I made this recipe because I’d fallen into a consumer trap and ended up with a lot of apples. I had wanted to buy four apples, but at the supermarket the big 3kg bag of apples was cheaper four apples. So of course, I bought 3kg of apples.
Anyway, a good excuse to do some apple baking. I adapted this recipe from my UNICEF children’s cookbook that I used a lot when I was little. It’s a little cookbook with easy recipes from all over the world. The recipe from Venice in Italy is called “apples in a blanket”, a fancy kind of apple turn over. Which is basically an apple, filled with apricot jam and covered in puff pastry. These are super easy and there’s not a lot of things you can do wrong.
I was completely ready to start baking and make dent in my pile of apples, but I found out I didn’t have any jam, so I improvised with what I had. I also realized that I do not own an apple corer, but my friendly neighbour turned out to own two and was kind enough to lend both to me.
- 4 apples
- 5 squares of puff pastry (defrosted)
- almond paste
- raisins, sugar & cinnamon to taste
- egg or milk
- Use a vegetable peeler to peel the apples. Get your (or your neighbour’s) apple corer out and take the cores out of your apples. Then continue to use your apple corer to make four circular tubes of almond paste.
- Mix sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Turn the apples around in the sugar until they are coated inside and out in cinnamon and sugar.
- Gently pull on all sides of a square of puff pastry to make it slightly bigger. Put the apple in the center of the square. Fill the apple with a tube of almond paste, raisins and some extra sugar. You can replace the almond paste with apricot jam if you have it.
- Fold the puff pastry around the apple and with a round glass cut out a little circle of puff pastry to put on top.
- Smear egg or milk on the outside and dust with the sugar/cinnamon mixture.
- Bake the apples in a blanket for about 30-35 minutes at 180°C until the tops are crispy and brown. Let them cool down a bit, but they are the tastiest when they are still a bit warm.
What I’ve learned:
- Pick the right apple. I used apples that were real sweet, but also apples that were kind of over their peak. So they’d gotten a bit soft in some places and I had underestimated the amount of liquid that would come out of these apples. They were in a little puddle of apple/caramel juice and sticking to the parchment paper. So my advice if you are using old apples is: instead of using a tube of almond paste, make a little circle of almond paste and put the apple on top of the almond paste. The paste will absorb some of the moisture and get a good caramelly/apple flavour.
- Almond paste is a good substitute for apricot jam. You could also use any other kind of jam. Or perhaps some caramel. Or add some walnuts to the raisins. Or some vanilla to the sugar. To be short: fill it with anything you fancy will taste good in combination with apples. Or perhaps you can even replace the apple with a pair maybe. Go forth and experiment!
- My neighbour has an impressive collection of cutlery. The designed purpose of some I couldn’t even imagine, but I eyed her cutlery drawer with envy. I will have to expand my own collection with an apple corer, apple core-out-scooper (which kind of looks like a torture tool to scoop out eyeballs, but in a Danish-design kind of way), a grapefruit knife, pastry decorating wheel and several awesome whisks. I didn’t know some of these existed before yesterday, but I’m quite sure they are what’s been missing in my life…