Puff Pastry Apple Crowns
Enjoy a dessert fit for a king–Puff Pastry Apple Crowns with Cinnamon Sauce.
Whoever coined the term “culinary arts” was right–cooking is an art form. Perhaps no individual understands this more than chef Michel Richard, owner of the restaurants Citrus and Citronelle. Michel reportedly carries around an artist’s drawing pad whenever he’s traveling. That’s because, should inspiration strike in the most unexpected places, Michel can quickly capture the thought. His art book has helped him to perfect the dishes in his culinary repertoire.
Many times, the ideas contained in his book become translated into food for the table. This recipe for Puff Pastry Apple Crowns with Cinnamon Sauce–sauteed apples placed between two crunchy puff pastry-based crowns–was adapted from one of Michel’s original recipes. Consider this art “to taste.”
Puff pastry is a buttery pastry. It consists of dozens of layers of chilled butter rolled between sheets of pastry dough; these layers allow the pastry to puff during baking. Although you can make your own homemade puff pastry, it is conveniently available in many freezer or refrigerator counters of most grocery stores. When thawing frozen puff pastry, always remember to thaw it while it is still wrapped; the condensation that forms during thawing will accumulate on the wrapping, not on the pastry itself. Whether you choose to use homemade or store-bought, this dessert is a treat your guests will love.
Puff Pastry Apple Crowns with Cinnamon Sauce Recipe
For the Cinnamon Sauce:
For the Sauteed Apples
* 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1 pound (4 medium) Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, quartered, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
For the Cinnamon Sauce:
1. Combine the cream and sugar in a heavy small saucepan. Once the mixture boils, remove it from the heat and allow to steep for 1 hour.
2. Slowly whisk the egg yolks into the cream mixture. Return the saucepan to the stove and place it over medium-low heat. Stir using a wooden spatula until the sauce has thickened enough to leave a clean line when a finger is scraped across the spatula.
3. Discard the cinnamon stick. Add an ice cube to the mixture and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
4. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 6 to 8 hours. The Cinnamon Sauce can be made 1 day in advance.
For the Puff Pastry:
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Leaving the pastry folded in thirds, roll one sheet of pastry out onto a lightly floured work surface to an 8-by-14-inch rectangle.
3. Using a four-inch round cookie cutter or biscuit cutter, cut out four rounds from the pastry and transfer the rounds to one of the parchment-lined baking sheets.
4. Brush the rounds with the egg wash. Sprinkle each of the tops of the pastry rounds with 1 teaspoon sugar.
5. Roll out the second sheet of pastry (keeping it folded into thirds) into an 8-by-14-inch rectangle.
6. Cut out four rounds from the pastry using a 4-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter.
7. Transfer the rounds to the second parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the rounds with the remaining egg wash and sprinkle each of the tops of the rounds with the remaining 4 teaspoons sugar.
8. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.
9. Transfer to a cooling rack. (These can be made ahead and set aside at room temperature.)
For the Sauteed Apples:
1.Add the apples, increase the heat to medium, and cook just until tender and caramelized, about 15 to 20 minutes. (The sauteed apples can be made ahead, cooled, covered and set aside at room temperature.)
2. To serve, place 1 round of pastry on each serving plate. Overlap a quarter of the apples on top of the pastry. Top with another round of pastry. Ladle cinnamon sauce around the pastry. Serve.