Fall is here in NYC, with perfectly crisp mid 60s temperatures perfect for throwing on a flannel and doing all the fall things – drinking warm cider and PSLs, scoping out foliage and – my personal favorite – apple picking in picturesque orchards. If you’re stumped for what to do with all those apples once you get home, look no further than these recipes crafted by some of NYC’s top pastry chefs.
Miso apple crostata with mascarpone
Recipe by Ryan Butler, co-founder of Butler
Chef Butler moved on from working as a pastry chef in top kitchens including Michelin-starred Piora to opening two local neighborhood cafes in Brooklyn, bringing his fine dining palate and techniques to more humble fare (note the quenelle topping the apple crostata). On the crostata, Butler says, “We focus on seasonal produce and as Upstate New York's famous Honeycrisp apples come into their own in the fall, we wanted to hero them! We try and put our own spin on everything and used miso in this particular dish as a replacement for the more common caramel that many bakers use with apple. We love the salty, earthy flavor of miso.”
Butler hosts weekly cooking classes after hours at Butler’s recently opened Dumbo location, an intimate event with a maximum of 12 participants where he shows guests how to make a chosen signature menu item. If you’d like some expert guidance, Butler will be adding the crostata to the class rotation beginning in early October.
Recipe for miso apple crostata with mascarpone
Yields 4 servings
For the miso toffee apples
2 Honeycrisp apples, sliced
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 c muscovado sugar
1 tsp miso paste
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
In a medium pan combine all of the ingredients except for the apples and cook on medium heat. Stir until a sauce is formed.
Add the apples and cook until they are tender.
For the crostata dough
1/4 c unsalted butter
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 c water
Cut the butter into small 1/2-inch square pieces.
Combine with the sugar and flour (either by hand or with a stand mixer) until pea-sized pieces are formed. Add all the salt and add the water in three stages until a smooth dough is formed.
Rest dough in the fridge for 1 hour.
Roll the chilled dough with a rolling pin to 1/8-inch thickness.
Cut with ring cutters approximately 4 inches in diameter.
Bake the crostata discs at 375°F for 10 minutes. Allow to cool.
Once cooled shingle the miso toffee apples in a circular pattern on top of the crostata disc.
Bake for an additional 10 minutes.
For the mascarpone cream
1 c mascarpone
1/4 c sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
Whip all ingredients together, then set aside in the fridge.
Quenelle some of the mascarpone onto the cooled crostata.
To quenelle, warm a teaspoon up in warm (not hot) water. Scoop horizontally across the top of the mascarpone then shape it into a cocoon-like horizontal drop with a second spoon, scooping it out for a smooth surface.
Apple strudel sticky buns
Recipe by Alex Grunert, pastry chef at Olmsted
For brunch, this buzzy Prospect Heights restaurant presents dishes inspired by classic brunch flavors, from breakfast egg rolls filled with housemade bacon and Vermont Cheddar to potato latkes topped with preserved lemon creme fraiche and smoked trout roe. Also on the menu are these apple strudel sticky buns, with milk jam poured over top as it reaches the table.
The recipe was crafted by Alex Grunert, a longtime friend of chef-owner Greg Baxtrom and a fellow Blue Hill at Stone Barns vet (where the two met). Grunert’s sticky buns are a nod to a classic Austrian apple strudel. Both Baxtrom’s father and Grunert are from Austria, hence the inspiration.
Recipe for apple strudel sticky buns
Yields 16-18 portions
For the strudel filling (yields enough for 2 logs, or 25 portions)
1 1/2 c roasted breadcrumbs
6 apples, peeled and shredded
3/4 c chopped walnuts
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 c rum raisins
Mix apples with sugar, cinnamon, walnuts and rum raisins.
Macerate mix for 1 hour, then mix in breadcrumbs.
For the roasted breadcrumbs
1/2 c butter
2 c breadcrumbs
1/2 c sugar
1 used vanilla bean
Add breadcrumbs, sugar and vanilla bean, and roast until the sugar starts to caramelize and the breadcrumbs are beginning to smell aromatic. Work carefully – this mix burns easily.
For the rum raisins
Bring water to a boil, then add golden raisins and blanch for about 10 seconds.
Press the raisins into a plastic container and fill it with dark rum until the raisins are covered.
Refrigerate for about 3 days before use.
For the sticky bun dough
5 1/4 c all-purpose flour
5 1/4 c bread flour
1/8 tsp fresh yeast
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 c cold water
2 1/3 c butter, room temperature
Dissolve yeast in water.
Add the flours, sugar, salt and eggs to a mixing bowl and start mixing with dough hook.
Mix on low speed for 4-5 minutes until the ingredients come together.
Once the dough looks “dry” add in the butter and mix until it is incorporated.
Once incorporated, mix on a higher speed for up to 15 minutes.
Mix until the dough looks silky, then scrape it into a bowl, cover with plastic and rest in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.
For the syrup (yields 1 quart)
225 g butter
440 g light brown sugar
155 g honey
110 g heavy cream
105 g water
Melt butter in a pan, then add sugar and whisk until the sugar is dissolved.
Add honey, heavy cream, water and salt, then cool the mixture down to room temperature.
On a floured work surface, roll out the dough into a rectangle about 18 inches wide as evenly as possible
Cut dough in half, spread on the apple filling and roll into sticky bun shape. Press and bring in shape.
Cut into 4 1/2-centimeter pieces and place into greased mold.
Freeze, and when needed, defrost and proof.
Pour 2 ounces of syrup onto strudel and bake at 350°F for 18-22 minutes.
For the milk jam (yields 1 pint)
1250 g milk
1000 g sweetened condensed milk
150 g sugar
1 used vanilla bean
Bring everything to a boil and stir from time to time as the mix burns easily.
Reduce the mixture until it turns into a thicker brown consistency. It will break and get grainy at the end.
Blend, strain and pour mixture into a bowl. Cover bowl with plastic and allow mixture to cool down in the refrigerator.
Apple cider doughnuts
Recipe by Abigail Rubin, pastry chef at The Dutch
Rubin describes these doughnuts as “a grown-up version of a nostalgic favorite.” She recounts visiting apple orchards in Michigan while growing up, picking apples and ending the day with a warm apple cider doughnut covered in cinnamon sugar – a sweet ending to a fun trip. “This donut recipe has a lot of apple flavor from the reduced cider and grated apple, as well as a pleasant nuttiness from the addition of brown butter,” she notes.
Recipe for apple cider doughnuts
Yields approximately 20 3-inch doughnuts
2 apples (Granny Smith apples are best)
2 1/2 c apple cider
6 c cake flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp dry active yeast
1/4 c whole milk
1/2 c buttermilk
3 egg yolks
1/2 lemon, zested
1/2 c sugar
2 Tbsp dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 sticks of butter, browned
For the cinnamon sugar:
1 c sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
In a sauce pot, bring apple cider to a boil. Reduce it until it measures 1 1/4 cup. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Mix cake flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ground nutmeg and salt together.
Whisk yeast, milk, buttermilk, egg, egg yolks, lemon zest, sugar, dark brown sugar and browned butter together with the reduced apple cider.
Peel and grate the apples. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible using paper towels.
Mix apples into the apple cider mixture, then add the dry ingredients.
Pour the dough out onto a floured surface and roll out to 1/2-inch thickness.
Shape doughnuts using a 3-inch circle cutter and place them on a baking sheet.
Combine the remaining scraps of dough and cut more doughnuts.
Using a 1-inch circle cutter, cut holes to create a doughnut shape.
Freeze the cut doughnuts while the oil heats up.
Set up a large pot with a candy or digital thermometer and fill with vegetable oil until the pot is
about 1/3 full. Heat vegetable oil to 350°F.
When the oil reaches 350°F, fry the doughnuts for two minutes per side.
Place doughnuts onto paper towels to absorb the excess grease.
Let cool until you can handle them and toss in cinnamon sugar.
Tarta de manzana (apple tart)
Recipe by Marc Vidal, executive chef at Boqueria
Chef Vidal makes his own puff pastries throughout the year, topping them with peaches and lavender cream in the summer and saffron-scented apples in fall and winter, but you can get away with using store-bought puff for at-home baking. Simple, but full of warming apple and saffron flavor, Vidal’s tarta de manzana is the perfect fall dessert where seasonal flavors meet Spanish cuisine in true Boqueria fashion.
Recipe for tarta de manzana
Yields 1 9-inch tart
3 Golden Delicious apples
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
good pinch saffron threads
3 Tbsp sugar, plus more for serving
1 sheet (about 250 g) frozen puff pastry, thawed
Peel, quarter, core and thinly slice two of the apples. Put them in a medium saucepan, along with the butter, saffron, 1 tablespoon sugar and 3 tablespoons water.
Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture is dry, about 18 minutes.
Blend mixture on high speed until very smooth. Cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a 10-inch square. Place a 9 1/2-inch diameter dinner plate on the pastry and cut around it. Discard the scraps or reserve for another use.
Place the pastry circle on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Using an apple corer, remove the core from the remaining apple, then cut each half into scant 1/16-inch thick slices. If you have a mandoline, use it for this.
Spread the cooled apple purée over the pastry, leaving a 1/2-inch rim. Fan the sliced apple over the purée in slightly overlapping circles. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over the sliced apple.
Bake until the pastry is golden brown and the apples on top are tender and caramelized, about 45 minutes.
Cool slightly, then sprinkle the apples with more sugar to coat lightly. Use a blowtorch to caramelize the sugar on top.
Apple pie croissant toast
Recipe by Ry Stephen, chef/co-owner of Supermoon Bakehouse
Creator of cruffins, croissants and other treats that are almost too pretty to eat, on weekends you can try Stephen’s apple pie croissant toast. It’s a complex recipe with multiple components and ingredients not typically found in a home kitchen (like glucose and gelatin), but Stephen has graciously shared the recipe for the brave and talented among us. On the toast, Stephen says, “The inspiration was to blend fine patisserie and rustic baking, so it’s a blend of what I’ve seen and experienced throughout my career.”
Recipe for apple pie croissant toast
Yields 15-20 servings
For the caramel apple pie filling
800 g sugar
900 g hot water
2 kg apple, diced into 1.5 cm pieces
600 g sugar
500 g caramel liquid from apple
20 g pectin (apple)
40 g sugar
Caramelize 800 grams of sugar until nicely golden. Deglaze with the hot water.
Add in the diced apple and cook until tender.
Strain and keep the apple and syrup separate.
Dry caramelize 600 grams of sugar.
Boil apple caramel liquid and add in the pectin mixed with 40 grams of sugar. Use this to deglaze the caramel.
Add in the apples and bring back to a boil, stirring well.
Set in a demi sphere mold to freeze before glazing.
When plating, remove from mold and glaze with clear mirror glaze.
For the cinnamon almond cream
900 g butter, softened
1.1 kg icing sugar
400 g eggs
100 g rum
100 g custard powder
1.1 kg almond meal
10 g salt
15 g cinnamon
Sift the icing sugar.
Mix the butter with the icing sugar and salt, stirring well.
Mix the almond meal, cinnamon and custard powder. Add to the icing sugar mixture.
Add in the eggs one at a time, cleaning the bowl down well after each addition.
Add the rum and mix until homogeneous.
For the crumble
1100 g butter
700 g brown sugar
650 g raw sugar
350 g oil
450 g plain flour
2250 g cake flour
20 g salt
5 g orange oil
5 g lemon oil
Mix the butter with both sugars until well combined.
Add oil and scrape bowl down.
Add lemon and orange oil.
Add both flours and salt and mix until just combined.
Bake off in crumbs at 150°C for 12 minutes.
For the white chocolate chantilly
1000 g cream
650 g white chocolate
175 g glucose
4 g gelatin
Soak gelatin leaf in cold water until rehydrated.
Bring cream to a boil and pour over the white chocolate and glucose.
Mix well then add the gelatin.
Blitz mixture and reserve in the fridge.
Slice brioche into single squares.
Pipe cinnamon almond cream onto the toast.
Bake in the oven at 160°C for approximately 12 minutes or until nicely colored.
Invert frozen apple pie filling onto the cooled toast.
Pipe white chocolate chantilly on each corner and arrange small pieces of crumble around the cream.
Leave out for 20 minutes before serving.