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Why a PINK chef's coat?

Simply put, I carry my Dad's legacy with me through my cookbook, cooking and everyday I am writing my food columns, he is always with me. I carry my Mom with me through a silent reminder of her struggle with breast cancer that took her life, as well as the lives of many other women who have dealt with, and are still dealing with, this horrible affliction. Besides, why not pink? It makes a man look good!

Hearthside Puff Pastries

For those of you who don't want to waste the money on a fruitcake only to have one slice and use the rest as a door stop, this recipe's for you. It gives you the slight taste of the essence of fruitcake but in a airy, crunchy envelope of pastry. This recipe makes four portions and will have you making it again. I love the apple base with the fruited boost.

Ingredients

For 1 Batch(es)

Recipe

  • 1 teaspoon(s) cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoon(s) imitation vanilla(if using extract, use 1 teaspoon with 1 teaspoon water)
  • 1/2 (17.3-ounce)pkg. frozen puff pastry sheets
  • 1 cup(s) apple cider or juice
  • 2 tablespoon(s) brown sugar
  • Pinch each of cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves
  • 1 large apple, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1/2 cup(s) mixed, dried fruit of your choice(refer to NOTE)
  • 4 teaspoon(s) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoon(s) milk

Hearthside Puff Pastries Directions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and vanilla until smooth: set aside. In a medium saucepan, add cider, sugar, spices, apple and dried fruit. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce to medium and let lightly boil for 4-5 minutes, or until apples are done and the liquid has thickened. Remove from heat, and quickly stir in the cornstarch slurry. Transfer to bowl and refrigerate until cooled, about 1/2 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, thaw 1 sheet of puff pastry according to directions. Dust a work surface lightly with powdered sugar or flour. Place the thawed puff pastry sheet onto prepared work surface and roll out into a thin, 12-inch square. Cut into 4 even squares, using a large knife or pizza cutter. Place on a parchment-lined sheet pan or nonstick cookie sheet.
  3. Preheat oven to 375-degrees F. Remove apple mixture from refrigerator. Spoon about a tablespoon or more apple filling into the center of each pastry square. Dampen the edges slightly with a wet finger and fold over to make triangles, pressing to seal. Mix the granulated sugar with milk and brush the tops of each filled pastry evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until tops are golden brown and each has risen significantly. Remove to cool 5 minutes, transferring to wire rack to finish cooling or enjoy warm with whipped cream or real vanilla ice cream.
  4. NOTE:You may substitute candied fruit in place of dried. Simply mix into apple filling after cooking before transferring to refrigerator.
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