Apple strudel calzone
For 2 chaussons (to share, they’re filling)
2 pizza balls (using the Stadler Made calculator – New York style dough, 60% hydration rate)
4 big apples or 6 small
1 cinnamon stick
A handful of grapes
20g sugar, unrefined if possible (optional)
A dash of salt
Did you hear ? The french baguette has just made it to the UNESCO world heritage. Meh.
Yes, baguette is good. It is crusty on the outside, with a soft fluffy interior that has turned into the perfect sandwiches of my youth, and still makes it a favorite companion for butter and chocolate any day. And that smell when it is still warm…. Ah. It is also, most of the time, made out of white bleached flour and a lot of yeast. You see, with so many customers each day bakers have to get them out FAST. And as you may know already, not many things that are made fast are made well.
Luckily, things are changing here in France as they are everywhere. Bread eaters are starting to change their habits : they want the real deal, bread that is made slowly, with love, sourdough and ancient grains. Big loaves that last the week and feed you. I mean really feed you, body and soul. So that’s one thing.
Another thing that comes to my mind, is that someone who thinks baguettes deserve to become world heritage has been properly introduced to the world of French bakeries. Croissants anyone ? Pain au chocolat ? Or maybe a chausson aux pommes…
This last one has not had the same popularity as the others, which is, in my humble opinion, one of the many mistakes we have made as a species.
If you have never tastes one, think of a calzone (chausson) but with puff pastry instead of pizza dough and a sweet apple filling inside. Usually, that would be compote or half a steamed apple. They are flaky and buttery on the outside, and sweet and melting on the inside, with just enough acidity from the apple. They are also 100% local with no chocolate or sugar added but that of the good old apple : a winning combination.
Since we’ve come to the topic of calzones, here is a mash-up for you to tip a toe in the world of chaussons aux pommes without the hassle of making puff pastry. We’ll make a classic pizza dough (I use the Stadler Made calculator, keeping the hydration rate to 60% so the dough can easily be folded) and prepare a filling that reminds me of apple strudel (yes, I added sugar, but just a tinsy tiny bit…) because keeping things simple is not something I am good at.
As always, feel free to switch things up using the fruits you have on hand, spices and nuts you like best. You could even go the traditional route and use a good homemade apple compote instead. Or both ! Damn, I wish I had thought of this before…
Alright, let’s do this.
Preheat your oven at 250°C.
If they are organic, keep the skin, otherwise peel your apples. Core them, and cut them in small cubes.
In a pan, melt your butter and leave it to sizzle a bit. Add your apple cubes, sugar and cinnamon stick as well as any other spice you might enjoy : cardamom or ginger would be very good here too. After a few minutes, add th chopped walnuts and keep turning frequently so nothing burns, and everything gets caramelized.
Take your dough balls. Mines had fermented for 48h in the fridge, I took them out about four hours before I started making the recipe.
Spread them out with your fingers (if you can avoid rolling them, it’s best, to keep those gorgeous air bubbles bubbling) on a lightly floured work surface, add your apple filling (without the cinnamon stick preferably..). Working fast here is important so the juices don’t make your dough impossible to transfer. You’ve got this.
Transfer your calzones to the oven, your pizza steel should have had at least 30 minutes of preheating. It should take around 5 minutes to cook, depending on your oven and the size of your calzones : trust yourself, the outside should be hard when you touch it, but the inside should be soft when you press with your finger.
Leave to cool slightly and eat warm with some tea, good sour cream, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream… YUM.