Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tuesday with Dorie - Apple Turnover

After the utter baking frenzy and the gluttony of the Little Ladybug's first birthday party, the last thing that I wanted to do was to haul out more butter and start baking again. I was going to skip this week, I really was, but then I saw that this week's project was "Flaky Apple Turnovers". Ugh! On the one hand, I still had some butter left after buying out the Plugra aisle at Hubbell and Hudson. But, on the other hand, Apple Turnovers just happen to be DrRuckus's favorite treat. How could I deny my amazing husband his favorite treat. Plus, in reading the recipe, It looked like something that could be done in bits and pieces and thus not be another all nighter. So, of course, I decided to go for it. I just can't step away from a challenge, especially one that makes my husband so happy. (Okay, that is not entirely true. The ladies in my playgroup and I tried to initiate a 30 day "{ahem} challenge" and the furthest I got was 5 days in. Though this could partially be blamed on DrRuckus's shift schedule.) Anyways, we are talking about the other way to a man's heart.

The dough, a sort of cheater's pastry dough, was really easy. The secret was mixing sour cream with sugar and adding that to the flour and butter mixture. Did you know that sour cream mixed with sugar is totally delicious? I had no idea. DrRuckus liked it so much, that he mixed up some more and ate it with a spoon. The batter was very moist and sticky, but I just smooshed it together and wrapped it in plastic wrap and stuck it in the fridge over night.

The next afternoon, during the kids' naps, I needed to roll out the dough into 9x18 rectangles and then fold these business letter style. Okay, let's discuss this. I am in waaaaayyyy better shape than most people due to my pilates and exercise routine, and therefore, I assume, way stronger than most bakers. I had done some cardio and a Body Pump class that morning, and thought that I was done for the day. Well, rolling that cold dough into rectangles was like a second workout. I really worked my shoulders and biceps and definitely broke a sweat. That done, I folded them up just in time to hear LL crying for me. (Damn it, no Mommy time yesterday!)

While the kids were playing, I whipped together a custard base to serve to my darling husband with his favorite dessert. While I am not really an ice cream person, he loves it. I figured what is better than your favorite treat than your favorite treat a la mode? I used Dorie's recipe for Cinnamon ice cream, substituting low fat buttermilk for whole milk because I had a bunch left from the cupcakes. Yum!

Then, after we got the kiddos into bed, I got to work peeling apples and dicing them into tiny pieces. While I let them marinate in cinnamon and sugar, I had to get out the rolling pin and do my third workout of the day. The first piece I rolled between two pieces of wax paper. I think that for this roll, it was a mistake. I had to get it really thin and the wax paper kept ripping and then got stuck to the thin dough. So, by the time I tried to fill the rounds, the dough was really warm and hard to form into the half moon shapes. Some of them looked fine, but others were just smooshed together. However, I put them on a silpat lined baking sheet and hoped for the best. Popped them in the oven, pressed "go" on the ice cream maker, and waited 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, I rolled the second sheet on a well floured cutting board with a well floured rolling pin and this was much more successful. I was able to cut out my circles and form my little half moons around my apple mixture much more quickly. I ended up freezing these ones, which were so much prettier, so that we can just pop them into the oven when we want a rich, apple-y treat.

These are the second batch, pre-freezer:

This is one from the first batch, on the cooling rack:

I also took some of the leftover dough scraps, put them in a small glass dish, dumped the leftover apple mixture, and then pieced together some more scraps on top.

Overall, I was quite pleased with this recipe. The dough was very tasty but much denser than your standard apple turnover. It was not very flaky, more rich and buttery. The apples were fresher and more tart than you typically find at a bakery, where the apples tend to be very soft and syrupy. The overall effect was like a portable apple pie. With the slightly tangy buttermilk cinnamon ice cream, it was a party in your mouth. DrRuckus took the mini pie to work today and thought that it was almost perfect in this form, even without the ice cream.

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