Morning light filters in the windows as the family leans over steaming bowls of coffee, hot chocolate or tea. Nothing distracts from the curls of steam coming up from the bowls, the scent of toasted baguette, the caramel aroma of butter as it melts into it the holes of the bread. Along with the toast might be chausson aux pommes, morning pastry native to Normandy. Every neighborhood patisserie offers the buttery slippers of puff pastry folded over compote, applesauce. The chaussons that inspired my recipe come from local French baker Michel Amsalem, who makes his own compote, mixing in a few pears with the apples. Try them, for a real breakfast a la française.
4 pounds apples, cored, peeled, and cut into chunks
2 pounds pears, cored, peeled, and cut into chunks
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
¼ cup water
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 400°F and position a rack in the center.
Place the apples, pears, vanilla bean, and the water in a large saucepan and set over medium heat. When the water is boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the apples and pears are completely soft, 20 to 35 minutes depending on the varieties of fruit you’ve used. Check the fruit frequently to be sure that it is not sticking to the bottom of the pan. If necessary, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent the fruit from sticking.
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