Friday, September 19, 2008

A Taste of the Pioneer Valley

We're having an open house tomorrow to show our friends and family our new house. Parties, at least the good kind, naturally involve food, so I decided to give my friends & family a little taste of the valley by making apple turnovers with fresh early apples from Outlook Farm in Westhampton, MA. I wasn't able to make it out the farm myself this week given all of the fun goings on, but I was able to find a 1/2 peck of freshly picked Paula Red apples at Big E's supermarket in Easthampton.

I made the turnovers from scratch, including the crust, which turned out to be a lot more labor intensive and time consuming than I expected! However, I was pleased with the results. I have a whole platter full of flaky, yummy taste-of-fall turnovers to share with my guests:




Below is the recipe for making about 20 small to medium turnovers. If you're short on time, you can use frozen puff pastry instead of making your own crust.

Crust
Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
2 sticks cold, unsalted butter
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 to 4 Tbsp. ice water

Directions:
1. Cut the butter into 1/2 inch cubes and put in the freezer for at least 20 minutes so it becomes fully chilled and hard.

2. Combine flour, salt and sugar in a food processor and pulse to mix.

3. Add butter and pulse 8-10 times until the mixture is crumbly with pea-sized chunks of butter.

4. Add 1 Tbsp. of water at a time, pulsing until the dough just starts to clump together.

5. Pour clumpy dough out of food processor onto a clean surface. Carefully shape into 1 or 2 balls. Be careful not to over-work the dough, as this will make it hard instead of flaky.

6. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

About 15 minutes before the dough will be ready, you can start the turnover filling.

Apple turnover filling

Ingredients:

4 apples, peeled, cored and sliced into small pieces (As noted above, I used Paula Red apples. Granny Smith would be another good choice - just use a little more sugar.)
2 Tbsp. butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. water
1 egg white
white sugar for topping

Directions:

1. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat.

2. Add apples and cook for 3 minutes. Now would be a good time to take your dough out of the refrigerator so it can rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes.

3. Add sugar and cinnamon and cook for another 3 minutes.

4. Mix cornstarch and water until cornstarch is fully dissolved. Add to skillet, turn heat to low and simmer until sauce is thickened.

5. Remove skillet from heat and allow apple mixture to cool about 10 minutes.

6. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

7. Take your dough that's been sitting for about 10 minutes, lightly flour it and roll out into a 10-12 inch by 10-12 inch square on a lightly floured surface. Add flour as needed to ensure the dough doesn't stick to the surface or rolling pin.

8. Once dough is about 1/8 inch thick, cut into approximately 4 inch by 4 inch squares. (Larger if you want large turnovers, smaller if you want mini turnovers.)

9. Place about 1 - 1 1/2 tsp. of apple mixture in the middle of a dough square.

10. Fold dough corner to corner to make a triangle shape and seal ends by crimping with a fork. Poke the top of a turnover with a fork or slit with a knife so steam can escape.

11. Repeat until you have enough turnovers to fill a cookie sheet, spacing about 1 inch apart.

12. Lightly beat 1 egg white in a bowl and gently wash over turnovers. Sprinkle turnovers with white sugar.

13. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until turnovers are lightly browned. If edges start to burn, reduce heat to 375 degrees.

14. Let cool & then enjoy!!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I tried your recipe for apple turnovers and they came out sooo good! I brought some into work and they were gobbled up with tons of compliments. I am not a baker but I think I am going to start! Thanks for the recipe.
Bonnie Goodwin

valleywriter said...

Glad you liked the recipe. Baking is my therapy - the trick is just to get the goods out of the house before I eat too many!! Stay tuned later for a super yummy pumpkin cheesecake recipe coming up soon.

Mark by Chocolate said...

As soon as I get pictures, I'll be posting both my apple pie recipes.

Nice turnover recipe. I'll have to give it a whirl.

Wandering Allyn said...

Hey there - I'm new to the area and just discovered your blog, and am totally enjoying it. I'll have to give this recipe a try!

ValleyWriter said...

Welcome to the Valley, Wandering! Once the apples are back in season this fall, this is a great recipe to try. Enjoy!