A perfect autumn day calls for.... Apple pastries!

It’s the season. When the weather turns colder and considerably more humid (in Belgium), I like to bake something that brings both relaxation in the process and comfort when eating the result.

This recipe I adapted from the book ‘Meer brood uit eigen oven’, by Levine van Doorne ( @levine1957 ).

You’ll have to make the dough and the filling. I started with the dough. There’s enough rising time to both make the filling and let the filling consecutively set in the fridge.

To make the dough:

Measure out:

- 240 grams plain flour

- 40 grams cornstarch

- 5 grams dry yeast

- 4,5 grams salt

- 15 grams sugar

- 50 grams butter (or plant based alternative), soft + 20 grams butter to coat the pastries after

- 125 grams cream (or plant based alternative)

- 1 egg, room temperature

- 5 droplets of vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients and stir well; Make sure the salt doesn’t directly contact the yeast! Once the ingredients are thoroughly mixed you can pour the mixture onto your floured kitchen top and start kneading.

It takes about 20 minutes to get elastic dough. DON’T add any more flour. Just put the work in. It may take you a bit longer if this is (one of the) first times you are making a dough by hand.

When the dough is ready, form into a ball and put it into a greased bowl. I use coconut oil. Turn the dough so it’s lined with a tiny layer of oil all around. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let it rise for 60 to 75 minutes. It should be double the volume by then.

HERE you can make the filling.

You’ll need:

- 240 grams water

- Juice of half a lemon

- 3 apples (make sure it’s a kind that won’t turn into applesauce!, I used Jonagold apples).

- 85 grams of raisins

- 25 grams of cornstarch

- 50 grams cane sugar

- 1 tsp cinnamon

- 0,5 tsp kardemon powder

- 0,5 tsp nutmeg

- 1 tsp vanilla extract

- A pinch of salt

Peel the apples and dice into 1cm cubes.

Place them into a bowl of water (180 ml) with lemon juice.

In a saucepan, combine the remaining 60 ml of water with the cornstarch, the spices and the sugar. Stir well. Now slowly bring the mixture to a boil and let it simmer for about 1 min. The sugar should be completely dissolved.

Add in the apples and the water + lemon juice. Bring back to a boil. Now lower the heat and let the apple mixture simmer for another 15 min until the apple is soft.

Pour the mixture into a large tray and let it cool completely in the fridge. The mixture will get thicker once cooled down.

Now you can continue with the dough.

Now you can divide the dough into three separate pieces and form into a little ball again. Let the dough rest for another 20 minutes.

Take one ball, push it flat and use a rolling pin to create a flat piece of dough of about 20 cm wide.

Cut the piece into quarters and make three incisions into each side of the quarter. (See video below).

Put a tablespoon of apple filling into the middle and fold both sides over the filling. Place the pastries onto a baking tray (lined with baking paper).

Let the filled pastries rise for another 45 min.

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Bake the pastries for 15 minutes. Coat them with a thin layer of melted butter immediately. Let cool completely on a grid.