Apple Tartlets and Rough Puff Pastry Twists
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 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:
- 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 (430F) 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.