poached apple pie pockets served with spiced apple cider reduction
Okay maybe this ingredient isn’t so secret and flakiest isn’t the exact word to describe the difference. Don’t get me wrong this crust is flaky, and easy to work with, and puffs up more than any crust I’ve ever made—but it also seems more refined, more puff pastry than pate brisee. “What’s the ingredient?” You ask. Seltzer.
For this I must thank my dear friend Ashley, who got me a soda stream for my birthday this year. I love fizzy water. Bubbles make things better. I’m not sure that this was the recipe she envisioned appearing on this site. But that last minute addition, because I was lazy and didn’t feel like making ice water (I know sooo hard) so I pulled out the seltzer from the fridge, transformed the crust. Perfect for these tiny pies, though how it holds up after being frozen has yet to be tested. Yay fizzy water! (can any one explain to me why they very rarely sell it in minimarts? a whole cooler full of still water but nary even a pelligrino in sight)
But enough about the crust, lets talk filling: apple on apple; no added sugar; just three ingredients (though one’s a cheater of sorts)- apples, spiced apple cider, and butter. The secret’s in the sauce- and you can have as much or as little of that as you like- it’s bursting with apple flavor, not too sweet but lush enough to feel special.
Makes eight individual apple pie pockets
FOR THE CRUST
- 1 cup about 150 grams all-purpose flour
- 8 tablespoons one stick unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces- I toss mine in the freezer for a few minutes after I cut it into pieces.
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3-7 tablespoons cold fizzy water
- Place flour, the butter, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process just until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 6 seconds.
- Add the fizzy water and pulse until the pastry begins to just hold together, about six to eight times. You may need to add more liquid after the first go around, that’s okay. Do not let it form a ball.
- Turn the pastry out on to waxed paper or plastic wrap and flatten the dough into a circle. If the dough is excessively sticky, sprinkle it with several tablespoons of flour. Wrap in waxed paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
This recipe has a photo of what I mean by ‘just together’.
FOR THE FILLING:
2 medium to large apples of the best for baking variety, cored (and peeled too if you insist)
2 cups spiced apple cider
2-3 tsps butter (salted is fine)
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Cut the apples horizontally into four slices each, trimming a bit from the top and bottom if desired.
Place apples and cider in a sauté pan or cast iron skillet large enough to hold all the apple slices and poach over medium low heat for ten minutes.
Remove the apples from the poaching liquid and continue to cook down over low heat until liquid has reduced by half (about 20 minutes for me)
Add butter to reduced cider and continue to simmer for another couple of minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Once the apple slices have cooled to room temperature. Take out the pastry dough and on a lightly floured surface divide into eight equal pieces. Roll each piece into a six inch round (big enough to encase the apple slices). Place the apple slice in the center of the dough and then wrap it all up, using the hollow center as the crimping/meeting spot. Place on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper.
Bake on middle rack for 20-30 minutes until crust is golden brown.
Allow to cool slightly before serving.