Baked Dulce de Leche Apples

Growing up there was no baking done in our house.  None.  No cookies, no cakes.  Except during the holidays Mama would bake a frozen apple pie and when girlfriends spent the night, which was almost never, she always and without fail prepared Pepperidge Farm Puff Pasty Apple Turnovers.  But Mama had a tendency to burn things…anything…everything and these turnovers were no exception.  She had one baking sheet, an old, warped aluminum sheet covered with burnt-on stains.  I looked at them as friendly reminders of her past culinary disasters.  Saturday mornings during sleepovers Mama couldn’t “pop” the turnovers in the oven, oh no.  Everything she did was done at hyper speed, from the moment she flew out of bed in the morning until the moment she collapsed into bed at night.  As Mama slammed the baking sheet into the oven, the pastries skittering wildly about the tray, the crash of metal on metal and the slamming of the oven door could be heard down the street…or at least on our side of the house.  And as I stretched in my twin bed with its girly white lace bedskirt, I looked over at Dana/Andrea/Ann waking up in the matching twin bed with the identical bedskirt.  We always smiled knowing we could breakfast later at their house with the utmost confidence it wouldn’t be burned.  Sure enough,  Mama rapped on our door on the bedroom door with the back of her hand, her middle knuckle sounding like the rat-a-tat-tat of a machine gun.  “Girls!  Breakfast is ready!”  I always wanted to sing back, “We know.  We smelled the smoke.” but that would have been sassy and disrespectful and Mama DID NOT tolerate any of that in her house.  No, ma’am.  She would not have batted an eye in front of anyone outside of the family, but later?  Holy Mary, mother of Jesus!  She was liable to wash your mouth out with an enormous, white bar of Ivory soap AND ground you.  Uh uh.   Don’t sass Mama.  Anyway, in our soft blue or pastel pink baby doll nighties off we’d saunter into the kitchen to find a bowl of freshly cut fruit, cold glasses of milk and a gorgeous platter of beautifully arranged turnovers, the pastries were all puffed up with layers of crunchy sweetness.  Sadly, the bottom  of each and every turnover was a solid, black charred mess.  Every.Single.Time.  Without speaking, we’d peel off and enjoy the tops which hadn’t burned and scrape the apple and nut goo on the bottoms with spoons while the exhaust fan roared in the background sucking out the smoke. That was the closest Mama came to baking apples and pastry and we were fine with it.  When you’re twelve or thirteen you know when life is good and our lives were good.  Good and rich with Mama’s love!

 

 

Baked Dulce de Leche Apples

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 apples
  • 1 13-ounce can dulce de leche
  • 2 sheets puff pastry, thawed and kept chilled until needed
  1. Line a small baking sheet with tin foil and set aside.
  2. Mix sugars, corn starch and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  3. Using a melon-baller 1″ in diameter, scoop the core out of each apple beginning at the stem and stopping before you get to the bottom of the fruit.  You don’t want the dulce de leche to run out of the bottom.
  4. Roll each apple in the sugar mixture and press the mixture into the outside and inside of the fruit.
  5. Open both sheets of puff pastry and lay down side by side.
  6. Cut both sheets to make 4 rectangles.
  7. Place an apple in the center of one of the rectangles and fill with 2-3 teaspoons of dulce de leche.  Save the remaining dulce de leche to serve with the hot apples.
  8. Bring up the short sides of the puff pastry and press into the apple.  Gather up the long ends of the pastry and pinch together as if it was a bundle.  Pinch closed any gaps or holes.  Continue with the remaining apples and pastry.
  9. Preheat oven to 400°.
  10. Place apple bundles on the baking sheet and put in the freezer for 15 minutes for the pastry to firm up.
  11. Bake the apples 30-35 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden.
  12. Cool the apples 10-15 minutes before serving.
  13. Warm the remaining dulce de leche in the microwave until runny and serve with the baked apples.

http://www.theirreverentkitchen.com

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