Originally I made little apple pasties using this dough, but it’s even nicer served as crunchy pastry on the side of this delicately fragrant apple salad.
- 2 apples (such as Pink Lady), peeled, cut into wedges
- 1 tsp orange blossom water (see Note)
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 55 g (¼ cup firmly packed) brown sugar
- 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
Fried grappa pastries
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1½ tbsp grappa (see Note) or vodka
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 260 g (1¾ cups) plain flour
- 250 ml (1 cup) vegetable oil
- icing sugar, to dust
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time 30 minutes
To make pastries, whisk together olive oil, grappa and vinegar in a small bowl. Combine flour and 1 tsp salt in a large bowl, then make a well in the centre. Gradually add grappa mixture and enough of 80 ml warm water into the flour mixture, stirring, until mixture forms a dough. Knead on a lightly floured work surface for 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or so before rolling.
Meanwhile, mix apples with orange-blossom water, spices, sugar, lemon zest and a grind of pepper. Set aside to marinate for 15 minutes.
Roll pastry out to a 2 mm thickness and cut into 5 cm x 2 cm strips. Heat oil in a wok or small pan until a crumb dropped in sizzles immediately. If you have an oil thermometer, 175°C is about right. Fry pastries in batches, turning and moving them around so they cook evenly, for 1 minute or until golden. Drain well on paper towel, then dust with icing sugar before serving with apple salad.
• Orange blossom water is available from specialist and Middle Eastern food shops.
• Grappa is a fragrant Italian pomace brandy, available from good bottle shops.