Williamsburg Wrapples

The Williamsburg General Store in Williamsburg, Massachusetts, where I worked for a summer during college, is a favorite stop on the old two-lane highway from Boston to the Berkshires. Now refashioned for tourists, the store has an ice cream shop, a wall of penny candy, hundreds of kitchen gadgets, and a bakery where customers line up for fresh-baked breads, cakes, and Wrapples, the signature pastry rolls stuffed with apples and cinnamon and glazed with sugar. They're like apple pies, repackaged. The store has its own winning recipe, but I reverse-engineered a close approximation, heavier on the lemon flavor, that earns its own raves. Apple Notes: I recommend using only firm-tart apples (see page 30) in this recipe because with its high crust-to-filling ratio, it needs a little acidity to balance out all that richness. Any firm-tart variety will do nicely. Note: A bench scraper is a useful tool when rolling up these wrapples. It can get under the dough and help lift any spots that are sticking to the counter. Equipment: Bench scraper; large rimmed baking sheet

Recipe from The Apple Lover's Cookbook (c) 2011, by Amy Traverso. Reprinted with permission by W. W. Norton & Company.
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Photo: Williamsburg Wrapples

TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 35 min
Prep: 30 min
Inactive Prep: 30 min
Cook: 35 min
 
YIELD: 8 servings
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

FOR THE CRUST:
  • 18 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks; 255 g) unsalted butter, frozen and cut into small cubes
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons (90 to 120 ml) ice water
    FOR THE FILLING:
    • 3 large firm-tart apples, (about 1 1/2 pounds total; see Apple Notes), peeled, cored, and cut into very thin (about 1/8-inch-thick) slices
    • 1/2 cup (105 g) granulated sugar
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
      FOR THE GLAZE:
      • 1 cup (120 g) confectioners' sugar
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        Directions

        First, make the crust: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar until well combined. Sprinkle the butter cubes on top and use your fingers to work them in by rubbing your thumb against your fingertips, smearing the butter as you do. Stop when the mixture looks like wet sand with some pea-sized bits of butter remaining (try to work quickly so the butter doesn't melt). Sprinkle 1/4 cup ice water on top and stir with a fork until the dough just begins to come together. If needed, add more ice water, one tablespoon at a time. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead just until smooth-three times should do it. Gather the dough into a ball, then divide in half and press each piece into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

        Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine apple slices, sugar, lemon juice and zest, and cinnamon. Stir well, then let sit at room temperature until the dough is chilled.

        Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and set a rack to the middle position. Remove the first disk of dough from the refrigerator. On a floured surface, roll out into a rectangle about 16 inches wide, 12 inches long, and 1/8 inch thick (if the dough becomes soft or sticky at any point during this process, put it in the freezer for 10 minutes). Cut the dough from top to bottom into four strips, each about 4 inches wide.

        Now, roll up the wrapples. You're basically making a jelly roll, only with apples as the filling. Lay four apple slices on the pastry about 4 inches from the bottom of the first strip. Overlap them like shingles. Use your bench scraper to help you fold the bottom 4 inches of dough up over the apples. Layer a few more apple slices just above the seam, then fold the dough over those slices, creating a roll. Repeat once more until you reach the top of the strip. Press the seam to seal the packet, then refrigerate uncovered. Repeat with remaining strips, then repeat with second disk of dough. You should have eight packets in all.

        Arrange the packets on an ungreased baking sheet, put them in the oven, and immediately reduce the heat to 350 degrees F. Bake until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the confectioners' sugar with 2 tablespoons water and stir until smooth. Remove the wrapples from the oven, transfer to a wire cooling rack set over a baking sheet, cool to room temperature, and drizzle with the sugar glaze.
        Recipe from The Apple Lover's Cookbook (c) 2011, by Amy Traverso. Reprinted with permission by W. W. Norton & Company.

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