The first results of my Role Reversal experiment are in! Bonnie Small, of Savoir-Flaire, did us the honors of trying Golden Apple Triangles, published in the New York Times a few years ago, along with an article on quick and easy Thanksgiving desserts.
"Golden apple triangles were easy to make and good to eat. How wrong can you go with a list of ingredients that includes puff pastry, apples and sugar?
As I was getting the bits and pieces together to begin, I admit I was a bit perplexed by the amount of apple to use. The ingredient list indicates “1 cup peeled and grated apple – about 2 apples” but those two calculations didn’t add up. One grated apple is roughly equivalent to one cup, so I stopped there, figuring, in typical schoolyard fashion, that my apple was bigger than their apple.
Freshly grated, one cup of apple would certainly be sufficient to fill 12 turnovers, however the recipe calls for the grated apple to be mixed with the sugar, salt and lemon juice and allowed to macerate for five minutes. The resting time draws out the majority of the juice from the fruit, leaving a large amount of reserved juice and a greatly reduced volume of apple - barely half a cup to be exact. So I just quickly grated the second apple, tossed it in with the rest and moved on.
The filling for these tasty tri-corners diverges from a typical apple turnover in a couple of ways. Firstly (and as noted above), the apples are grated rather than diced or sliced; secondly, instead of pre-cooking the filling ingredients, or quickly tossing the apples and sugar together before scooping them into the dough triangles, the apples are left to extrude their juices pre-assembly.
While the reserved juices are used both as adhesive for the edges of the dough and as finishing glaze, I can’t help feeling that almost a cup of the all important flavor (juice/sugar/lemon) went unused. Not to mention that with all of the liquid removed, one tablespoon of limp apple gratings seemed out of proportion with a 4.5 inch square of puff pastry.
Once assembled, quickly frozen, and finished with cinnamon and turbinado sugar, they baked up beautifully and were eagerly devoured by all. My husband (not a fan of copious fruit fillings) thought they were just right, but I couldn’t help thinking about the yummy apple flavor still sloshing around in the bowl."
Hmm. I rather like a copious fruit filling. I think I'd probably make smaller pastry squares if I tried these, or I'd double the amount of filling and then have leftover puff pastry with which to make cheese straws or something (Like these Cheese Puff Pastry Strips, which I made long before this blog existed and which were totally delectable, plus easy, though also tragic because I made them for a dinner party, tried them fresh out of the oven, then packaged the rest up to take on the train out to my friend's place - in Forest Hills! Where I live now! Oh, life - and ended up leaving them on the subway platform at 53rd and Lex. Sob.) I would also suggest boiling that remaining apple juice-sugar concoction down into a syrup and drizzling it on oatmeal or stirring it into iced tea. Genius? Terrible?
Oh, and one more thing. There is a serious drawback to this Role Reversal game. I am without my own Golden Apple Triangle. Must have my own Golden Apple Triangle.
Golden Apple Triangles
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup peeled and grated tart apple, like Granny Smith (about 2 apples)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
Flour for rolling out pastry
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed overnight in refrigerator
2 tablespoons coarse sugar like Demerara or turbinado (optional)
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, combine 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and cinnamon; set aside. In another bowl, mix apples, remaining granulated sugar, lemon juice and salt. Let sit 5 minutes, and drain, reserving juice.
2. On a floured work surface, roll out a sheet of puff pastry to a rectangle roughly 9 by 12 inches. Cut into 6 squares, and place 1 tablespoon apple filling in center of each. Lightly brush edges with reserved apple juice; fold into triangles, and seal edges by crimping with a fork. Repeat with remaining puff pastry and filling. Transfer turnovers to freezer, and freeze until firm, at least 15 minutes. Turnovers can be kept frozen in zipper-lock freezer bags up to 1 month.
3. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick pan liners. Brush tops of frozen turnovers with apple juice, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and arrange on baking sheets. (If reserved apple juice is no longer available, use commercial juice or water.) Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake until well browned, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time. Let cool slightly before serving.