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
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You Will Need
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.