Our October 2012 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Suz of Serenely Full. Suz challenged us to not only tackle buttery and flaky puff pastry, but then take it step further and create a sinfully delicious Mille Feuille dessert with it!
I didn't want to go the route of pastry cream, and apples are so delicious this fall that I decided to do a puff pastry apple pie! I set out to make the puff pastry with the assistance of my favorite co-chef: Bri! He's visiting me for Halloween/Homecoming this weekend in Madison and it has been a blast! Plus, it was perfect to make the pastry and then watch the homecoming game while it was chilling! We had a lovely day :).
I was surprised at how much work/time goes into puff pastry...no wonder it is so amazing. However, it is not at all difficult! So, if you are looking for a fun/delicious project make some puff pastry. I
I know that this months challenge was to make the Mille Feuille and to layer the puff pastry with various fillings, but I was really craving this apple pie that I saw over at Create with Mom. So, since I knew I was making some puff pastry, I decided to go ahead and whip up this amazing looking "pie." I adapted the recipe so that I could make the puff pastry provided for this challenge by Suz and so that I could use the apples I picked up at the farm while pumpkin picking! Stay tuned for the full recipe. Today I am sharing how to make the pastry!
Puff Pastry (adapted from About .com)
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp cold water
14 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into cubes
3 1/2 tbsp flour
1. In a large bowl, mix the larger amount of flour, salt, and cold butter together. Pinch the butter with your fingers until you have a mixture that resembles wet sand. Mix in the water and then knead the dough for about 4 minutes using your hands. Wrap the ball of dough in clingwrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
2. Mix the larger amount of butter with the rest of the flour until you have a paste. Shape the paste into a square about 5 in. long and 5 in. wide. Wrap in clingwrap and place in the fridge for 15 minutes.
3. Take the chilled dough and roll it out into a square about 7 in. long and 7 in. wide. Place the butter paste in the middle of the dough and then take the corners of the dough and wrap it around th butter so that you have a litte package. Turn it over and roll it out with a rolling pin so that you have a rectangle about 16 inch. long and 1/4 inch thick. You may need flour for the rolling.
4. Fold the rolled dough into thirds: take the short end of the rectangle and fold it into the middle, then take the other end and fold it over that part. Roll out the dough again into the rectangle and repeat the folding process. Wrap is clingwrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
5. Repeat this process 2 times and place back in fridge for 30 minutes.
6. Repeat this process 2 more times and then use the dough or refrigerate until needed. You can keep this in the fridge for 2 days.