Tuesday, January 08, 2013

The Last Sweet of the Holidays

Wonderful weekend. Lingering, dappled light, rainfall, comforts, even some luxuries. It brought me renewal and joy. So I was inspired to finish our last night of the holidays with something delicate, a little sweet, new. I dreamed up puffed and flaky layers of baked goodness, topped with sweet and tart fruit. I thought maybe play it safe and bake an apple pie, but then I considered a charming plate of turnovers could be fun. Too much work? Rolling pin, and all? Both of those desserts threatened to undermine the revived, yet relaxed, mood I had won, and that seemed a reckless thing to do. Then I thought of something simple, but hopefully light, pretty, too.

From Trader Joe's I brought home organic Granny Smith apples, the small ones, and a box of frozen puff pastry. While dinner cooked, the pastry thawed.

I washed the little apples, about six or seven, then brought out a favorite tool, so Maria and I could peel and core our fruit. I sliced the apples into bite sized bits, dusted them in cinnamon, patted them with a dab of butter, sprinkled about two tablespoons of flour, and gave them some Trader Joe's organic sugar... this concoction was good enough, in Maria's humble opinion and she nibbled on a teeny serving.

While the oven pre-heated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, I opened the package of puff pastry, unrolled each square onto a parchment lined cookie sheet, and brushed them with an egg wash. I pinched the squares' perimeters to create shallow ledges, then topped the pastries with single layers of our apple mix. Nothing fussy, but I did think how beautiful it could be to line alternating facing rows of neatly sliced apples... a passing, silly notion. Into the oven went our rustic delicacy.

They stayed in the oven long enough to smell delicious, to become golden, crisp, tempting. And while they cooled I rummaged in the fridge... and yes! found some heavy cream! Adding about a tablespoon of powered sugar and whipping away, with eager determination, we soon had a rich and creamy topping. I used a pizza cutter to slice our creation on the diagonal. I cannot recommend this enough, just as with PB&J sandwiches, foods cut on an angle are 42% more flavorful, and highly appealing.

And this... well this is all I have to share. There are no more pictures. There aren't even any crumbs. As quick, and sweet, as our holidays, so went our dessert.



Anna Banana said...

Not even enough time to wish you bon appetit!

Jennifer said...

I'm *pretty sure* I can pick up the aroma, from the photos, right through the computer. Beautiful!

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

It's almost scary how easy it was to fill the kitchen with that wonderful aroma! Someday the three of us can enjoy some together... bon appetit, indeed!

Quilter Steph said...

This looks lovely yummy. How's the cooking from Alice Waters' book coming along? What's the newest?

Miriam said...

Oh yum. It's kind of like a breakfast treat I used to make with half a croissant spread with butter and topped with sliced apples, and then broiled. A little sprinkling of cinnamon sugar and voila, a lovely treat to have with the first coffee of the day.

Sure, maybe perfectly lined up apple slices might LOOK lovely, but all that time spent lining them up is time not spent with your loved ones. I vote for rustic and quick!

ArtyZen said...

Oh yum. I do envy your lovely apples - they're pretty dire here, for some reason. I may have seen some Granny Smith's once but not recently. However, your lovely photo and THAT SMELL!! I'll find some apples and when I do, I shall make your sweet. At first I misread your cutting instruction as a 42 degree angle and was a bit concerned - does it needs to be so precise? Then I noticed it was the percentage improvement of flavour you were talking about and you are absolutely right, of course! Axxx

Geoff said...

I can attest: these are really, really good!