Thursday, August 11, 2011

Apple Bones

Apple bones breakfast tart.
Recently I’ve been on a bit of a baking kick; breads and pastries for the most part, with a  primary focus on artisan breads. I’ve had the help of Peter Reinhart’s amazing book Artisan breads Everyday. Now it hasn’t been an everyday thing, more like 3 or 4 times a week, mainly because there is only so much bread I can eat in a given week. A man can only take so many carbs before he explodes into an enormous blimp with a resemblance of a human being. Nevertheless I have been pushing the limits of my carb intake in order to achieve baking mastery, and if you have read my prior post The Muffin Man I'm not doing half bad. This week I decided to venture away from the book to try my hand at my own creation, a trial by fire so to speak. I came up with something with the semblance of a pair of fruit filled thumbprint pastries joined at birth and coated with sugary goodness, I'll call them apple bones. 

When setting out to make these I had a basic idea of how it would all go together. First it had to be made with a sweet dough, similar to that of a cinnamon roll. This was chosen due to it's structure, it's generally a dense bread which holds its shape well, while having the substance to compliment something like apples and other fruits. They also needed to be able to be easily consumed by hand as the last thing I want to do in the morning is be washing dishes, or dealing with a fork and knife when I've been conscious for a mere 5 minutes. Lastly it needed to taste amazing, which is where the cinnamon, apples, and sugary glaze come into play, without them it might be mistaken for healthy food, and we definitely can't have that; this is comfort food, period. Now today I'm going to share this recipe with you as I think the result is worthy of sharing with the world. During the initial baking the bones had risen a bit more than I had wanted so I've adjusted the recipe accordingly; the result of what follows won't be as doughy as my initial tests.

Apple Bones
makes roughly 12 bones 


6¼ cups (794 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons (14 g) salt
6 tablespoons (85 g) sugar
3 teaspoons (9 g) instant yeast
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (482 g) lukewarm milk 
½ cup (113 g) vegetable oil or melted unsalted butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Fruit Filling

3 Jonathan apples (cut into no larger than 1 inch cubes)
1 cup (170 g) cool water
½ tablespoons (32.5 g) sugar
1.5 tablespoons (10 g) cornstarch
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt


4 cups (340 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons (43 g) light corn syrup (optional)
1 teaspoon (7 g) vanilla, lemon, or orange extract, or 1 tablespoon (0.75 oz / 21 g) orange juice concentrate (optional)
½ cup (120 g) milk

Preparation (Day before)

To make the dough, combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a mixing bowl. Whisk the yeast into the milk until dissolved, then pour the mixture into the dry ingredients, along with the oil and lemon zest. If using a mixer, use the paddle attachment and mix on the lowest speed for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium-low speed for 4 minutes, adding flour or milk as needed to create a smooth, soft, slightly sticky ball of dough. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 2 minutes more until the dough is very soft, supple, and tacky.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand for 1 minute, then form it into a ball.
Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium-low speed, or continue mixing by hand, for 4 minutes, adding flour or milk as needed to create a smooth, soft, slightly sticky ball of dough. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and refrigerate overnight

On Baking Day

Fruit Filling

Poach the diced apples in boiling water for 1 minute, then drain. Whisk the water, sugar, salt, and cornstarch together in a saucepan to make a slurry, then bring it to a boil over a medium heat, stirring constantly. It should thicken by the time it comes to a boil. Remove it from the heat immediately, then stir in the fruit.

Stir the sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla together. Gradually whisk in the milk, adding just enough to make a thick but creamy glaze about the same thickness as pancake batter, adjusting with more liquid or sugar as needed.

Remove dough from refrigerator and divide into 3 ounce (85 g) pieces and shape them into balls, then roll them back and forth with your 4 fingers over a lightly floured surface so they are the shape of dumbbells. Place them on a parchment lined sheet pan 2 inches apart, mist lightly with spray oil, then cover loosely with plastic wrap. Proof at room temperature for 2 hours. Once the proofing is complete create a bowl for your fruit in each end of each roll, basically use your fingers to push down and out until the bowl is about 2 inches in circumference. Fill each with your fruit filling, and place in an oven preheated to 375°F for a little over 15 minutes, or until brown on top.

Remove the bones from the oven and brush with the glaze immediately, be generous as again this is not health food. Sprinkle cinnamon over them and allow them to cool for 5 minutes then drizzle more glaze on top of them for decoration.

If you're still with me you should have something amazing!


  1. I'm down for pretty much any pastry made with apples. These sound great, I might attempt them this weekend! Thanks.

  2. Wow. I'm always too much of a pansy to make my own recipes cause I'm afraid they'll be crap. The apple bones look and sound really good! Nice work!

  3. These sound like they would be tasty