Come fall, you will see thin apple pies in bakeries across France. Unlike fine pastries, many pastries are known for, these thin apple pies are French baking at its most basic, and at its best. A thin crust of buttery, cracked puff pastry with a fan of baked apples on top, then glazed, these simple pies are normally served without any sides, but you wouldn't get any complaints from me if there was a scoop of vanilla ice cream, cinnamon ice cream, or salted butter caramel icecream, up.
My insightful Frenchman likes things simpler and would tell me to leave him alone, but if I had just ice cream on hand and poured myself a scoop, I know from experience that he wouldn't refuse one. as well.
It's easy to want to complicate things, or add spices or whatever. But if you want to live like a local, the way to taste this pie is as it is. That said, a variation you sometimes see is a layer of cooked mashed potatoes smeared under the apples before baking. But for me, tasty apples are enough. So try to find the tastiest apples possible.
It's hard to recommend specific varieties as they vary by country and region, but look for apples that won't become soft when baked. (Macintosh apples, for this reason, came out.) In French markets, apples are labeled whether they're tart or sweet, crunchy or soft, and better for baking or eating. If in doubt, if you ask, the seller will have an answer and direct you to the correct one. (And sometimes Mrs behind you, you can also step in.) It can be difficult to get to a green market where you live, but if you can find a good old-fashioned (heirloom) apple, this one usually has the best flavor. When in doubt, Golden Delicious, Braeburns, and Jonagolds are reliable strains.
The dough is a riff of the "express" puff pastry from my book Ready for dessert that we started making at Chez Panisse when my colleague, the wonderful Linda Zagula, discovered this fast puff pastry almost indistinguishable from the more laborious puff pastry, classic puff pastry, and is faster and easier.
There is no reason to hyperventilate - there is literally ten minutes of active preparation time to do so. You roll and fold the dough four times, then cool it for a few hours, then make two more rolls and folds. And that's all. When you first start out, it won't look like much and you'll wonder how I told you about this and how the shaggy dough with dice-sized pieces of butter in front of you will never be smooth, but it will be. .
While you might be tempted to be very careful about making your pie perfect, don't worry or worry about it; the moment you have rolled out of the dough, arranged the apples on top, baked with a pinch of sugar and iced, it will be perfect. You got this.
Portions 8 portions
For the quick puff pastry
- 3/4 cup (110g) flour
- 1/4 teaspoon
- 4 ounces (115g) Unsalted butter, cubed and refrigerated
- 3 soup spoons ice water
For the apples and the icing
- 1 1/2 pounds (700g) apples, about 4 medium apples
- 1 1/2 to 2 soup spoons melted butter
- 2 soup spoons sugar
- apple jelly, apricot jam or red currant jelly, diluted with just enough hot water until it is brushable
To make the quick puff pastry, in a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt. (You can also do this part of the recipe in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.) Add the butter cubes and mix quickly with a pastry blender, or your clean hands, until the butter is just fluffy. or in slightly smaller pieces, about 25% smaller than they were originally. Add water and mix (and knead a little), until the dough forms a cohesive mass, which will still be a little shaggy. On a lightly floured counter, pat the dough into a rough rectangle.
Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rough rectangle about 10 x 5 inches (25 x 12 cm).
Fold the dough into thirds, starting with one side folded in the center.
Then fold the other end over the center.
- Now turn the dough so that the short ends of the rectangle are back to the left and right. You did a "tower."
- Repeat this process, again rolling out the dough as you just did, folding left in the center, then right over the center. It's your second "tower." Repeat for two more "turns" until you have completed a total of four turns. Wrap the dough and cool it for at least 2 hours.
Make two more laps stock, rolling and bending (at this point you will have made a total of six rounds), then wrap the dough and chill for at least an hour, until ready to use.
When you are ready to prepare and bake the pie, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured counter, roll out the dough into a 14 inch (35 cm) circle. Using a pie ring or round cake pan as a guide, cut the dough with a paring knife to form a 12 inch (30 cm) circle. If you don't have a ring or pot of a similar size, you can monitor it. Fold the dough in half, which makes it easier to handle, then transfer it to the baking sheet and unfold it. Put the baking sheet in the fridge while you peel and seed the apples.
To assemble and bake the pie, preheat the oven to 400 ° F (200 ° C).
Slice the apples as thinly as possible by hand or using a mandolin. (Here I used a chef's knife.) Remove the dough from the fridge and arrange the nicest apple slices in concentric circles on the dough, leaving a small border of dough around them. (You can snack on the less appealing apple pieces.) Brush or drizzle the melted butter over the apples, as well as the crust making the edging, then sprinkle the sugar over the apples and exposed crust. Bake the pie until the apples and crust are a dark golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes, but rely more on its appearance than on a kitchen timer, as apples (and ovens) can vary. Let cool for a few minutes, then brush with icing.
Service and storage: Dough can be made up to two days ahead and refrigerated or frozen for up to three months. The pie should be served on the day it is prepared. If you're entertaining and want to get ahead of the project, you can roll the dough out and leave it on the baking sheet and put it in the freezer, so it's ready to cover with apples and bake in the oven. oven. (You can also freeze the uncooked pie with the apples on it, which admittedly isn't in the spirit of a fresh apple pie, but works.)
Whether you regularly whip up Michelin-worthy meals at the drop of a hat or your cooking skills are best described as “fine, ” you can always benefit from the helpful little tricks of others. Here, 14 of our friends’, families’ and coworkers’ most-used cooking tips.
There’s a time and a place to whip out that complicated coq au vin recipe you’ve been dying to try. A dinner party isn’t that time. With a new recipe, you’ll likely be chained to the kitchen the whole time, plus, when you’re trying something for the first time, there’s always the possibility that it could go horribly wrong. When cooking for a group, we always err on the side of tried-and-true crowd-pleasers.
You do hours of prep work on an intricate dish, only to be totally disappointed once you taste the final product. Bummer. Instead of putting in all that effort only to be disappointed, taste while you cook. That way, you’ll realize sooner that the dish isn’t tasting how you’d like it to, and you can make all kinds of last-ditch exercices to save it. This doesn’t just work for bad-to-OK meals. Tasting midway through and realizing how perfect a dash of cayenne or a squirt of lemon juice would be can take a great dinner to legendary status.
Plating pasta means tossing some onto a plate and finishing it with a nice dollop of sauce right on the middle, right ? Wrong. Here’s how to take your carbs to the next level : On the stove there should be two pans, one with pasta and one with sauce. Cook the pasta to al dente and transfer it into the sauce. Then, add a little bit of pasta water ( literally just the starchy water the pasta has been cooking in ), which will help the sauce cling to the pasta while also keeping it the right consistency. Perfection.
In the pursuit of the perfect steak, you have to be OK with your kitchen getting a little smoky. That’s because, to get the mouthwatering sear we’re all after, the meat has to be dry and the pan should be pretty damn close to smoking hot. Trust us, it’s worth a few seconds of a blaring alarm.
Most foods are ruined by too much salt. Steak is different. When it comes to seasoning your meat ( before you cook it ), more is more. Use a generous amount of coarse Kosher salt—more than you think you need. Since most cuts of steak are pretty thick, even though you’re using a lot of salt, it’s still only covering the surface.
This one isn’t too complicated. Whether you’re making avocado toast, pizza, fried rice or a burger, the addition of a fried egg on top will not hurt your feelings. Trust us.
This one seems like a no-brainer, but we’ve definitely found ourselves in a situation where we assumed we knew all of the ingredients that went into chocolate chip cookies only to find out that we had about half the required amount of brown sugar. Ugh. to avoid a mid-cooking grocery-store trip, read the recipe from front to back—carefully—before you start.
Prepping grains in mass quantities is less about taste than convenience. Rice, quinoa and even oatmeal last about a week in the fridge after being cooked. When we’re prepping any one of those, we double up our measurements and store the leftovers, which are then impossibly easy to use up throughout the week. Too tired to make dinner ? Heat up some leftover rice from the fridge and toss an egg on top ( remember ? ). Couldn’t be simpler.
So you fried up a pound of bacon for an indulgent ( read : delicious ) déjeuner. Great, just make sure you don’t throw out the grease in the pan. Instead, save it in the refrigerator or freezer ( it technically lasts for up to a year, but should be used sooner than that to take full advantage of its flavor ). Then, anytime you’re cooking something you typically prepare in oil, try cooking it in the bacon grease instead. You’ll never want to eat Brussels sprouts the old way again.
You’ve probably heard that whenever a dish is lacking a little something-something, the best thing to do is toss in some salt. But, we have it on good authority that salt isn’t always the answer. When you’re tasting a dish at the end and you think it needs a little oomph, often it just needs a splash of acid ( like lemon juice ) to round out the flavor.
You know the difference between a paring knife and a fillet knife, but do you know how to take care of them ? Or, more importantly, how to use them ? A set of good knives can be the difference between a stressful cooking experience and a great one. First, practice your knife skills. Look up tutorials on YouTube and practice chopping, slicing and julienne-ing. It’s amazing what you can do with your cook time when your prep time is shortened with solid knife skills. Then, once you’ve got your skills down pat, learn how to take care of your set. No one ever achieved kitchen greatness with a dull chef’s knife.
The key to tender, flavorful barbecue and roasts ? Cooking it on a low temperature for a long time. The same doesn’t go for roasting veggies. For crispy, perfectly cooked butternut squash, Brussels sprouts and more, remember the magic number : 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Any lower, and you risk pulling a pan of blah carrots out of the oven. It might seem high, but to get the nice roasted flavor, you need high heat. And while we’re on the subject, stop crowding your veggies in the pan, which will also make them soggy.
You know how just about every cookie recipe suggests that you chill your dough in the refrigerator for at least a few hours, but oftentimes you don’t listen because you just want cookies now ? ! ( Same. ) Unfortunately, this step actually does make a difference. In addition to limiting how much the dough spreads while baking, chilling your dough intensifies the flavors and produces that perfect chewy, crispy texture we know and love.
It won’t do your breath any favors, but never ( ever ) scrimp on garlic. In fact, we typically double the amount a recipe calls for. Apologies to anyone who was planning on kissing us.