Chaussons aux Pommes (Apple Turnovers)

Chaussons aux Pommes (Apple Turnovers) at Home

There is something so satisfying about a baked apple dessert. As a kid, I loved good old fashioned apple pie, either warm with ice cream, or cold and straight from the fridge. While I still love the combination of apples and baking spices, as I've gotten older I like my apple desserts to feature the flavor of apples. That's what I love about these apple turnovers. All-butter puff pastry filled with sweet apples, the beauty is in the simplicity.

Boozy Epicure's Chaussons aux Pommes (Apple Turnovers)
I make my own puff pastry (honestly, it's not as hard as people think, far easier than making croissants) but you can definitely use store-bought and no one will complain. It's best if you buy all butter puff pastry though, with so few ingredients, each has to be as good as you can get. A lot of people like Pepperidge Farm, and while it is easily found in most grocery stores, I think Dufour is a far better tasting product.

1 tblsp butter
3 apples
2 tblsp granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1 tblsp brown sugar
squirt of lemon juice (optional)
1 sheet of puff pastry
1 egg beaten with a tsp of water
confectioners sugar for dusting

Let's start with the apples. In all baking applications, I'm a believer in using multiple varieties of apples. Some apples (like Granny Smith) hold up to cooking well, but they are very tart, while other apples cook so quickly, the filling is more like apple sauce. When you mix your apple varieties, you get a little of each, a very apple-y tasting dessert with a filling that still has some texture.

Today I've chosen 1 Granny Smith, 1 Fuji and 1 Royal Gala to make my filling. You want to peel and quarter the apples, then slice them pretty thinly.


Pretty slices.

Once you've got all your apples prepped, toss them in a bowl with the  granulated sugar and a pinch of salt, then mix them together so the apple slices are all coated.

At this point, it's time to melt the butter in a saucepan or skillet and toss in your apple slices.

Cover them and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes.

Apples in pan.
After cooking 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, your apples should have given off a bit of liquid. You'll now turn up the heat and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. At this point, put in the last tblsp of brown sugar and cook a minute or two more to coat the apples and make sure the liquid has turned syrupy. They should be relatively dry. Now taste your apples. Are they sweet enough for you? Do they need a touch of lemon juice to brighten the flavor? This is the time for you to make the last adjustments to your filling. If you like spices, you could add cinnamon or nutmeg now, as well as other add-ins like nuts or raisins. I stick with the straight apple and a touch of lemon.

Place the apples in a bowl to cool, and keep, covered, in the fridge, until you are ready to assemble/bake your turnovers.

When you are ready to continue, pull out your pastry and roll it out into a large square. Divide that into four squares (or rectangles, honestly, the shape doesn't have to be super exact) and place your filling onto each of the squares, leaving enough space at the edges so you can fold the corners over and make a nice triangular package. Brush the perimeter with egg wash, fold the pastry over to shape your turnovers, pressing/forking the edges to seal, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or silpat, then cut a few slits in the top of each and brush the turnovers with more egg wash.

Squares of pastry with apple filling in the center.

Shaped pastries, egg washed and ready for baking.
Preheat your oven to 425 F. Let the turnovers rest in the fridge while your oven heats up (they need at least 15 minutes) then bake the pastries for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 375 F and continue baking the pastries until they are puffed and golden brown, about 10-15 more minutes.

When they are done, place them on a rack to cool. Dust with powdered sugar then serve! I like them best when they are just barely warm.

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