake turnovers until beginning to color, about 15 minutes. Reverse baking sheets from top to bottom. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F; continue baking until turnovers are firm and golden, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Cool at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.