Oops! Don’t you hate when you put your foot in your mouth??? I have never been a fan of screwing up or looking like an ass but I guess I did that this week. Last week I did a small rant about Sandra Lee and here is the thing. I do not dislike her but as another blogger pointed out “there are so many talented cooks out there who would die for a show, books, national attention, etc” and I couldn’t agree more. It’s not that I do not enjoy saving money, lord knows I do, and it’s not that I do not enjoy time saving techniques and pre-packages foods but I just want more out of my cooking channel. I do not think that is too much to ask. Maybe it’s just me, but lately I feel like that I all I see on Food Network. I realize that in these difficult economic times the network must cater to its target audience but at the same time I do not think there is anything wrong with teaching people how to make things from scratch. Some of the most basic baking and cooking techniques are lost on a whole generation of young people. I once told the little girl I nanny for that we were going to bake a cake and she didn’t even realize you could make cake without buying the box at the store. I was even more shocked that she didn’t realize you could make whipped cream at home and that it didn’t come out of a can.
So the reason that I put my foot in my mouth this week is because I realized the recipe I made for this week is using the same store bought items I just finished ranting about. Although in my defense I have made puff pastry from scratch before and I didn’t enjoy it. Why you ask? I don’t know. Maybe it’s because my kitchen is small and not great for making huge pieces of pastry, but I’m still happy that I made it from scratch at least once and knowing me I will try it again. I wouldn’t even mind taking a pastry class at the Culinary Institute (it’s five minutes from my house!) to learn proper techniques and have the opportunity to work in a kitchen that is larger than my house. Hahaha, I just had a random thought of me being in pastry class and puff pastry day rolls around and I look at the professor and say “I prefer the store bough kind…it’s much easier.” I’m sure I would be asked to leave…immediately.
Ok finally on to the recipe. It’s easy, delicious and not overly time consuming. I really loved the combination of apples with the tart dried cherries and the added citrus from the orange zest and juice. I used store bought puff pastry and a light egg wash on the top and sprinkled it with turbinado sugar before putting it in the oven. It was done baking in twenty minutes and five minutes after that my other half and I were eating them. I loved the flavor of the cinnamon and nutmeg on the apples and the cherries added another flavor element that made it anything but boring. Enjoy!!!
Oh I was also featured on“Daring Members on the Spot” so please go check it out and learn more about me:)
1 t. orange zest
3 T. orange juice – freshly squeezed
3-4 granny smith apples – peeled, cored and chopped into 3/4 inch dice
3 T. dried cherries
3 T. sugar
1 T. flour
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/8 t. nutmeg – freshly grated
Pinch of kosher salt
1 packages (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry – defrosted
1 egg beaten with 1 T. water for egg wash
Turbinado sugar for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine the orange zest and orange juice in a bowl. Peel, quarter, and core the apples and then cut them in 3/4-inch dice. Immediately toss the apples with the zest and juice to prevent them from turning brown. Add the cherries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
Flour a board and lightly roll each sheet of puff pastry to a 12 by 12-inch square. Cut each sheet into 4 smaller squares and keep chilled until ready to use.
Brush the edges of each square with the egg wash and neatly place about 1/3 cup of the apple mixture on half of the square. Fold the pastry diagonally over the apple mixture and seal by pressing the edges with a fork. Transfer to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Brush the top with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar, make 2 small slits, and bake for 20 minutes, until browned and puffed. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Source: Ina Garten