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Jo Wheatley - Home Baking
Serves 20 - 25

Just before I began to think about this book, somebody asked for a suggestion
using toffee and apple and this gorgeous dessert was born. I love how baking
and cooking fires up the creative side in me. I love the combination of soft
pastry and cool, fruity custard with the crispy threads of caramel that binds
the choux buns together. Beware, this is quite a tricky and time consuming
recipe, and the filling is best made and chilled in advance

Posted by Constable & Robinson Published See Constable & Robinson's 7 projects » © 2023 Jo Wheatley / Constable & Robinson · Reproduced with permission. · Taken from HOME BAKING by Jo Wheatley published by Constable in hardback and available exclusively from Sainsburys, at the introductory price of £8.
  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/Gas Mark 5.
    Spoon the choux pastry into a piping bag and pipe
    into mounds about the size of a cherry tomato on
    the lined trays, leaving plenty of space for them to
    rise and spread and allowing for about 40 buns per
    tray. Place the ice cube in a small ovenproof dish
    in the base of the preheated oven to create some
    steam and bake the buns on the middle shelf for 15

  • Step 2

    Remove the choux buns from the oven and
    carefully, using the point of a sharp knife, make a
    small incision in the base of each bun. Return to
    the oven for 3 minutes, then leave to cool
    completely on a wire rack.

  • Step 3

    To make the filling, melt the butter in wide,
    shallow pan over a medium heat. Add the diced
    apples, cinnamon and sugar and allow to bubble
    and soften for 8–10 minutes. Using a hand-held
    stick blender, blitz the mixture until completely
    smooth. Return the apple purée to the pan, place
    over a medium heat and reduce by a third until
    thick, stirring frequently to prevent the puree
    scorching on the bottom of the pan. Leave to cool.
    To make the crème patissière, whisk the egg yolks
    in a bowl with the sugar, cornflour and a third of
    the milk until smooth.

  • Step 4

    Heat the rest of the milk in a medium pan until
    almost boiling, then pour it over the egg mixture,
    stirring constantly. Add the Calvados, return to the
    pan and cook, whisking constantly, until the
    mixture boils and thickens. Simmer for a further
    minute to cook out the flour.

  • Step 5

    Stir the cooled apple sauce into the crème
    patissière and transfer to a jug to cool slightly and
    cover the surface with cling film to prevent a skin
    forming. Chill until ready to use.

  • Step 6

    Lightly whip the double cream and fold into the
    apple crème patissière using a large metal spoon.
    Spoon the mixture into the other piping bag and
    fill the choux buns by piping into the pre-made
    holes, or by splitting each bun horizontally and
    filling them using a teaspoon.

  • Step 7

    Make the caramel by putting the 300g caster
    sugar in a pan with a splash of water and slowly
    letting it melt over a medium heat until the sugar
    has dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil until it
    turns a light caramel colour. Remove from the

  • Step 8

    Take each filled bun and carefully dip the top into
    the hot caramel. Place on the cake board and begin
    to build up the buns in a pyramid pattern. If the
    caramel begins to harden, gently reheat until it
    liquefies, being careful not to let the caramel
    darken. Using two forks, drizzle any leftover
    caramel over the top of the finished pyramid.

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