I love having friends over. Unfortunately, with all the work I've had running this year's Fall fundraiser it hasn't happened as often as I'd like. Feeling the need for some much needed conversation with a dear friend, I set aside the time. Once the date was set, an ambitious streak took over and I decided to make one of my favorite Fall treats: apple turnovers. Bear in mind, I've never made apple turnovers before. I grew up enjoying the ones made by Pepperidege Farm. To me, they were the end all be all of turnovers. Between the perfect, flaky crust and the gooey apple filling, there couldn't possibly be anything better in this world. To try and match it, this sweet taste from my childhood, was almost blasphemous. But as I said, I was feeling ambitious. My goal was to find a recipe that not only tasted like my favorite turnovers, but also looked like them. That's not a tall order, is it?
In the end I used a recipe from Ina Garten's "Back to Basics" cookbook. I knew they would be fabulous even if I tinkered with things a bit, and I was going to tinker. I don't mind the addition of some zest, or a sprinkle of juice, but to me, the point of making apple turnovers is to enjoy the apple. I didn't want any competeing flavors so below you will see how I adapted Ina's recipe to suit my needs. Enjoy!
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 1/4 pounds tart apples, such as Empire or Granny Smith (3 apples)
3 tablespoons sugar, plus extra to sprinkle on top
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch kosher salt
1 package (17.3 ounces, 2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the orange zest and orange juice. Peel, quarter, and core the apples and then cut them in 3/4-inch dice. Immediately toss the apples with the zest and juice to prevent them from turning brown. Add the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Flour a board and lightly roll each sheet of puff pastry to a 12 by 12-inch square. Cut each sheet into 4 smaller squares, and keep chilled until ready to use. Brush the edges of each square with the egg wash, and spoon about 1/3 cup of the apple mixture on half of the square. Fold the pastry diagonally over the apple mixture and seal by pressing the edges with a fork. Transfer to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Brush the top with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar, make 2 small slits, and bake for 20 minutes, until browned and puffed. Serve warm or at room temperature.
I'm happy to report that the crust was as flaky as I'd hoped it would be, and the filling dreamy and delicious! Each bite had a delightful crunch that made both my friend and I giddy. Did this recipe top the frozen turnovers I used to devour as a child?
Yes, it did. Once again, we're giving kudos to Ina Garten. You've completely ruined me for any other apple turnover, Ina, and for that, thank you.