TWD: Parisian Apple and Peach Tartlets + Homemade Rough Puff Pastry

Tuesdays with Dorie this week is hosted by Jessica of My Baking Heart. Jessica chose the Parisian Apple Tartlet. This dessert couldn't be simpler to make... so leave it to me to try to complicate it!

The recipe only calls for a 4-inch round of puff pastry, half an apple, some brown sugar and some butter. Easy, peasey. On top of that Dorie says you can use apples, peaches, pears, plums or apricots to make these. I decided to make two with apple and two with peach.

I added a little extra brown sugar, just because that's how I roll. The pastry was flaky, tender, buttery and the best I've ever had. The fruit was just so-so for me. Of course, that is in large part due to the fact that I am not a big fan of baked apples. I am a fan of baked peaches, but the only peaches at the store were small and not very ripe. They really didn't stand up to the potential of the tartlets.

These were too fun and easy to just set the recipe aside though. DH really liked the apple tarlets, and I will definitely be trying these again when peach season really rolls around here.

Dorie suggests that if you can find all-butter puff pastry, it is the way to go. The thing is that when I searched for all-butter puff pastry a while ago, the only place that I found it was at Whole Foods. It was, if I remember correctly, around $10 for a very small package. I just couldn't bring myself to pay that when I have seen so many delicious looking recipes for a "rough" homemade version of puff pastry which only called for four ingredients that I ALWAYS have on hand - butter, flour, water and a little sea salt. Add to that the fact that we made the danish dough for Daring Bakers a while back and it seemed that it was a similar technique.

So, I made my own rough puff pastry and now, honestly, I don't know that I'll ever buy puff pastry again. It was a bit of work, but totally worth it and what work there was was actually pretty fun.

After all, I think it was pretty fun to pile equal amounts of flour and tiny cubes of butter in the middle of my counter top, plus a sprinkle of sea salt. Then I got to play with my food by crumbling, rubbing and mixing it all together by hand. Dump in some ice water in and mix some more and knead to make a nice dough ball.

After that it was just a matter of patience while the dough chilled in the fridge before rolling it four more times. Yup, four times. They are called turns. As in roll, then fold like a letter, then turn the dough, roll it again, fold it again and more time to chill. Repeat the rolling and folding two more times, then chill a bit more, and voila! You have rough puff pastry.

Make sure to check out the Tuesdays with Dorie blogroll for more lovely tartlets!

For the rough puff pastry recipe go here (there is video also). It can also be found in Pastry by Michel Roux.

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