Apple turnovers, or chaussons aux pommes as they are called in France, are a classic French pastry.
They are easy to prepare if you happen to have some puff pastry and a couple of apples. When you get the craving, all you need to do is to fill the puff pastry with some apple compote or apple sauce before baking it. They make a nice Sunday breakfast or brunch. You can in advance, as they can be frozen before baking so that you only have to pop them in the oven when you get up!
I would definitely recommend that you make your own apple compote rather than buying it ready made. Not only will it taste better and you can flavour it as you wish (for me with lots of cinnamon!), but store bought apple compotes tend to be more liquid and will potentially leak out of the apple turnover during baking.
- 1 packet (500 g) puff pastry
- 600g (3 cups) apples, cored and peeled
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 60g (1/4 cup + 1 tbsp) sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- ground cinnamon (to taste)
- 1 egg, whisked
- 1 pinch of salt
- 25 g (2 tbsp) sugar
- 25 g (1/4 cup) water
- Cut the apples into small chunks and place them in a medium size saucepan. Add the lemon juice and the water and cook on a low heat.
- After a few minutes, add the sugar and cinnamon and keep cooking on a low heat until the apples until the apples have cooked down but still have some texture. Squash them with a fork until the texture is similar to a purée, but still with chunks in it. Remove from the heat and let cool. Cover and refrigerate.
- Roll out the puff pastry on a floured surface to a 3-4mm (0.1 inches) thickness and cut disks of 12 cm (0.5 inches) diameter using a pastry cutter (or some other round kitchen item with the right size, eg; a small bowl).
- Stretch the disk into an oval of 13x17 cm (0.5x0.6 inches), keeping the edges of the oval thick so that they can be sealed properly. To do so, use your rolling pin to elongate the dough, always starting from the center and rolling your pin a few cm towards the top of bottom until disk is 13x17 cm (see picture below).
- Prepare the egg wash by whisking the egg and adding the pinch of salt.
- Garnish one half of the oval with about 60g apple compote (1/4 cup), fold over the other half and seal the edges by pressing down lightly with your fingers or using a fork. Be careful to not overfill the turnover (as I often do!) or it will open during baking and the compote will pour out! Place the turnover on a lined baking tray.
- Preheat the oven to 200 C (400 F).
- Glaze the surface of each turnover a first time with egg wash, then place the turnovers in the freezer for at least 15 to 20min.
- Glaze the turnovers with a second layer of egg wash, then partially score the tops of the pastries with multiple lines to make a design. (Do not cut all the way through the dough, you just want to create an engraved effect.) with a sharp knife. Prick the turnovers with your knife all the way through in 2-3 places to create small steam vents.
- Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until golden and puffed. The turnovers are ready when the bottom part is golden (lift them up to check!)
- Whilst the turnovers are baking, prepare the syrup for the glaze by bringing the water and sugar to a boil. Brush the turnovers with the syrup as soon as they come out of the oven, then let cool on a rack.