I could almost call this little series of posts “What Kate Cooked,” but that’s a tad restrictive.
This recipe was made by Kate Spence, the protagonist in my current novel (working title) Happy Ever After. She baked a batch of these for an afternoon tea to celebrate the return of a friend who’d been travelling around Europe. More happens – of course, it does – but, you’d need to read the finished product for that.
Anyways, my husband, who loves his pastries – even though he shouldn’t be eating them…which means I shouldn’t be cooking them – gave this the seal of approval. They were perfect for a rainy Saturday afternoon tea.
Now, if you’re so inclined you can make your own rough puff pastry – after all, they do it all the time on Masterchef and make it look seriously easy. I’ve never tried and have no burning desire to do so. Life’s too short for complications like that – and my husband is usually too impatient for the end result.
So, assuming that you’re not going to be making your own fresh puff – rough or otherwise – here’s what you need:
- 3 sheets frozen puff pastry
- Cinnamon sugar made from mixing 2 tablespoons light brown sugar and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon together. Of course, you could just use the pre-mixed cinnamon sugar, but I like doing it this way.
- 50g melted butter
- 2 green apples – peeled, cored, and cubed into a tiny dice
- 1 cup flaked almonds – I used a big handful of slivered almonds because I had some left over from the Christmas cake, but pecans or walnuts would also work well. Your call.
What you do with it
Before you start, hold out a tablespoon of cinnamon sugar. I always forget to do this, but you need this for the top. It’s probably a good idea to pre-heat your oven at this point – to 200C.
Brush one sheet of puff with butter – be generous, this is all about buttery flaky goodness. Scatter with one-third of (what’s left of) the cinnamon sugar.
Lay the next sheet on top of the first and do it all again…and then again with the third sheet.
Scatter the apple pieces and then the almonds over the top of the sugared third sheet of pastry and then roll it up tightly like a swiss roll. Don’t worry about the bits of apple and almond that come out the sides – you can scatter them over the top at the end.
Brush the long open end with some water to seal the pastry, and brush the log with egg wash (1 egg yolk and 1 teaspoon milk).
Using a super sharp knife, carefully slice the log into slices about 2.5cm (an inch) thick and even more carefully transfer the slices to a baking tray that you’ve lined with baking paper. You’ll be laying the spirals flat. Although it’s tempting to lay them against each other so they won’t open up, where they touch each other they won’t crisp up as well. You have been warned.
Brush the tops with more of the egg wash, and poke the leftover appley bits into the scrolls. Now pop the tray into the oven for about 40 minutes.
While they’re doing their thing in the oven, heat a few tablespoons of honey with a half teaspoon of vanilla extract in a small saucepan. Keep an eye on it though – you don’t want it to boil.
When the scrolls are crisply golden, brush them with the honey glaze and scatter over about a tablespoon of caster sugar. Pop them back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes – until the sugar is melted and it’s all quite golden and sticky.