I was able to find vanilla beans and cardamom at a local farm store for reasonable prices and had all of the other ingredients on hand. I made the dough and the filling one day and assembled and baked it the next.
I was really intrigued by some of the techniques in this recipe. I did end up having to add extra flour to my dough because it was quite sticky. I was worried about the butter squeezing out during the rolling, but it all stayed put. The apple filling looked delicious and I can imagine making it in the future for a variety of uses. Although the process was time consuming, both the dough and the filling all came together very well. At the end of the day had a lovely dough and container of apple filling resting in the ‘fridge, awaiting phase 2 tomorrow!
My weakness with this challenge was definitely the rolling. Each time I was rolling I wish I had a ruler or tape measure, but still never remembered to get one before it was time to roll again. Also, when it was time to assemble to braid I was a little confused with the amount of dough and filling to use, but went ahead and divided the dough and the filling into two braids. Well, it was a good thing I had two shots at it because the first one was not very pretty. I now realize I did not roll the dough thin enough, which made my braid short and wide. The next one together correctly and looked a lot better.
I let the braids rest for over two hours in the oven with the light on. During this time they did not rise that much. I know it wasn’t 90 degrees as suggested in the recipe, but it was at least 80. Anyway, I decided not to wait any longer and went ahead to bake. The definitely grew a lot during the baking and came out looking golden brown and delicious!
I decided to make this for my father’s birthday (he agreed to forgo the traditional cake in support of my baking habit) and serve it with vanilla bean ice cream. It was quite a hit! I am so excited to know how to make puff pastry on my own and to be able to create such a beautiful and tasty treat! Thanks again for the fun and the challenge!
- Sarah T