Take advantage of fall’s bounty with these irresistible homemade Apple Turnovers. Filled with grated apples and baked in a homemade flakey puff pastry, what’s not to love? Grated apples are used instead of chopped apples for maximum flavor. The apples are seasoned with lemon juice, sugar and just a pinch of salt then drained in a fine mesh strainer. The reserved apple juice is brushed on the turnover right before baking and then dusted with cinnamon and sugar.
The best thing about these turnovers is that they freeze amazingly! Just fill, fold and freeze the unbaked turnovers up to 1 month in advance. Freeze them on a baking sheet, then transfer to a zipper-lock freezer bag. Before baking, allow the turnovers to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes, then proceed with the recipe as directed. Don’t let the length of this recipe intimidate you-it’s really easy if you take the time to keep everything very cold. Make sure you have everything you need ready and work quickly when you start to assemble the turnovers or pastry. If the dough becomes too sticky while you’re working with it, just return it to the freezer or refrigerator for a few minutes; cold dough is much easier to work with. This recipe uses pecan meal, which if you cannot find in your local grocery store, you can easily make your own! Just throw some pecans in a food processor and pulse until ground.
Yield: 12 turnovers
For the Pastry:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup pecan meal
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (sticks) unsalted butter, frozen
1/2 cup sour cream
6 to 8 tablespoons cold water
For the Apple Filling:
5 Granny Smith apples (about 1 1/4 pound, peeled and cored)
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the Cinnamon Sugar Topping:
1/2 cup plus two tablespoons granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
To make the pastry, in a medium-sized bowl, whisk together 2 cups of flour, pecan meal, salt and baking powder and place them in the freezer. Unwrap the frozen sticks of butter, and press the end of each stick into some flour. (This will help give you a grip on the butter while you’re grating it.) Grate the butter by hand on the coarse holes of a box grater into large flakes.
In a small bowl, combine the sour cream and cold water. Remove the dry ingredients from the freezer and toss the cold flour and butter together until they’re evenly mixed. Add the sour cream mixture to the flour and butter. Using a spatula, fold and pat the mixture until it starts to hold together.
Divide the dough in half. Place each half in the center of a piece of plastic wrap, and form each piece into a 6 x 6-inch square. Wrap the squares and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Remove one square of dough from the refrigerator and use the remaining ½ cup of flour to heavily flour both sides. Quickly roll the dough into a large 10 x 12-inch rectangle. Working with opposite shorter sides (10-inch sides), fold the dough into thirds (like a letter). Use a rolling pin to flatten and widen the dough until it’s about 5 x 12 inches. Again, working with opposite shorter sides (the 5-inch sides), fold the dough into thirds to form a rectangle of about 4 x 5 inches. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and return to the refrigerator for 30 minutes, or until it’s firm. Repeat with the remaining piece of dough. The dough may be prepared up to this point up to 2 days before using, or up to 1 month before, if kept frozen.
In a large bowl, grate apples on large holes of box grater. Add sugar, lemon juice, and salt to the grated apples. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, then drain in fine-mesh strainer set over bowl. Reserve juices.
To assemble the turnovers, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Combine sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Before removing the dough from the refrigerator have ready a pizza cutter and ruler for cutting the pastry; the filling, and parchment-lined baking sheets.
Remove one piece of dough from the refrigerator. (If it’s been in the freezer, let it thaw, wrapped, till it’s pliable.) Heavily flour both sides, and roll it into a 10 x 15-inch rectangle.
Cut the dough into six 5-inch squares. Place 2 tablespoons of apple mixture in the center of the dough. Brush the edges of the pastry lightly with reserved apple juice. Fold one corner of the dough over the filling diagonally till it meets its opposite corner to form a triangle-shaped turnover. Press the edges very lightly to seal. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
Place all of the turnovers onto the prepared baking sheets. Brush them with reserved apple juice, and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake the turnovers for 18 to 20 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and serve them warm.
Source: adapted from The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion
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