Friday, January 29, 2010

Breakfast of .... the under-employed?


Sometimes being a supply teacher is a good thing: you get some calls, there is no prep work, no marking and you get paid for it. On the other hand, there are 2000 elementary supply teachers in my board, and 2500 teachers with contracts. That means that there is not a lot of work. I haven't had a call yet this week, in fact. Some of my fellow supply teachers are really organized and get up very early and get ready, just in case someone calls. I do it a bit differently. I stay up till 2 or 3 am and sleep until the phone rings, or noon, whichever comes first. I live downtown and the schools I'm registered with are in walking distance, so it's not hard to get there in a hurry. But, coffee and breakfast usually get lost in the rush to get out the door. So, when there are no calls, I can have a very leisurely breakfast. Especially when it's -20℃ and windy, like today.
I decided that I wanted some chaussons aux pommes last night. Now, chaussons are just fancy French apple turnovers with applesauce in them, but the name makes me nervous because it sounds like another dish that took me months to live down. Once upon a time I worked in a hotel and it was my job to come up with specials for the cafe, using whatever needed to be used up. One day that was some chicken, so I hunted around and came up with some demi-glace, mushrooms, tomatoes and everything else I needed for sauce chasseur. That's hunter's sauce, because I suppose hunters can find those ingredients in the forest. That's why they're hunters and I'm not. Anyway, it all tasted great, but I got the name mixed up and called it chaussure sauce, much to the amusement of the francophones in the kitchen. Chaussures are shoes, so I made chicken in shoe sauce. Yum. Now chausson means slipper, and they are usually a kind of half-moon shape. I (wisely, I think) decided to stay away from any more footwear-themed food and made triangular turnovers.

The night before, I made a pot of applesauce with a bag of Macintosh apples that had been lurking in the produce drawer for a while. I don't peel or core, but just washed and quartered them and packed them into a pot with some brown sugar, cardamom, true cinnamon sticks and fresh ginger. After they have turned to complete mush I put them through my food mill. I love my food mill--it's way better than a food processor or blender for this sort of thing, and the fact that it takes all the skins and pips out is a bonus.

I also had some puff pastry left in the freezer from this bit of fun, and I don't want to leave it for another month while I'm in Montreal. I'll be in Montreal for all of February and the first week of March training English teachers. This is a real job, unlike supply teaching: I'll have to get up and dressed every day for a whole month! Unfortunately I'll have no kitchen while I'm there, so no cooking. That makes me a bit sad, but restaurants in Montreal are fantastic, so I'll make do. Anyway, I'm trying to get ahead with my Tuesdays with Dorie and Daring Bakers' projects before I go. What does this have to do with the turnovers? Not much, so I'll get back on topic.

I rolled out the puff pastry and cut it in circles and filled each with a bit of the applesauce. I brushed the top with egg white (should have been yolk, but I had a spare white in the fridge), and sprinkled them with some sanding sugar left over from Christmas baking. Then, about 25 minutes in a 400℉ oven and breakfast was ready. And it's not even 2:00 yet. Yay me!




They were delicious! I only baked 2, cause I'm not a total glutton, and having 4 more in the freezer is my kind of insurance. See you Tuesday with some Milk Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes, or some variation on them.

7 comments:

madcapcupcake said...

Apple turnovers are like my most favourite thing EVER. I'm in love.

twitcher said...

mmmm, those look good enough to lick the screen, but I won't. What's sanding sugar?

Mary said...

It's the coarse-grained sugar for sprinkling on top of yummy things. It has another name, I think, but it escapes me at the moment.

Chou said...

These are my favorite! I still remember my first chausson . . . happy days.

comfycook said...

Everyone must love these. They look delicious. All your baked goods is appealing.

msmeanie said...

Yum. What a great way to use puff pastry. A food mill sounds like an excellent investment. I can't believe making applesauce could be so easy.

Cherine said...

I love apple turnovers. Yours looks perfect :)