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Apple Turnovers

Monday, November 8, 2010

Apple season is almost over, but one can still buy fresh apples, just from a tree. Those apples are quite different from what you will buy in a store in winter. Juicy, crunchy, and I would say live. Even preserves and pie fillings are tastier if made from those fresh apples. I had another opportunity to see this the other day when making my apple turnovers. The apples I used for the filling were Mitsu apples, and the filling was absolutely delicious - sunny yellow, transparent, and fragrant. It needed no cinnamon.
I have to regretfully agree that turnovers are not one healthy food. But, folks, don't torture yourself by constant food restrictions - allow yourself a little indulgence in the sinful. Just once in a while... To satisfy the devil inside...:)
For today's recipe I used Danish dough that I bought at my favourite Russian market. You also can use any puff pastry dough sold in chain stores in frozen food sections. Danish pastry dough contains yeast, it is softer and less flaky than regular puff pastry, but in both cases you will equally enjoy the result.

What you need:
1 lb puff pastry dough
2 big Fuji apples, peeled and cut in small 1/2" cubes
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup water in a shallow dish to prepare turnovers
Butter for greasing your baking sheet
Confectioner's sugar for dusting ready turnovers (optional)
This will yield 12 turnovers.

Put apples and water on medium heat and stew until apples become almost transparent. Add sugar, and continue to simmer on low another 10 minutes. If apples become too dry, add a little of water, about 1-2 tbsp at a time. Put aside to cool to room temperature.

While apples are cooking, roll out the dough. 1 lb of Danish dough made 12 squares. Roll out the dough so that you make 12 squares. It could be tricky, go slow and  have a little patience. If the dough squares are ready, and apples are not (or if they are not cooled yet), cover squares with plastic wrap to avoid drying out.

A trick I used to divide apple filling in equal parts: spread apples evenly on the bottom of your pan, divide in half, then in half again -  you will get 4 wedges. Then divide each wedge in three portions.

Dust apples with  1-2 tsp of flour, scoop portions of the filling one at a time on pastry dough squares. Wet two adjacent sides of each square with water (I use my fore finger for that, but you can certainly use a little brush) and form triangles, secure the edges, pressing with fork.

Place triangles on slightly greased baking sheet and off into the 370F preheated oven. Bake until golden.
Arrange turnovers on a serving dish, and let them cool. Dust with confectioners sugar if you wish.
To me, they are as good as they are.

All  would have disappeared the same evening if I didn't put some effort to stop greedy attempts of my folks. The tuirnovers were soft and tender, with this wonderful freshly made apple filling. Yam-yam-yam.

Experiment with other fruit fillings. Remember one thing: to dust the filling with flour. This will hold the filling together and prevent it to bleed out while baking. In commercial bakeries they overload filling with starch, whereas just a dash of flour would suffice.

Apple filling variation:
2 big red apples, cut in small cubes
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh cranberries
Dash of ground cinnamon

Stew apples with water until soft, add sugar, cinnamon, and stew another 5-10 minutes, add cranberries at the end.
I used this filling for turnovers with regular puff pastry dough, just a few days later -  the crowd was longing for more.:)

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