GramCeesHouse Apple Turnovers

I asked you to help me decide what to make this weekend – you said apple turnovers. It would seem easy – some dough and some apples. Not so fast! These require puff pastry dough. So I had to decide — should I make or buy puff pastry? I’d made puff pastry before – not hard but seriously time consuming. So, I opted for the frozen pre-made puff pastry sheets.

Puff Pastry Sheets

Puff Pastry Sheets

Even using these sheets, there are some pitfalls to making turnovers. But it’s not too hard – just follow the recipe and the steps and you’ll get an excellent result. The recipe I followed came from my trusty Joy of Cooking cookbook. Here are the steps I used:

Step 1: Assemble the ingredients. If you’ve been reading my posts, you’ll have noticed this is always my first step. The pastry will have to thaw prior to using – the time it takes to thaw depends on your room temperature.  I removed them from the box and set aside to thaw. Peel the apples and set aside. Toss the apples with the flour, cinnamon, sugar, salt and lemon juice. Put bowl into the refrigerator until needed. TIP: You can make the apple mix ahead of time.

Peeled Apples

Peeled Apples

Lemon

Lemon

Lemon Juice

Lemon Juice

Apple Turnover Filling Ingredients

Apple Turnover Filling Ingredients

Step 2: Prepare the rolling surface. I’m all about quick cleanup. So I cover my surface with plastic wrap. To make it stick, put some water drops on the surface and then cover with the plastic wrap. Sprinkle it with flour to keep the dough from sticking.

Rolling Surface Prep

Rolling Surface Prep

Step 3: Roll the pastry dough into an approximate 10 by 10 square. The frozen dough will have fold marks in it when you lay it out. Using wet fingertips, pinch these edges together and then roll. TIP: Make sure you flour your rolling pin and start slowly – the dough may want to roll up onto your rolling pin. If this happens, just roll it backward until it falls off. Reflour your pin after each pass at the beginning. After a few rolls, the dough won’t stick.

Start Pastry Rolling

Start Pastry Rolling

Rolled Pastry

Rolled Pastry

Step 4: Fill and close. As per the recipe, cut the square into four smaller squares, turn over, put filling into the center, paint two edges with lightly whipped egg, fold and seal with a fork.

Sealed Turnover

Sealed Turnover

Step 5: Ready for baking. Transfer triangle to a baking sheet. Repeat for the other three squares. Cut three small slits the tops. Brush tops with egg white and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar. Put pan into refrigerator.  The pastry needs to be firm when it is put into the oven; cooling it will make it firm again.

TIP: Remove first pastry sheet rolling surface plastic wrap and throw away.

Rolling Cleanup

Rolling Cleanup

Step 6: Repeat Steps 2 – 5 for the other pastry sheet. You will have 8 triangles ready for baking. You’ll notice I use foil lined pans; this makes for easy cooling and pan clean up.

Turnovers Ready for Oven

Turnovers Ready for Oven

Step 7: Bake. I followed the recipe — 15 minutes at 400 and then 15 minutes at 350. I changed the pans top to bottom and bottom to top when I changed the temperature to help keep the bottoms from burning and to give an even top color.

Step 8: Remove and cool. After removing from the oven, transfer the foil sheets (with the turnovers on them) to wire racks to cool. When they are cool enough to handle, remove from the foil to the serving plate.

Turnovers Cooling

Turnovers Cooling

With this batch I had one ‘ugly’ triangle – the dough kept splitting when I folded it. But it still tasted great.

Thanks for helping me decide to make apple turnovers today.

Enjoy!

How to Apple Pie

When cooking, I try my best to keep the kitchen clean as I work. As we go through the steps, I’ll highlight my ‘keeping it clean’ tips.
The cookbook I use most is Joy of Cooking.   joy_o_cooking  The current edition (found in the link) is the 75th edition. I use the one my mother gave me for Christmas many years ago. It’s stained and a bit lopsided. My mother is gone now and the book has her writing in it – I always think of her when I’m using it. I use the Apple Pie II recipe. When making an apple pie, you can either put the apples into bake raw or precook them. The Apple Pie II recipe is the one from my edition using precooked apples. I like it because the apples don’t shrink during baking so the top crust sits right on top of the apples instead of having an air gap between them.

Step 1 – Peel, core and slice the apples into a large bowl.  As the recipe says – don’t cut these too thin or they’ll get mushy.   raw_slices

Tip: you can do this ahead of time — just put the apples into a zip lock bag and sprinkle some lemon juice over them to keep them from browning. When precooking the apples, browning doesn’t matter but your kids might want to sneak a slice before you can make the pie. (I always cut more than needed for the pie itself)

Step 2 – Assemble your ingredients. For the seasonings, I measure them out into a small bowl. ready_seasonings  If you’re looking at the recipe, you’ll notice I use nutmeg and a touch of cloves in addition to the cinnamon. You can add your seasonings to taste; be careful not to overpower the cinnamon.

Step 3 – Cook the filling. You’ll melt butter in your pan and add the apples. The recipe says to let them cook for about 7 minutes. I prefer a slightly crunchier apple so I only let them cook about 3 minutes. Then add your sugar and seasonings. Let this boil (stirring) until the syrup is thick. To test if the syrup is done, use a wooden spoon and let it drip back into the pan. syrup_drip_1 syrup_drip_2

When the drip is thick and slow, it is ready.

Step 4 – Cool the apple mix. TIP: To keep this from being a hard clean up, I put foil onto a baking sheet and spread the apple mix out to cool. Put the sheet onto a wire rack so the mix will cool faster. cooked_cool The apples will take about 15 minutes to cool.

Step 5: Prepare to bake.

  • Put your bottom crust in the pie dish. TIP: Smooth the dough against the sides and make sure there is some dough above/over the edge all the way around.
  • Preheat the oven. TIP: The recipe says to preheat at the beginning. Since I’m not Ms. Speedy, I find this wastes a lot of energy. If you preheat at this point, you should be ready to pop the pie into the oven when the preheat is finished.
  • Prepare the topping. This isn’t in the recipe. Separate an egg, reserving the white into bowl. Make some cinnamon and sugar mix. TIP: I make about a cup of this and keep it in a container. It’s awesome on buttered toast for breakfast too.
  • When the apples are cooler (they’ll still be a bit warm – that’s OK), put them into crust in the pie pan. TIP: To make the transfer from the sheet into the crust easy and clean, pick up the edges of the foil lengthways and funnel the apples into the crust. You won’t spill any and the baking sheet just need a quick rinse (or not).
  • Put the top crust onto the pie. You should have an even amount of dough overhanging the edges all the way around. Now fold the top edge under the bottom overhang and pinch all the way around. The recipe says to put water on the edge before doing this — I usually don’t. You can then make a decorate edge using a fork to press it down all around or you can crimp it (pinching with thumb and two fingers).
  • Put the glaze on. I do this because it makes the top shiny and I like the extra pop of sugar and cinnamon. Using a brush, brush the egg white over the whole top and then sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar mix.

Step 6: Bake. I use a pie crust protector during the baking period. I have a metal one but you can make one out of foil.

Step 7: Cool. The pie has to cool for at least 4 hours. This allows the syrup to ‘set’. This is what keeps the pie from spilling out when you cut a slice. Put the pie on a wire rack to cool.

Step 8: Enjoy

The last TIP: I cut individual slices and freeze them. They are so good for lunch at work — just pop in the microwave for about 30 seconds and viola Pie!