Kitchen Bootcamp: Not a quick strudel at all.

Here’s the thing. I’m pretty organised. Some would say overly so. So, you know, when I travel for an extended period of time and know I am going to have access to a kitchen, I’ll photocopy recipes I know I might need in advance. For French Fridays with Dorie, for Tuesdays with Dorie, for Kitchen Bootcamp. And since I suggested this month’s Kitchen Bootcamp theme – crisps, cobblers and fruit desserts – you’d think I would have had the foresight to photocopy the recipe I wanted to make from The New Best Recipe. Right? Well, right. I did. Kind of. I really wanted to make Quick Apple Strudel. I really wanted to make it for my mum for a special homemade dessert the weekend she arrived in Paris. I had it all planned.  Except that I didn’t.

First, in a quick dash to the supermarket, I mistook “pâte feuilletée“(puff pastry) for phyllo pastry. Once I was at home, I was like, oh that’s no problem, I’ll just have puff strudel. But no. Because if you’ve ever made strudel, you’ll know that there is a special technique for folding the pastry over and around the fruit. Which I didn’t photocopy (it’s on a separate page). Sigh. And for once I didn’t even think to look online. Shocking I know! Me forgetting to use the Internet!!!

So it was mum to the rescue. “What can I do with these ingredients?” I asked her. And she came up with pasties. Yes, pasties, not what seem to be called “hand pies” in North America (I just can’t bring myself to call something a hand pie).  Wikipedia defines a pasty as being “made by placing uncooked filling on a flat pastry circle and folding it to wrap the filling, crimping the edge to form a seal. After baking, the result is a raised semicircular end-product.”   Epicurious explains that the term “pasty” is normally associated with a savoury filling bit since mum and I like to freestyle in the kitchen a bit (yeah, making it up a little as we go along!), we decided that “Apple and Walnut Pasties” had a nice ring to it. Don’t you think?

I’ve actually never made a pasty before either with or without home-made dough so this was eye opening. So so easy. And since I have been making pastry A LOT this month at La Cuisine Paris, I feel confident to go home and give this a go. But for now, I present our mini apple and walnut pasties – they’re not bad looking, huh?

Perfect for breakfast with a dollop of thick cream, some of the remaining caramelised apples and toasted walnuts. Not bad for a completely made up riff of a recipe – wouldn’t you say? And whilst both mum and I enjoyed these for breakfast this week, we both said “Geoff/ Dad would love these.” So dad, these are for you 😉

Kitchen Bootcamp is working through The New Best Recipe (from the editors of Cook’s Illustrated). Want to join us working through this fabulous book? Check out the Kitchen Bootcamp page here and buy The New Best Recipe on or

24 thoughts on “Kitchen Bootcamp: Not a quick strudel at all.”

  1. I love pasties (and have always wondered if they’re similar to Australian meat pies?). Your sweet apple pasties look like what I might call a turnover. A perfect brekkie for mother and daughter! Enjoy your visit.

  2. Ah, it’s nice to be remembered within the hurly burly of mother and daughter in Paris in the same week. They do look nice. Thanks girls.
    And, note to Ann Mah, a pastie (I’m not sure of the spelling) in Australia is generally savoury but a pie can be both savoury (meat) or sweet (apple, etc).
    Sorry, Mardi, usurping your role.

  3. I too thought it was pastie – and agree with Geoff re the distinction of when it can be savoury or sweet. But then in America pies are an altogether different idea…

    And Geoff, whislt Mardi and P may be *pretending* to send you affectionate thoughts of their pastie pie…well, I’ll bet there’s none waiting for our arrival on Saturday!

  4. I love this post! I have had pasties on my list to try forever (I grew up in Michigan and they are all the rage in the UP). Kitchen Boot Camp sounds like so much fun (and kind of what I was working on with One Summer One Kitchen on my blog) I just joined the FB group and can’t wait to start! Thanks for the share!

  5. First of all I think it is great that your Mom is with you for a time in France! Secondly, between the two of you, you certainly came up with a delightful dessert. Why am I not surprised in the least. Enjoy your time with your Mom 🙂

  6. Smile. Mom can always make it work. I have made the same mistake at the store but my end recipe didnt turn out nearly as well as these did. They would make for an ideal afternoon snack, I think. Thank you for sharing!


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