Monday, July 4, 2011

Austrian Apple Twists

Happy 4th everyone!  These little twists are a great way to start the day. They are filled with apples, nuts and cinnamon. While having apple pie for breakfast may not be an option, these pastry twists will give you all the same flavor.

I have made this type of pasty several times and there are many variations out there with different names.  Today, I decided to use up an apple that I had in the fridge, since it would be a change of pace from all the summer berry recipes.

The dough has an overnight chilling process, so there is minimal work for the baking process in the morning.  You can make about 16 of these, enjoy them for breakfast and then finish making the rest of them. These can be frozen after baked, but do not glaze them- the glaze will not do well in the freezer.  This recipe makes 64 twists.

Austrian Apple Twists
adapted from

3 cups flour
1 package of dry yeast
1 cup butter (room temp)
3 egg yolks ( beaten in a small bowl)
1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup toasted and finely chopped pecans
1 medium tart apple (I used Granny Smith)
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 tsp produce protector (to keep apple from browning)

1 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
4 teaspoons (or more) of milk

The night before: in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and the yeast.  Then add the butter in small pieces.  Using a pastry cutter, blend the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Set aside.

Take another bowl and whisk the sour cream and the egg yolks together.  Once blended, pour into the flour mixture and combine by stirring with a wooden spoon or use clean hands.  When a dough is formed and no flour streaks remain, separate it into 4 sections.  Shape each into a ball and place in plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.

Peel, core and chop the apple into small chunks.  Then mix in the produce protector, cover and refrigerate.

The next day, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Stir together the sugar, pecans and cinnamon in a small bowl. Then place a waxed sheet of paper on the counter and sprinkle with flour.  Take out I piece of dough from refrigerator and roll out with a floured rolling pin.  The end result should be a disc measuring 9 inches in diameter.

Leaving a 1/4 inch border on the outer edge of the dough disc, sprinkle to top evenly with 1/4 of the apple chunks and 1/4 cup of the cinnamon mixture.  Lightly press filling into dough.  Cut dough into 16 wedges.  Roll each wedge from the wide end to the opposite point, pinching to seal point.  Place on baking sheet, point side down.  Bake until lightly browned, which is about 16-20 minutes.

Remove and place on rack to cool.  Repeat this process with the other 3 remaining dough balls in the refrigerator.  If you do not plan to freeze them, follow the process below to ice the twists.

After the pastries have cooled, place a piece of wax paper under the rack to catch the drippings from the icing.  In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners sugar, milk and extract.  Should you feel that the icing is too thick add a little milk until desired consistency is achieved.

Drizzle the icing on top of the twists and then sprinkle with pecans. Once icing is set, these are ready to serve and eat-enjoy!