Serves: Makes 4 servings
- 2 medium apples (12 ounces), such as Braeburn, Gala, or Rome
- ¼cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Scant 1⁄8 teaspoon nutmeg, preferably freshly ground
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (9 ounces), thawed at room temperature for 45 minutes (keep refrigerated until ready to use)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg
- Turbinado sugar, or another coarse sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
Procedures:Simple and lovely on their own, these individual pastries are even better with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of crème fraîche. They’re best when warm from the oven, so if it helps with timing, you can assemble them ahead and refrigerate for a couple of hours before baking (don’t brush with egg until the last minute, though). Slicing the apples is a breeze; try to aim for uniform thickness so they cook evenly.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel the apples and cut them into ¼-inch-thick slices. Put the apples in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, and toss until evenly coated.
On a lightly floured surface, gently unfold the puff pastry and roll it out to a 12-inch square (use a ruler; don’t guesstimate). Cut it into four 6-inch squares. Put the squares on the lined baking sheet.
Pour a little water in a small dish. Set a mound of apples in the center of each pastry square, distributing them evenly. Drop the butter pieces evenly over the apples. Moisten the four corners of one of the pastry squares with the water. Lift up and join the corners together in the center, first squeezing them firmly and then giving a good hard twist (don’t be shy; firm pressure is essential or the pinwheels may open during baking). Repeat with the other three squares.
Lightly beat the egg in a small dish. Brush the pastries with the egg; be sure to coat all surfaces, including the sides and the center knob. Sprinkle each pastry with a little turbinado sugar. Bake until the pinwheels are deep golden on top and bottom (lift one up to check), about 25 minutes. Set the pan on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.