Rough Puff Pastry
This makes a quantity similar to about 454 g / 1 pound of frozen puff pastry. Any of the pie dough recipes in this book can be rough-puff-ified by following the method below.
In a medium bowl, stir the flour and salt together to combine. Add the cubes of butter, tossing them through the flour until each individual piece is well coated. Cut the butter into the flour by pressing the pieces between your fingers, flattening them into big shards. As you work, continue to toss the butter through the flour, recoating the shingled pieces. The goal is to flatten each piece of butter only once, leaving the pieces very large (they will get smaller/more dispersed through the process of folding the dough).
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add the ice water to the well and, using your hands, toss the flour with the water to start to mix the two together (this begins to combine them without creating too much gluten). As the flour begins to hydrate, you can switch to more of a kneading motion—but don’t overdo it, or the dough will be tough. Then add more water, about 1 tablespoon / 15 grams at a time, until the dough is properly hydrated. It should be uniformly combined and hold together easily, but it shouldn’t look totally smooth. Divide the dough in half and form each piece into a disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, working with one piece of dough at a time, roll out the dough to about 1/2 inch / 1 cm thick (the exact size/shape of the dough doesn’t matter here, just the thickness). Brush off any excess flour with a dry pastry brush, then fold the dough in half. Fold the dough in half again into quarters. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and chill for 15 to 30 minutes, until firm.
Repeat step 3 three more times: rolling out the dough, folding it, and chilling it each time before continuing. If you work quickly, you can sometimes do two rounds of folds back to back, but if the dough is soft or sticky, don’t rush it.
Once the final fold is completed for each piece of dough, tuck the edges of the dough under to help form it into a rounded shape, then wrap again and chill at least 30 minutes before using. This dough is best baked at 400°F / 205°C. Parbake (see page 43), blind-bake (page 46), or fill and bake as directed in the recipe of your choice. Note that the pastry may take longer to parbake or blind-bake because of the lower baking temperature.
MAKE AHEAD AND STORAGE
The tightly wrapped disks of dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Wrapped in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil, the dough can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using.
Baked Apple Dumplings
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a paring knife or an apple corer to core the apples. In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to combine.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled dough to 1/4 inch / 3 mm thick. The precise shape doesn’t matter, but try to keep it somewhat rectangular. Dock the dough with a fork. Set an apple on the dough and generously cut around it with a pastry wheel to provide enough dough to fully encase the apple, with a little bit of excess that can be pinched together at the top. Then cut 5 more pieces of dough, using the first piece as a guide.
Place one piece of dough on the prepared baking sheet and center an apple on top of it. Sprinkle 13 g / 1 tablespoon of the sugar mixture over the outside of the apple and into the cored center. Place one of the pats of butter on top of the apple, or gently press it into the hollow center.
Grab one section of dough and gently stretch it outward, then bring it up to the top of the apple. Continue all the way around, letting the dough pleat naturally as you bring it to the top. Hold the pleated dough in place until the fruit is fully wrapped, then pinch it at the top to seal. It doesn’t need to be totally closed, but pinching it well will ensure it doesn’t come unfurled in the oven. Repeat with the remaining apples and dough. Transfer the dumplings to the refrigerator and chill until the dough is firm, 15 to 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400°F / 205°C. Brush the dough all over with egg wash and sprinkle generously with turbinado sugar. Bake until the dough is crisp and golden and the apples are soft on the inside (use a paring knife to check), 35 to 45 minutes.
Let cool for about 5 minutes. Serve warm.
Rough Puff Pastry
- 302 g / 21/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 g / 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 226 g / 8 ounces cold unsalted butter, cut into 3/4-inch / 19-mm cubes
- 75 g / 1/3 cup ice water, plus more as needed
Baked Apple Dumplings
- About 1350 g / 6 medium-large Cosmic Crisp® apples, peeled
- 41 g / 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 38 g / 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 g / 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Scant 1 g / 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- 1 recipe Rough Puff Pastry (page 50/included below), shaped into a disk and chilled, or a double recipe pie dough (see below), prepared as for Rough Puff Pastry, shaped into a disk and chilled
- 43 g / 11/2 ounces / 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into six 7 g / 1/2-tablespoon pats
- Egg wash (see page 98)
- Turbinado sugar for sprinkling
Excerpted from THE BOOK ON PIE © 2020 by Erin Jeanne McDowell. Photography © 2020 by Mark Weinberg. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.