I had another post planned for today, but I had to interrupt my regularly scheduled programming so you could join me on this Hatch green chile bandwagon I recently jumped on. Hatch green chiles, you ask? Yeah. I thought the same thing, but I’m enlightened now. Join me, but you will have to act fast. These fresh chiles have a unfairly short season.
Let me give you the series of fortunate events that brought me and Hatch together. Here’s how it went down:
Day 1: I saw Hatch at my local grocery store. He was in a fancy basket separated from all of the other varieties of chiles, and his name on his sign was hand-written. Those were my first clues. Hatch was a special chile.
Day 2: I did a little investigating and became inspired by this blog. My curiosity was peaked. Other people are fond of Hatch, I realized, and they like to mix him with apple pie filling. Interesting.
Day 3: Coincidentally, my friend happened to be in El Paso and was posting pictures on Facebook depicting his 30-pound purchase, subsequent fire-roasting, freezing, and shipping of Hatch green chiles to his home in San Francisco. Then he began enticing me with photos. When I saw the picture of his homemade Hatch chile relleno that he made for his girlfriend, I had to look away. The yearning was too great. Within a matter of days, I was bombarded by Hatch. Everywhere I looked, there he was. I decided to go back to my grocery store the next day.
Day 4: I returned to my grocery store to find that some other locals were also keenly aware of Hatch. Thus only a few chiles remained in the fancy basket. I picked through what was left and gathered what I would need for my weekend baking project.
Jump to Day 6: An unexpected Fed Ex delivery man arrived at my door brandishing a white puffy bag. It was Saturday and I never get deliveries on that day. But this was a special day. The contents revealed a dozen fire-roasted, mostly-thawed Hatch green chiles sent over-night from San Francisco. I sniffed the inside of the shipping bag for nearly an hour. It smelled so good. Thank you G and K for sharing. I’m a lucky girl to have friends like you!
Day 7: I had no idea how delicious the sweet cinnamon-apple filling would be when punctuated by the smokey and mildly spicy kick of the Hatch chiles. I made small turnovers and prepared only half the amount of filling because this was essentially a trial run for the recipe. The next batch will definitely be larger. A Hatch green chile deserves more; it’s a special chile after all.
Note: The Hatch green chiles I purchased were roasted on my gas BBQ grill in the same way one would roast a bell pepper (charred and allowed to cool). I then packaged them in a freezer bag with the skins on and froze them.
My favorite apple pie apple: a Golden Delicious, chopped.
I added the chopped chiles along with cinnamon, sugar, a few grates of lemon and orange zest, and a little lemon and orange juice because that’s just how I roll when I make an apple pie filling. I could have stopped here. The combination of flavors was so good!
I made some turnovers with a fluted 4-inch circle cutter and some were triangle-shaped. I used store-bought puff pastry because that’s what Bless Her Heart did, and it was easier than making pie crust for this small endeavor.
I crimped them a bit with a fork just to be sure they’d stay together, gave them an egg wash and a sprinkle of turbinado sugar before popping the turnovers into a 375 degree F oven.
I worked fast here. I pre-scooped small amounts of ice-cream and set them on the turnovers just before shooting the images. The turnovers were still warm, and I didn’t want the flirty Hatch green chiles to be covered by the melting ice-cream.
These were so delicious, and the ice cream is purely indulgent, as the turnovers could hold their own and are best eaten by hand in my opinion.
Total deliciousness, but I had an idea…
I baked off some of the puff pastry scraps left behind, and I caramelized the remaining filling. Caramelizing the apples and chiles is out-of-this-world-delicious! It takes the flavor of this dessert to a whole other level. Split the puff pastry, stuff it and hold it like a taco for a casual treat or fancy it up and layer it like a Napoleon. You won’t be disappointed either way.
Apple and Hatch Green Chile Mini Turnovers
Recipe inspired by and adapted from Bless Her Heart
Makes 8 small turnovers but you can easily double the recipe
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
2 cups of Golden Delicious apples, peeled and diced into half-inch pieces
1/2 cup roasted, peeled and seeded mild Hatch green chiles, diced into half-inch pieces. The peels will easily slide off under the trickle of running tap water.
1/8 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
scant 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest, or to taste
scant 1/4 teaspoon orange zest, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon orange juice, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
scant 1/8 teaspoon salt
Flour for dusting the workspace
1 egg for the egg wash
Turbinado or sanding sugar (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Place the diced apples and chiles in a bowl and add the lemon and orange zest and juices. Sprinkle in the cinnamon, cornstarch and salt. Mix well to distribute flavors. Set aside.
In a small bowl, beat one egg and 1 teaspoon of water to make the egg wash. Set aside.
Flour a work surface and roll the puff pastry sheet to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut puff pastry in desired shape or size. I used a 4-inch circle cutter and made 4″x4″ squares.
Prepare baking sheet with parchment or silicone mat. Fill each puff pastry piece with 1 tablespoon of apple filling. Do not over fill. Brush half of pastry edge with egg wash. Fold pastry over making sure the filling is tucked inside and pinch closed or use a fork to crimp the edges. Move turnovers to baking sheet. Cut a small slit in the top, brush top with egg wash and sprinkle with Turbinado sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool briefly before serving. Best served warm on the same day as made, with or without vanilla ice cream.
To make with the caramelized apple filling, cut the puff pastry into square or rectangular shapes, 3″x3″ or 2″x3″ respectively, bake for15 minutes or until golden (egg wash optional). Allow to cool. Meanwhile place prepared filling into a covered dutch oven and cook over medium-low heat. Watch closely and stir frequently as the mixture can easily burn. That said, you do want a little caramelization on the apples. Since you’re in this far, you may as well add a little butter. I didn’t, but you should. It will just up the flavor profile that much more. Begin with a tablespoon or two and see where that takes you. Cook for 10-15 minutes depending on preferred texture of the apples. Split the cooked puff pastry open leaving one side connected, fill with warm apple-chile filling and top with ice cream. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. If making like a shortcake or Napoleon, split square puff pastry in half, fill and top with puff pastry, ice cream and powdered sugar.