I can’t tell you how excited I am to share these apple and pumpkin pie twice baked croissants!
They are so so so wonderful and delicious! Don’t be scared, there is no laminated dough or waiting around for days to make croissants. Nope, we’re taking the shortcut here -it is Monday, after all. What’s even better is that these use stale croissants that didn’t quite make it to your breakfast (though I don’t know if that has ever happened in our house). You have no reason to throw away any of your day-old croissants again! The cream filling is so easy to make, and would impress any guest, even if you know that you secretly used leftover croissants. You can pick up croissants at the grocery store, but one pro tip when making these is to stop by a local bakery right before they close. Some bakeries will sell their old croissants to you at a discount if they are going to have to throw them away otherwise.
It finally feels like fall here, and with the cooler weather, we are pulling out the best flavors of the season for this croissant hack: apple and pumpkin, an option for the pumpkin enthusiast and the pumpkin cynic. As a lover of all things pumpkin I was fully expecting to love the pumpkin pie version much more than the apple pie version, but I really don’t know if I have a favorite between them. They are both so good and very different, despite using mostly the same ingredients. The pumpkin ones really taste like pumpkin pie stuffed in a croissant. Insert heart eyed emoji here :)
I had no idea what twice baked croissants were until a few weeks ago when I saw an Instagram of one from a bakery. I did a lot of research to find out what they are and if they are different from a double baked croissant (they are the same). I found out that twice baked croissants are day-old, or stale, croissants that are filled with a type of cream (usually almond) and baked. They are called twice baked or double baked because the croissant has already been baked once and then is baked again with the filling inside. They are mostly made in bakeries when they don’t sell out of their croissants and have the option of throwing away delicious, but old, croissants, or baking them into something new.
Twice baked croissants have a different texture than regular croissants. They are crunchy and don’t have the light, delicate texture we are used to from a croissant, but, they are still flakey and delicious. These apple pie and pumpkin pie twice baked croissants are filled with creamy fillings and warm, cinnamony flavors that pair perfectly with a chilly fall morning. Taking a bite of them is like wrapping yourself in an autumn-spiced hug. The mini versions are so cute and are great because you can try one of each flavor in one sitting. Anything mini is better, right? With mini + warm croissants + pumpkin cream and baked apples + spices, you really can’t go wrong.
You can make these ahead of time and store them in the fridge for a few days before you bake them. Pull them out on a slow morning, pop them in the oven, and enjoy a lovely and delicious fall treat with your morning coffee.
Twice Baked Croissants: Apple Pie and Pumpkin Pie
About 15 mini or 7 regular croissants, a day or two old
Powdered sugar, for topping
Baked apples (recipe below)
Almond and pumpkin fillings (recipes below)
Simple syrup (recipe below)
1 large or 2 medium apple(s), peeled, cored, thinly sliced and cut in 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 1/3 cups almond meal
¼ cup flour
½ cup butter
2 1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/3 of the almond filling (about 250 g)
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1 cup sugar
½ cup water
To make the baked apples
Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the apple pieces, cinnamon, brown sugar and nutmeg. Toss the ingredients until all of the apples are coated and the brown sugar is melted, about 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. The mixture will be warm and glossy, but the apples won’t be cooked all the way.
To make the almond filling
In a medium bowl, whisk the almond meal and flour together and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and powdered sugar. Beat on low speed until the mixture is pale and fluffy.
Add the dry ingredients and eggs, alternately, starting with the dry. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl after each addition. Separate the almond cream into three equal portions. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 3 days.
To make the pumpkin pie filling
Combine one third of the almond cream with the pumpkin puree. Mix the spices together and stir them into the pumpkin cream. Pour the mixture into a piping bag (or leave it in the bowl if you plan to scoop the filling) and place it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
To make the simple syrup
Boil the water and sugar together until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 330 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.
Halve the croissants and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Brush each croissant half generously with sugar syrup. Spoon or pipe the almond filling onto half of the croissants and the pumpkin filling onto half of the croissants. Pile baked apple slices on the croissants with almond cream and close all of the croissants.
Warm the final third of the almond cream in the microwave for about 30 seconds, until it is more viscous, but still solid. Generously spread the almond cream on top of all of the croissants.
If you are not baking the croissants right away, cover them with plastic wrap and place them in the fridge after you have assembled them.
Bake the croissants until they are golden brown, about 40-45 minutes. Let them cool on the tray slightly.
Sprinkle powdered sugar over the croissants and serve.
Almond cream recipe adapted from Bouchon Bakery cookbook, pumpkin pie filling adapted from Hint of Vanilla Blog.