Monday, July 30, 2012

Spiced apple turnovers + the end of a brilliant trilogy

Spiced apple turnovers / Tortinhas de maçã e especiarias

After months and months of sheer anxiety – Christopher Nolan did to me what Fincher had done in 2010 and 2011 – the moment I’d waited for had finally arrived : the day I saw the end of a brilliant trilogy.


I won’t use the word “perfect” to describe “The Dark Knight Rises” – I’ll save the adjective for “The Dark Knight”, which in my opinion is a better movie – but I will say that not many movies had the effect that “TDKR” had over me; the first minutes of the film had me holding my breath without even noticing, and I was blown away both by the powerful music and by the introduction of the villain, the moment Tom Hardy started his magnificent show as Bane – when someone wearing a mask that covers half their face gives you the performance of a lifetime you know you’re in for a treat, and only an actor who fully trusts his director would devote himself to something like that, like very few before him. One could see that Anne Hathaway put a lot of effort into her character and congrats to her for that, but Michelle Pfeiffer made it impossible for any other mortal do play Selina Kyle – I don’t even like Pfeiffer, I find her mediocre as an actress, but that role is something she played to perfection. Months ago I read that Nolan had done nearly the impossible to get Marion Cotillard to play Miranda Tate (she would have been my choice for the role of Selina Kyle), even modifying the filming schedule to accommodate the actress’ pregnancy, and I only understood why after watching the movie – kudos to you, Nolan, that was a magnificent choice, and bringing the always wonderful Cillian Murphy and Liam Neeson for a couple of scenes was the icing on the cake.
One of the many reasons I find Nolan’s Batman trilogy a work of art is the choice of a fantastic cast, which started by choosing a real talented actor for the main role (unlike his predecessors), and surrounding him with equally talented people; besides that, he’s not afraid to go to dark places, which makes perfect sense since his hero is a very dark, troubled person. That is why I did not care for some moments of the movie, like Selina kissing Batman before the final trip with the plane – too cheesy, and that is not Nolan. The introducing of Robin was deeply disappointing to me because I don’t like the character and I also think that Gordon-Levitt would make a perfect Riddler. But overall, the movie hit all the marks I expected it to: visually impeccable, with a really good script and equally good performances; it gives the character the closure it deserved and will probably make everyone pay more attention to Tom Hardy, who had the ungrateful mission of “competing” with Heath Ledger’s sublime performance and did an excellent job. And from Nolan I continue to expect only the best, because that is what he has shown so far.

* end of spoilers*

These turnovers, which to me are the healthier and more delicious version of a certain “restaurant’s” apple pie, are not difficult to make and will please children of all ages, I am sure; the recipe comes from my favorite dessert cookbook, the one I cannot live without.

Spiced apple turnovers
from the always, always amazing Bon Appetit Desserts: The Cookbook for All Things Sweet and Wonderful

1 ½ cups (210g) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
pinch of salt
½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1cm (½in) cubes
1 tablespoons (or more) ice water

675g (1 ½ pounds) Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1cm (½in) pieces
1/3 cup (66g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon brandy
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
6 teaspoons + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
about 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, extra

Pastry: whisk flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add butter and rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 4 tablespoons ice water, mix with a fork until moist clumps form, add more ice water if dough is too dry – I made the pastry using the food processor.
Transfer dough to floured surface, divide into 6 equal parts, form each into a ball, flat into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (can be refrigerated overnight).
Line two large baking sheets with baking paper. Roll out each dough disk on a lightly floured surface to a 20cm (8in) round. Transfer rounds to prepared sheets, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Make the filling: mix apples, sugar, brandy, cinnamon, vanilla lemon zest, nutmeg and cloves in a large bowl, cover and let stand for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Spoon ½ cup drained apple mixture onto bottom half of 1 pastry round, leaving a 2cm (¾in) border around edges. Dot filling with 1 teaspoon butter, lightly brush the edges of pastry with water. Fold top half of dough over filling and enclose completely. Gently press the edges together to seal, then, using a fork, gently press edge to seal. Repeat with remaining pastry rounds, filling and butter. Place the turnovers onto a large baking sheet lined with baking paper. Cut 3 slits on top of each turnover. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter and brush the turnovers. Sprinkle with the extra sugar.
Bake turnovers until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.

Makes 6


johngalt said...

I couldn't possibly pick a favourite movie of the trilogy - I love them all. They are so different (to me)but each one is perfect on its own. I was blown away by TDKR and can't wait to see it again because I feel that I missed a lot of details. Concerning Robin - well, he was never portrayed properly on a big screen(let's not even talk about batman&robin)but in comic books he's quite a likeable character(but personally I don't like Dick Grayson, I'm a Tim Drake fan). I like the fact that Nolan gives us an idea of Robin, but doesn't develop it - I just can't imagine it working out in a movie.(I may be wrong, because well, it's Nolan after all, but let's not take that risk!).
Wow. Thats kinda long:D Sorry about that, I'm just such a fangirl:D

pam said...

Love your polka dotted plates!!

Anaise said...

I completely agree that Nolan hires amazing casts, and gets the best performances out of them. Not just in the Batman movies, either. Can't wait to see what he does next.

Laura (Tutti Dolci) said...

Lovely turnovers! Spiced + apple = heaven :).

Sashquatch said...

Totally agree with everything you said about the film, I saw it the other night and was blown away! Although I have to say it would take some beating for any film to beat the dark night with heath ledgers insanely good performance! Lovely post all round, pastries=my fav. :)

Cupcake and Talk said...

I love your review of the movie. I can't wait to watch the movie now. Lovely apple turnovers. Thank you.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Hey, there, fangirl! :)
I loved, loved your comment! Use as many lines as you want. Thank you for writing, it was great reading your thoughts on the movie. I want to watch the movie again, soon, for the same reasons.

Anaise, me too - I bet it will be something great.

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