Hojaldres de Piñónes con Manzana

Puff Pastry With Apple Compote Coated In Pine Nuts

banner

THE ROADS TO CÁDIZ ARE LINED WITH PINES. THE GREAT BELTS OF WINDSWEPT TREES THAT WHISPER QUIETLY IN THE ATLANTIC BREEZE HOLD TOGETHER THE SAND DUNES, SHELTER THE FIELDS AND PRODUCE CREAMY LITTLE PINE NUTS, WHICH ARE USED EXTENSIVELY IN ANDALUSIAN PASTRIES. LIGHTLY TOASTED, THE PINE NUTS ARE TRAPPED IN LAYERS OF SWEET GLAZE AND COVER SPONGE CAKES AND PUFF PASTRIES. FOR THIS RECIPE YOU CAN USE READY-MADE PUFF PASTRY, AS THERE ARE NOW SOME GOOD PRODUCTS AROUND, BUT I HAVE INCLUDED A SIMPLE RECIPE FOR ROUGH PUFF. MAKING THE PASTRY IS TIME CONSUMING, BUT THERE’S SOMETHING MEDITATIVE ABOUT FOLDING AND ROLLING A GREAT CHUNK OF BUTTER INTO PASTRY DOUGH.

Ingredients

  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 9 granny smith apples
  • 100 g ( oz) unsalted butter
  • 350 g (12 oz/ cups) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 70 ml ( fl oz) Spanish brandy
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 125 g ( oz/¾ cup) pine nuts
  • 100 g ( oz) quince paste, finely chopped

Rough Puff Pastry

  • 500 g (1 lb. 2 oz/4 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra, to dust
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 20 ml (½ fl oz) sherry vinegar
  • 50 g ( oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus 350 g (12 oz) cold unsalted butter

Method

To make the rough puff pastry, sift the flour and sea salt into a bowl. Add the vinegar, the 50 g ( oz) room-temperature butter and 220 ml ( fl oz) water and combine very slowly until a smooth, elastic dough forms. Shape the dough into a ball on a lightly floured surface. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Meanwhile, make the apple compote. Put the lemon juice in a large bowl and fill with water. Peel, core and cut the apples into 1 cm (½ inch) dice, dropping them into the acidulated water as you go. Drain well, then place in a heavy-based saucepan with the butter, 250 g (9 oz/heaped 1 cup) of the sugar, 50 ml ( fl oz) of the brandy and the cinnamon stick. Cook over high heat, stirring continuously, until the butter has melted. Reduce the heat to low, then cover and cook, stirring frequently, for 30 minutes, or until the mixture reaches a jam-like consistency. Remove from the heat.

Place the puff pastry dough on a cold, well-floured surface and roll out into a 30 cm (12 inch) square. Shape the remaining 350 g (12 oz) cold butter into a 15 cm (6 inch) square and place in the centre of the dough. Make a cut from each corner of the butter to each corner of the dough, then fold the outside edges of the dough over the butter to completely encase it.

Using a rolling pin, gently but firmly work the dough and butter into a 15 × 45 cm (6 × 18 inch) rectangle, keeping the butter in between the layers of dough. Measure the dough into thirds lengthways, then bring one end of the pastry to the far third mark, then fold the remaining third over this. Place the dough on a floured tray, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 25 minutes.

Place the pastry back on a cold, well-floured surface with the open end facing you. Roll it into another 15 × 45 cm (6 × 18 inch) rectangle, then fold over the ends as before. Place back on the floured tray, cover and refrigerate for another 25 minutes. Repeat this process three more times, refrigerating for 25 minutes between each rolling.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface into a 30 × 40 cm (12 × 16 inch) rectangle, then place on a large, flat, well-floured baking tray. Trim the pastry edges and prick the base all over with a fork. Cover with another tray of the same size and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F/Gas 7).

Bake the pastry, still in between the two baking trays, for 15 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).

Remove the top oven tray, allow the pastry to cool slightly, then cover with the apple compote, leaving a 1 cm (½ inch) border around the edges. Scatter evenly with the pine nuts, then bake for another 15–18 minutes, or until the pine nuts are golden. Remove from the oven.

Meanwhile, place the remaining 100 g ( oz/½ cup) caster sugar in a small saucepan with 100 ml ( fl oz) water. Stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved, then boil for 2 minutes. Add the quince paste and remaining tablespoon of brandy, increase the heat to high and stir continuously until the quince paste has dissolved.

While the tart is still hot, carefully brush the quince glaze over the pine nuts and leave to cool. Cut into 12 pieces and serve at room temperature.

Loading
Loading
Loading