Chaussons-aux-pommes, "Apple slippers," are a very popular pâtisserie offered in most boulangeries-pâtisseries de France. For simplicity of description, it is an apple turnover, the crust being a flaky pastry. The picture above shows (and the recipe below) makes what looks like a turnover, but what Louis la Vache has seen in many boulangeries in Paris is open-faced and indeed shaped more like a slipper.
Regardless of the shape, chaussons are usually filled with compote aux pommes, the apples not being (in the American fashion) too sweet. Les boulangers français use a light touch with the sugar, knowing how to balance it with the natural acidity of the tart apple variety they use in making this treat. Thus the sugar doesn't overpower the somewhat delicate taste of apple. One variant Louis particularly likes (and plans to include in his boulangerie) adds finely chopped hazelnuts to the apples.
The best chaussons Louis has found in Paris boulangeries have had these attributes:
• Nice balance between the added sugar and the natural tartness of the apples. (Use a tart variety of apples if you make your own)
• The apple compote has nice chunks of apples that are not so over-cooked that they've become mushy - they still have some crispness to them. (The worst chaussons Louis has found have been filled with little more than applesauce.)
• Just the right balance between crust and filling. You don't want too much filling, nor do you want too much crust. The play between the apples and the flaky crust is important to creating a memorable treat.
Go HERE for pictures (and instructions en français) for making chaussons. Even if you can't read français but want to try the recette this link is very helpful.
1 cup + 3 tablespoons /250 G of flour
10 ounces/300 G nonfat fromage blanc*
2 teasooons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons warm water
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 beaten egg
Apple compote (below)
* Fromage blanc is a second-stage cheese made from yogurt with the whey strained off, thus it is thicker than yogurt, but not solid. It is difficult to find in the U.S. U.S. readers, if you have a Trader Joe's in your area, you might find it. Look in gourmet specialty shops. San Francisco Bay Area residents can buy fromage blanc from France at Village Imports in Brisbane one weekend a month when they open their warehouse to the public. Bay Area residents can also find it at The Pasta Shop at Rockridge Market Hall in Oakland and at their location on Fourth Street in The People's Republic of Berserkeley.
1. Pour the flour in a medium mixing bowl.
2. Add the baking powder, salt, water and oil. Mix well.
3. Then add to this the fromage blanc.
4. Mix until the dough forms a ball.
5. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface.
6. Knead a few turns with your hand. If the dough is sticking, add more flour. Do not over-knead.
7. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
8. Return the dough to the floured work surface. Roll the dough out to a thickness of about 3/8"/10 mm
9. Cut the dough as shown HERE.
10. Brush the cut pieces dough with egg wash
11. Add the apple compote.
12. Close the dough and finish as shown in this link.
13. Bake for 25 min at 400º F/200°C (thermostat 6-7)
14. Remove from oven, cool on cooling rack.
The chausssons may be served at any temperature, but are very enjoyable when served slightly warm. (But DON"T use a microwave to warm them! A microwave makes the crust tough!)
Compote aux pommes
4 medium size tart apples
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1. Core and peel the apples
2. Cut apples into small pieces.
3. Put apples in a frying pan with the sugar and vanilla
4. Cook over low heat until the apples become somewhat soft but still retain some crispness.
5. Remove from heat, set aside while preparing the dough.
This recette is also posted at The Frog Blog of Louis la Vache
Plus de recettes:
(Not necessarily apple recipes)
French Food and Cooking
(Les Halles refers to the old Paris central market in the I er arrondissement which was torn down in 1969 - 1970 and moved to the southern Paris suburb of Rungis to make way for a huge underground shopping mall and public transportation complex.)