The Daily Spud

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Spud Sunday: When Potato Met Apple

If potatoes are my father, then apples are my mother.

And no, smarty pants, that does not mean that I am some misbegotten product of genetic engineering (the papple? the aptato?), I mean that there is no food I associate more with my Da than boiled potatoes and no greater sweetness than the Mammy’s apple tart or crumble.

Separate and individual, vegetable and fruit, they can, like parents, be happy cohabitants. Think potato pancakes and apple sauce.

Potato apple parcels

Potato-apple parcels - a very happy marriage

So, too, with these potato-apple parcels. Lofty apples wrapped in earthy potato pastry.

Together, like all the best couples, they seem like they were meant to be.

Potato-Apple Parcels

Potato apple parcel

These little pastry parcels were adapted from a recipe for potato apple cake in Lindsey Bareham’s treasure trove of potato recipes, In Praise of the Potato. They are also very similar to the potato apple tart blogged about by Caroline from Bibliocook and which I have had on my must-make list for a long time.

To give a nutty, toffee-ish flavour to the apples, I tossed them with browned butter and muscovado sugar but you can use regular melted butter and brown sugar if you like, and of course you can throw in some cinnamon or whatever other spices take your fancy.

For the dough, you’ll need to start with some mashed potato. If that causes you any level of grief, I do recommend you nip over here for advice on mashing. Whatever else you do, I will ask that you remember to salt your water well when boiling your spuds for mash (or when boiling your spuds for any purpose), do let your boiled spuds dry off before you mash and, if you have it, use a potato ricer as it will make for a smoother potato pastry.

For the pastry:
  • 250g plain mashed potato, cooled
  • 25g butter, melted
  • approx. 50g plain flour
  • a good pinch of ground ginger
  • 0.5 tsp sugar
  • a little beaten egg or milk for brushing on the pastry (optional)
For the filling:
  • 1 large cooking apple, such as Bramley (about 200-250g apple, once peeled and cored)
  • 25g butter
  • 25g light muscovado sugar (or more, depending on the sweetness or otherwise of your apples and your own taste)
You’ll also need:
  • A large baking sheet to accommodate your parcels and parchment paper for rolling out the pastry.
The Pastry Steps:
  • To make the pastry, add your mashed potato to a large mixing bowl and pour over the melted butter. Stir in well.
  • Whisk together the flour, ginger and sugar and add to the potato. Use your hands to mix until it comes together as a dough. It should be just slightly tacky – if it feels at all wet, then add more flour.
  • Wrap in plastic and chill for around 30 minutes in the fridge (though, if you’re feeling impatient, you can just go ahead and start rolling).
The Filling Steps:
  • Preheat your oven to 200C and butter your baking sheet well.
  • Add the butter to a small, heavy saucepan and allow it to melt over a medium heat. As the butter starts to foam and bubble, stir continuously for around 6-7 minutes or until it turns a dark golden colour. It will have a butterscotch-like aroma. Strain into a bowl and skim off any foam.
  • Peel, core and slice your apple thinly. Toss with the muscovado sugar and browned butter.
  • Divide your dough into 4 evenly sized pieces and roll each one out, in turn, into a circle around 18cm or so in diameter. The potato pastry can be a bit fragile, so I find it easiest to do this by rolling the dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper.
  • Place a mound of the apple filling in the centre of the dough, leaving a border of around 4cm or so all around. Fold the edges of the dough over the apple filling and press together gently – the dough shouldn’t cover the apples completely.
  • Gently transfer each parcel to the baking sheet (definitely easier to do if you’ve rolled the dough on parchment paper). When they’re all done, brush with a little beaten egg or milk if you like, and then consign them to the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden and the apples are cooked through.
  • These are best eaten warm I think, with sour cream, natural yoghurt or warm custard. I did sprinkle mine with a bit of icing sugar to be fancy, but you don’t have to bother.
The Variations:
  • You can, of course, make a single tart instead of individually wrapped versions and/or add cinnamon, cloves or nutmeg to the apples as the mood takes you.
The Results:
  • Make 4 x 10cm square-ish parcels

25 Comments

  1. this sounds so interesting! i could see how this could work…a little savory with the sweet. kind of like how some americans like to melt cheese over their apple pie, or incorporate it into the crust!

  2. Daily Spud

    Monday, November 8, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Exactly so, Steph – in fact you’ve just reminded me that I need to try incorporating some cheese into my apple pie crust. I’ve seen it mentioned several times but have yet to try it out…

  3. Whoa that is one crazy combination. But then when you brought up the potato pancakes and applesauce…it all suddenly made sense. This is just delicious.

  4. Daily Spud

    Monday, November 8, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    I know what you mean Joanne – glad it made delicious sense in the end :)

  5. These parcels are so beautiful and I love the idea of pairing potatoes and apples! I am bookmarking to make these for Hannah – I know she would love them for sure!

  6. Daily Spud

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Hey Natasha, hope you both enjoy them!

  7. Mmmmm….papples! Those look wonderful, DS!

  8. Daily Spud

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    This could be it, Jenni, papples might just be the new cupcakes – better get the production line in full swing! :D

  9. You’ve coined a new term! I love the idea of papples, I’ll have to try it out on the children. I’ve never worked with muscovado sugar before, can you explain it?

  10. Hi Lael! Muscovado is an unrefined cane sugar – it’s soft, moist and fine-grained. The crystals retain some of the natural cane molasses and the sugar has a toffee-ish flavour. There are light and dark varieties of muscovado, with the dark version being quite strongly flavoured of molasses and the light version less so. Hope that helps and hope you enjoy the papples :)

  11. Wow, you made the dough too? And with potatoes? You are awesome. Sounds amazing.

  12. What a neat & great idea, my friend!! To combine apples with potatoes in a pastry case. They look very festive & pretty too!

    They must be tasteful!

  13. I want this now! Looks so perfectly browned on the outside. Now that I have this potato pastry recipeI feel like an endless number of combinations – both savory and sweet could be filling. Though can’t argue with this marriage of apple and potato.

  14. kickpleat: I blush :)

    Sophie: thank you, I can confirm that they are indeed tasty!

    gastroanthropologist: the potato pastry definitely has a lot of potential applications – definitely seen it used for things like steak & kidney pie but it really works with the apple too

  15. Does the pasty taste like potato farls (the only potato-bread-product I have tried before)? I think I agree with other commenters, this would make a nice shell for a savoury pie, such as a courgette and rosemary parcel. Yum. But apple sounds delicious, too.

  16. I love this, and am making this soon, since its gluten free! I am wondering if I can make it for diabetics as well…thanks for posting this! Both of you!

  17. I could never think that potato and apple are great couples! It’s great that they have a daughter like you :) And these parcels look adorable!I’m sure ginger adds an outstanding flavor to them.

  18. Daily Spud

    Monday, November 15, 2010 at 12:36 am

    sarah: the pastry is similar to the dough used to make potato farls, except rolled more thinly than farls normally would be – it definitely has a lot of savoury possibilities

    Chef E: you’re welcome, though it’s not entirely gluten free as it does call for a little bit of wheat flour; you could try substituting another gluten-free flour for that, though the dough would be harder to handle (but you could use a little bit of xantham gum as a gluten replacer in that case)

    zerrin: thank you – and I don’t mind saying that they’re as adorable as your good self :)

  19. This could literally be the perfect combination of sweet and savory. How do you think of these things?! Browned butter just makes all foods taste better too. Nice touch.

  20. Hey you two, I couldn’t agree more about browned butter. It was a late breaking addition here but it always makes things taste better!

  21. These look fab! I’ve been wondering what to make with those 200 lbs of potatoes from the garden, this should really help eat those up!

  22. Daily Spud

    Friday, November 19, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    Hey Chiot’s Run, that’s a whole lotta spuds ya got there – happy to help with ideas for using them up :)

  23. Very cool! I wonder if I could substitute gluten-free flour in the pastry since there isn’t much wheat flour.

  24. Hi there Maggie! I certainly think you could try substituting some gluten-free flour here. The dough will be more fragile and trickier to handle, though you could perhaps try adding a little xantham gum as a gluten substitute to see if that helps.

  25. Hi there! This recipe sounds delish and I was hoping that you might add it to my Easter and Spring Linking Party to share with my readers. If you are interested, you can go here http://bakedbyjoanna.blogspot.com/2011/04/easter-linking-party.html to enter. Thanks!

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