Friday, October 14, 2011
Apple on Top
Up until this point, the sweet knishes I've made were an afterthought, using left over dough. This time, it was all about the cheese knishes.
Instead of using the tougher, potato-based dough that has been my go-to for the savory, I consulted a book I plucked off of Amazon recently, Love & Knishes, long out of print, my edition from 1958. There were two dough recipes, one with and one without baking powder -- I chose the latter, hoping for a flakier, lighter lift. 2 cups flour, 2 eggs, 2 tbsp "salad oil" (I assumed vegetable oil)1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt. The recipe warned that it could may be too dry to come together, and to add water. It did not come together, but water would just develop gluten without adding anything...so I threw in a 3rd egg and all was copacetic.
For the fillings, I did a second attempt at chocolate hazelnut and a first attempt at apple. For the first one, used 1 pack of farmer's cheese, half a container of nutella, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 flour, 1 tbsp cocoa powder (dutched), 1 egg, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp vanilla. For the apple's cheese filling, the same, with nutella swapped out for sour cream. I peeled, cored, sliced, and fried three apples in butter with a little cinnamon, cardamom, salt, and brown sugar until firm (but still a bit soft). I made a slurry with 1 tsp of both corn starch and water, and added it to the pan once off the fire just to give the juices a little body, and prevent them from watering down the cheese mix.
Used a cupcake pan again. After panning most of them, decided 4" square is enough dough for these pastries. For the apple, some I put the apples on the bottom, some on the top, but once they came out of the oven (300 degrees instead of the brown-inducing 425 for the savories, 20 minutes instead of savory 30-45), clearly the apple-on-top just looks more appetizing. Two hot ones went into my mouth with lunch and they were good, but the real test is when they are cold. The apple cheese didn't taste sweet enough (the apples were REALLY tart), but cold always makes things sweeter.