The time is getting close – I hit the 39-week mark today. This baby will be arriving any time now. Keep that in mind if you suddenly notice a decrease in new recipes here, as I’m obviously going to be quite busy for the first few weeks with the newborn and his 3 older siblings. I’m sure I’ll get back into the swing of things pretty soon though, so do keep checking back occasionally!
Despite the challenges that come with being so heavily pregnant, I’ve made quite a few recipes lately, but they either haven’t been blog-worthy, or I didn’t have a chance to get photos. Here are some of the things I’ve made:
* chocolate chip coconut macaroons
The first time I’ve ever made this coconut-based cookie. The reviews were good, they looked easy, I had all the ingredients and I had a craving for something sweet. Yes, they were easy and quick to make, but I just didn’t care much for them.
* avocado BLT baguettes
Wow, these were really yummy! I’ve made this recipe twice in the past week for lunches. The avocado-cream cheese spread is just delicious and pairs so well with the flavors of the BLT. The first time I made this, I made it following the recipe. The second time, I used the suggestions of some other reviews and used fresh tomatoes instead of sun-dried. Both versions were delicious!
* sweet corn and bean enchiladas
Eh, they were okay. Got a good helping of vegetables in this meatless dish, but wouldn’t bother making it again.
* kale and ricotta-stuffed pasta shells
I’ve had a huge thing for pasta lately. I stop at nearly every pasta recipe on FoodGawker and Tastespotting, as well as taste.com.au! I had some leftover ginormous pasta shells from a previous recipe and decided to try out this particular one. I knew I wouldn’t be able to find kale at my local shops, so I substituted frozen, chopped spinach and used an arrabiata sauce. It was totally delicious and I’m sure I’ll be making this one again, although I hope to be able to find kale next time.
* apple turnovers
These were nice, but I must have filled the pastry with too much filling as most of them burst at the seams! I still really liked them though. So much so, in fact, that they inspired me to create my own sort of apple turnover, which is what this post is going to be about.
I’ve made a few things with puff pastry before, but I always end up with the same problem – I put too much filling in and the seams burst! I believe what’s happening is, there is too much steam inside of the pastry and this causes the seams to burst and the filling to leak out. With some leftover pastry and apple pie filling from making the apple turnovers, I decided to make my own version. They’d be in the shape of Pop-Tarts and be filled with the apple pie filling that I would mix raw sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg into.
I didn’t use or write down any measurements for the amounts of ingredients that I used, so I can’t accurately give you a recipe for these, although I will tell you how I made them. Let me say first of all that these are super quick to prepare and make a nice little breakfast or morning tea!
So, I used about 1/2 cup of canned apple pie filling and mixed in some raw sugar, heaps of cinnamon and some dashes of nutmeg. Basically, just use these ingredients to suit your taste.
I then cut out 12 rectangle shapes from partially thawed ready-rolled puff pastry, knowing that I was going to make 6 of these. I used a rectangle-shaped juice box as a template! I poked some holes in 6 of the rectangles with a fork to let off some steam while baking. I used a tablespoon (plus a pinch extra) of filling on the 6 un-poked rectangles, spreading it out and making sure to leave a good-sized border around the edges.
After placing the filling on the rectangles, I covered each one with a fork-poked rectangle and sealed them tightly using a fork. I brushed them lightly with milk and sprinkled on some raw sugar, basically for some extra crunch.
During this time, I had the oven preheating to 200C (400F). I baked the pastries for 10 minutes, then rotated the tray to get them as evenly golden as I could, and baked them for another 10-12 minutes.
And they came out of the oven looking like this! I must have put the perfect amount of filling in as none of the seams burst! I was quite chuffed! When I saw the finished product, I decided to name these Apple Cinnamon Pillows as they turned out so feather-light and puffy, just like a pillow!
After letting them cool slightly, I cut one in half to see how lovely and flakey they were, and I wasn’t disappointed! They looked beautiful, so I made a cup of coffee to go with this one and ate it up straight away!
What I love about this is is that you don’t have to limit yourself to an apple-cinnamon filling. You can use this general guide to light, flakey “pillows” and fill them with basically anything you have lying around – jam, Nutella, brown sugar & cinnamon or fresh fruit, if you’re feeling sweet. Or if you’re feeling savory, try a ricotta and spinach filling. They’re super easy and are sure to satisfy!