Apple turnovers bring back childhood memories

When I was a kid, my family had a Saturday tradition where we would all pile into the car, go to the supermarket and do our grocery shopping for the week ahead. If my brothers and I behaved well, my parents would take us to a place we wanted to go when we were done.

On many occasions, we ended up at a bakery that was on the route home. We loved going there because we could choose our own pastry from the vast array of eye-appealing items.

Sometimes I would get a jam buster, other times a chocolate glazed, whipped-cream-filled Long Lohn. I was also very fond of the apple turnovers, drizzled with glaze.

Memories of those turnovers stirred to life the other day when I was buying apples and noticed that the store had puff pastry on sale: two key ingredients needed to make apple turnovers, which I suddenly had a major craving for.

Not long after, I was in my kitchen making a batch. It was not that difficult.

Thaw and roll out the pastry, cut it into squares, set on the apple filling, fold the pastry into triangles, seal the edges, brush pastry with egg wash, and then cut small slits on the top to allow steam to vent.

Then chill the turnovers in the refrigerator 30 minutes, which firms up the pastry, causing them to puff better when baked.

When they’re baked and cooled, drizzle each turnover with the glaze, made by combining icing sugar with a bit of water.

Eating one of the turnovers with a glass of milk, I felt like I was kid again — a blissful feeling that lasted until I looked in the mirror and saw a grey-haired man with creaky bones. Oh well — it was nice while it lasted!

Apple Turnovers

Golden, flaky pastry filled with a spicy apple mixture and drizzled with an easy-to-make glaze.

Preparation time: 40 minutes, plus chilling time

Cooking time: 30 to 35 minutes

Makes: Eight turnovers

  • 2 2/3 cups Granny Smith or any other good baking apple, cut into 1/2 cubes (about 2 to 3 apples, depending on size)
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinches ground nutmeg, ground clove and salt
  • 1 (397 gram) pkg. frozen puff pastry, thawed (see Eric’s options)
  • 1 large egg beaten with 2 tsp water (egg wash)
  • all-purpose flour, for rolling
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1 Tbsp water

Put apples, sugar, juice, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and salt in a mixing bowl and mix to combine.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly flour a work surface. Cut the puff pastry widthwise in half. Set a half piece of pastry on the work surface. Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the pastry into a 10-inch square. Cut that square into four five-inch squares.

Brush edges of each square lightly with egg wash. Mound 1/3 cup of the apple mixture on each square. Fold dough over the filling, creating a triangle, pushing the apples toward the centre as you do.

Flour your fingers and press the edges of the pastry together. Use a floured fork to crimp the edges of pastry together to seal. Set the turnovers on the baking sheet, spacing them about two inches apart.

Roll, cut, fill, fold and seal the second half piece of dough as you did the first one. Brush top of each turnover lightly with egg wash.

Cut two or three small slits in the top centre of each turnover to allow steam to vent. Refrigerate turnovers 30 minutes (this will firm up the pastry and cause it to puff better when baked).

Preheat oven to 375 F. Check the edges of each turnover and crimp again if not tightly sealed. Bake turnovers in the middle of the oven until puffed and golden, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool turnovers to room temperature on a baking rack.

To make glaze for turnovers, place 1 Tbsp water. Gradually mix in icing sugar until the mixture is smooth. Use a small spoon to drizzle some of this glaze, in a back and forth motion, on each turnover. Let glaze set and turnovers are then ready to enjoy.

Eric’s options: If you can find a package of pre-rolled puff pastry, you can certainly use that in this recipe.

Eric Akis is the author of eight cookbooks. His columns appear in the Life section Wednesday and Sunday.

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