It's been a while since I posted about Danish, one of the beloved laminates we produce at the Cafe. I always try to come up with new shapes and ideas for Danish that are not your run of the mill pinwheels or bear claws. Those have been done... plenty, so why would they need to be done again. Pinwheels frustrate me, not because they are complicated, not at all, it's because the ratio of dough to filling is way off. It's like 95% dough vs 5% filling (topping, I suppose in the strict sense). It is usually pastry cream and fruit (typically a fruit that is way out of season, such as raspberries, star fruit and kiwi... blech). OK, so pastry cream is already cooked all the way, so you are going to put it on a Danish and bake it even further in the oven so it turns into a solid mass of overcoagulated yolk and starch. Nice. Smart too. (I hope that you detect the sarcasm here, because it is very wrong to use pastry cream in this way... very very wrong).
Having said that, I am not averse to classic shapes as long as they work and make sense. Hence the reason I decided to try out this very classic French pastry. Chausson aux pommes literally translates to Slipper with apples. Since I am also not a fan of pre-filling Danish with wet fillings (I always fill post-bake... this allows the dough to proof without the extra weight and expand properly and happily in the oven, and it stays crisp and flaky for much longer), I decided to just use the shape and fill it with something else. These babies are filled with an elderflower ganache, and they are just outstanding.
A final note: I am officially ready for some fruit to be in season. This is one thing I don't like about the Northeast. Fruit is a 6 month affair, and that's that.