TWD: Petite Apple Croustades
The recipe I chose for the first October bake is the recipe for Petite Apple Croustades (BCM 253). I've never made--or eaten--an apple croustade, so I wasn't quite sure what I was getting myself into.
I assumed I wouldn't be able to eat this creation due to dairy. The recipe calls for butter but I opted to use the earth balance in my fridge rather than buy butter that wouldn't get used after this bake. I figured the frozen phyllo dough wouldn't be safe. I was wrong. The phyllo dough I found in the frozen section at Target isn't labeled vegan but there is no dairy or eggs! While I was excited to bake these because it's fall, meaning I'm ready for all things apple, and I enjoy baking to share with others, I was even more excited to find I could enjoy the croustades.
Eager to bake for my husband and friends, I chopped and weighed the apples for the filling. The recipe calls for 681 grams of chopped apples to make six croustades. My 681 grams made the six and then some. Another direction in the recipe says that 9 sheets of phyllo dough are needed. The box indicated that it contains 5, so I bought two boxes thinking I'd need them both. Maybe the packaging is different than the kind Dorie uses, but I had a whole roll and one unopened box leftover.Did anyone else have a plethora of ingredients?
Extra apples and phyllo dough isn't a terrible problem to have though! Phyllo dough is like tissue paper; it tears if you touch it the wrong way but crinkling it up turns an average looking package into an elegantly wrapped one. I was quite enamored with the aesthetic of the croustades and the simplicity. Though I did make a mess spreading butter on the phyllo, this bake surprised me with how easy it was.
I made two more small adjustments to the recipe: 1) Instead of Armagnac, I used Jim Beam. We usually have some kind of bourbon in the house and I felt confident that I could swap it for the brandy. 2) Instead of sugar for sprinkling, I used cinnamon sugar (1 cup sugar; 1 TBSP cinnamon). The cinnamon sugar was leftover from churro-inspired cupcakes I made last week. These small adjustments helped make the petite apple croustades that much more delicious.
Dorie's recipe note describes croustades as "tiptoeing" the line between tarts and pastries. This tastes about right. The flakey, buttery, apple-filled dessert was enjoyed with a fall-themed apple cider and gin cocktail.
The one slight issue I had was getting the croustades out of the muffin tin. I buttered the tin, but didn't get the top of the tin well enough. This caused some of the ragged bits to stick. I broke one getting it out of the pan, but I also attribute this to trying to rush it--the ones I let cool a bit longer came out easier.