August 13, 2008

Apple Tartlets and Rough Puff Pastry Twists

Printable version here.

P uff pastry is another one of those things I’ve always thought I should love to make but hadn’t the courage to attempt. It always seemed like a very complicated thing to do and I was almost sure that it wouldn’t turn out right. But ever since I has reasonable success with Danish pastry, I have been thinking that maybe I could try my hands at puff pastry.

Now readymade frozen puff pastry or anything of that sort is not something that is available in stores here. As I was looking for an uncomplicated way of making puff pastry, I discovered that there was something called “rough puff pastry”. I don’t know what exactly is rough about this recipe, unless it is that the pastry is not treated too gently as seems the general case. Apparently, this is I a great recipe to use when you need to put together some pastry in very little time.

That’s when I came across Gordon Ramsay’s Rough Puff Pastry at the BBC Good Food site. We have been watching quite a bit of Gordon Ramsay on TV where he generally lords it around playing God (or should I say the Devil) in Hell’s Kitchen! I can understand that he has very exacting food standards but I cannot figure out why he needs to behave in such an ill mannered and inconsiderate way to achieve it. Maybe he’s really a nice guy just trying to find his own unique way of driving up the TRPs for his program!

Getting back to his puff pastry recipe. I thought I’d give it a go and see if it really would work for me. It did.
The pastry was flaky and crisp, very easy to make and didn’t take too much time either. Of course, considering the amount of butter in the dough, it would be a surprise if it wasn’t crisp!

For the Apple filling:


2 medium sized apples (peeled, cored and thinly sliced)

2 tbsp brown sugar

2 tsp honey

2 tbsp butter

a large pinch of salt

½ tsp cinnamon powder

¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

¼ tsp powdered dry ginger (I used this ginger glaze)

Heat the butter and and add the sugar, honey and salt. When the sugar dissolves, add the sliced apple and allow to soften. Now add the cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger powder. Mix well. By now the filling should be almost dry and ready. Aloow to cool.

Assembling The Tarts:

Roll out the puff pastry into a long rectangle and cut it into smaller rectangles measuring 4” by 3 “. Cut each rectangle into half. In the picture below you can see three 4 by 3 rectangles cut into half.

From one of these, cut out and remove a smaller rectangle from the centre (see picture below).
Now place this rectangle with the hole exactly on the other half and press down on sides to ensure that it is stuck to it.
In the small hollow put a bit of the apple filling. Repeat this with all the other rectangles.
Bake at 220C for about 20 minutes or till golden brown. Serve while still slightly warm or cold.
(This is what the tarts look like if the two rectangles are not pressed together well enough. They look a bit weird but still taste great.)

Gordon Ramsay does say not scrunch up the scraps and reuse them as the pastry layers would be lost. I didn’t have the heart to throw them out and most of the scraps I had left were too small to do much else with them. So I just put them together (didn’t knead them), rolled the dough out again, cut it up into small strips and twisted each one once into a small bow. Then I baked them at 190C for 15 minutes till they turned a lovely brown.

The twists/ bows were nice, crisp and made a great snack at tea time. Mine were plain, but you may sprinkle herbs, flaked chillies, or pepper on them before baking to spice them up.

I made 10 tartlets with this recipe and the scraps were made into twists.

Instead of making these tarts, the puff pastry can be rolled out and you can cut out small rounds or squares using a cookie cutter and top them with cheese, pepper and herbs (or any topping of your choice) before baking them. Another idea is to cut the pastry into circles to fit your muffin pans and make mini quiches using whatever filling you want. The options are endless.
Dhanggit of Dhanggit’s Kitchen is celebrating her daughter’s first birthday and had written asking us to share some food ideas for her party. She has some pretty good ideas herself and do check them out at her blog, if you haven’t yet.
These tarts are bite sized an a great idea for dessert or a party and so are going to join some more celebratory food at Dhanggit’s Perfect Party Dishes.


Laavanya said...

Wow.. home made puff pastry.. that's cool! The tarts look beautiful and I love the bows too.

Rajani said...

these look incredible. lovely party food entry... and Ive been toying with the idea of making rough puff pastry for a long time now, 'cept the thought of so much butter scares me. but maybe once in a blue moon may not be that bad. thank you for inspiring me.

Dhanggit said...

My daughter will surely love this..anything with apple she loves!! I love your sqaure version too!! And did I mention that your puff pastry looks so puffy and flaky!! Delicious!! Thanks for this entry!!

Nags said...

such a nice idea to stick them together :)

Bharathy said...

Aparna you are really rocking with baking these days..I am really getting impressed! :)

and so..a few awards are awaiting for you in my place..enjoy :)

Ben said...

Puff pastry is really not that difficult. At least it is easier to make than the Danish dough, I think. Very nice pastries :D

Bharti said...


A_and_N said...

GORGEOUS is the word.

jayasree said...

Lovely tartlets.. Your pastry has come out puffy and flaky too. Good job. Loved the twists too..

sra said...

Those tartlets look great, the filling, especially.
You know, I recently read some book and one of the characters is a very successful restaurant owner. And she's famous also because she makes it a point to insult every guest that walks into her restaurant - in fact, if she doesn't, guests go away disappointed. because if she does, it means you've arrived and she only takes note of you if you matter! The reference to Ramsay reminded me of this - I've watched only the odd episode of Hell's Kitchen.

Nidhi said...

Apple tartlet looks appetizing. Where did you get the Puff pastry sheets from?

Bharathy said...

Yes aparna, all the awards except BFF (where I was forced to restrict to 5):(

Vcuisine said...

A nice presentation Aparna. Sometimes how we present makes the difference and make the recipe more interesting. Viji

Rachel said...

I watch the show..and if someone spoke to me like the way he did..I would have just walked out...

Love the tartlets!!! and the first pic is gorgeous.....

Usha said...

It looks awesome,I felt like reaching into the pic and grabbing one for myself :)

Rosie said...

Oh how lovely and yummy!!

Rosie x

Pearlsofeast said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pearlsofeast said...

Dear Aparna,I had to delete the previous comment,Sorry about that.
These tartlets are awesome and I love the beautiful filling in it.Infact they are so neatly done and I think I should go once making these buttery delights.Thanks

Seena said...

I think I can choose your blog to learn baking..! You post nice recipes, thank you.. :)

Aparna said...


The butter scared me too, Rajani, but I wanted to give it a try. I'll be making it once in a while.

Thank you very much, Bharathy.

Agree, Ben.
Much easier than Danish.:)

Some people can be funny that way, Sra. Can't figure them out!

I made the puff pastry, Nidhi.

True, Viji.

You bet, Rachel.

That's ok, Shibani. I think they're worth trying out at least once, for the experience.

Thanks, Seena, I'm not really an expert, just learning.