Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Celebrate "National Apple Turnover Day" With A Delicious "Apple Turnover" Recipe

Welcome…come on in, I have something scrumptious baking in the oven. I hope everyone had a safe and fun July 4th weekend. Today is another day to celebrate as it is “National Apple Turnover Day.” Who knew, right? Apple Turnovers are simple and are such a delicious dessert for your family or for your guests. You can celebrate this day by making my recipe with apples.. but did you know that turnovers can be made with other fillings, such as cherry, cheese, blueberry, peaches, chocolate, nuts, raisins, and spices. Savory turnovers generally contain meat and/or vegetables and can be made with any sort of dough, though a kneaded yeast dough seems to be the most common in Western cuisines. They are usually baked, but may be fried. So just use your imagination!     

Every year in the United States, lovers of apple-stuffed pastries all over the country have an excuse to indulge in a decadent treat that can be enjoyed for breakfast, brunch, or as a snack. In my research I did not find a creator, or origin of this day. I did however find that this holiday has been celebrated for years. There is plenty of documentation to support that this holiday does indeed exist.

Claude Lorrain

What is Puff Pastry? Conventionally sweet turnovers made from puff pastry. Puff pastry seems to be a relative of the Middle Eastern Phyllo, and is used in a similar manner to create layered pastries. While traditionally credited to a man named Claude Lorrain accidentally created puff pastry. He was a French painter and was told by doctors that his sick father was only allowed to eat flour, water, and butter. He didn’t have much time to prepare a specialty bread so instead he mixed the flour and water but forgot the butter so he just kneaded it in after. He hoped it would turn out good for he had no time to make a new batch. As the newly created product baked he realized he had done something great! References appear before the 17th century, indicating a history that came originally through Spain and was converted from thin sheets of dough spread with olive oil to laminated dough with layers of butter, perhaps in Italy or Germany. Turnovers are one of the most popular examples of portable pies.

With its decadent layers of butter, light and airy good looks, and endless versatility, puff pastry is a regular on many dough boards across the country. But because of all the folding and rolling of dough, not to mention the serious time commitment required to make it from scratch, homemade puff pastry makes it difficult for consumers to prepare outside of restaurants and banquet halls. The good news is that frozen puff pastry delivers all the goodness of puff pastry without all the hours and elbow grease. In your freezer aisle of your favorite grocery store you can find puff pastry and create sweet, savory, quick and easy hors d'oeuvres, main courses, and desserts. And there's absolutely no shame in using frozen puff pastry: I always keep a few packages on hand to make palmiers, cheese straws, turnovers, pot pies, pizzas, and tarts. And frozen puff pastry is especially great for home entertaining, as most recipes can be assembled ahead and baked just before the party starts. If you're new to frozen puff pastry or looking for creative ways to cook and bake with it, don’t be afraid. Just purchase a package and you can make many delicious recipes with it.  

Here is a list of just a few ways that other cultures make and enjoy the turnover:

Beerocks (German) Filled with cabbage and meat
Calzones (Italian) Filled with tomato sauce, meat and cheese
Dim Sum (Chinese) Filled with meat, fish or vegetables
Empanadas (Spanish-speaking countries) Filled with sweet potatoes and meats

Pastelillos (Puerto Rican) Filled with meat, onions, raisins, capers and egg
Pasties (Cornish miners, England) Filled with potatoes, vegetables and ground meat
Pastelitos Fritos (Brazillian) Fried turnovers with meat & cheese

Pierogies (Polish) Filled with potatoes, vegetables or fruit
Saltena (South American) Typical meat pies
Samosas (India) Filled with chick peas, potatoes and spices
Sanbousic (Middle Eastern) Filled with cheese and dill
Spanokopitas (Greek) Filled with spinach, cottage cheese, feta cheese and olives


Tip Tuesday:

Prep Your Pastry:
Most frozen puff pastry comes in folded sheets. Let the pastry thaw completely, either overnight in the refrigerator or for 45 minutes at room temperature, before using it. Unfold the pastry gently, and if you see any tears or holes, use your fingers and a little water if necessary to gently squeeze the pastry back together. To prevent sticking, roll puff pastry out on a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin. Afterward, gently brush off any excess flour. If you're making a sweet recipe, you can use sugar or cinnamon sugar in lieu of flour, and for recipes made with cheese, you can use finely grated cheese. Be careful not to roll puff pastry too thin, especially if making any kind of pizza or tart, the pastry needs to be sturdy enough to support the toppings and stay crisp.

Keep Cool:
Puff pastry is easiest to work with when it's cold, so store whatever you're not using in the refrigerator, and if the pastry gets too soft while you're rolling or cutting it, simply return it to the fridge or freezer to firm it up. If you're trying to create a specific shape, keep the pastry as cold as possible and it will be easier to make precise cuts. Use a sharp knife, a pizza wheel, a pastry cutter, or simple cookie cutters, and if you're after really straight lines, pull out a ruler or use a straight-edged baking sheet as a guide.

Customize Your Puff:
Puff pastry is delicate, so be careful not to weigh it down with excessive toppings or ingredients that could release a lot of liquid and make the pastry soggy. Be particularly cautious with sticky fillings or ones that could overflow and make a mess of your baking sheets. And no matter what you're baking, line your baking sheets with parchment or a silicone baking mat, such as a Silpat, to prevent sticking. 

Egg Wash
Make It Shine:
Just before baking, brush your puff pastry with an egg glaze (one large egg lightly beaten with about 1 teaspoon water) to give it an attractive sheen. An egg glaze can also be used like an edible glue to seal the pastry edges for turnovers, empanadas, or any stuffed pocket-style pastry; just brush a thin layer along the edges and press them together gently.

Bake Now or Later:
Puff pastry is at its best fresh out of the oven, so if possible, bake it in small batches and serve immediately. If you like to entertain, note that most recipes can be assembled and kept in the fridge for a couple of hours and then baked just before the party. Some recipes can even be prepped but not baked, wrapped well, and frozen for a week or two. (Check your recipe for specific baking and defrosting instructions.) If you want to avoid last-minute prep and don't mind sacrificing some of puff pastry's signature lightness, bake your puff pastry then cool it completely and keep it in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple of hours. And if your pastry gets too soggy, simply pop it into the oven briefly to bring it back to life.

Classic apple turnovers are an easy treat everyone should make at least once. Of course, once you’ve tried them, they’re sure to become a recipe you’ll make over and over again. With their flaky puff pastry crust and spiced apple filling, these turnovers are like little grab and go apple pies. Best of all, they have none of the fuss of baking a pie and require less than an hour to make. To make these turnovers you’ll need just six ingredients: apples, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, cornstarch and puff pastry. You can find frozen puff pastry in most grocery stores. Defrost it in the fridge overnight, or simply set it on the counter for 30 minutes.

Apple Turnovers

Serving: 4
(I doubled the recipe, I had more people than 4)

4 medium apples, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons butter (may need more butter so it doesn’t stick)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 dash or two of Nutmeg
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed (2 packs if you are going to double the batch)
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water)

1 cup of Confectioners sugar
A couple of teaspoons of water

Heat oven to 400°F. Line cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper. In 2-quart saucepan, heat apples, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch to boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce heat; simmer about 5 minutes or until thickened and apples are tender. Set aside to cool slightly.

Sprinkle work surface lightly with flour. Roll out thawed puff pastry into 15-inch square. Cut into 4 smaller squares.  Exactly how much filling you’ll need will depend on the size of your squares. Brush each square with egg wash; spoon apple mixture onto center of each. Fold each in half diagonally to form a triangle; press edges together to seal. Use back of fork to crimp edges. Transfer to cookie sheet; brush with egg wash. Use sharp knife to cut a few vents into each turnover. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden.

To make the glaze:
Combine the confectioners sugar with the water and whisk together.. It should be a thick consistency so it doesn’t drip off of the tops of the cooled turnovers. If your glaze is too thin add more sugar if it is too thick, you can add a little water at a time. Then just drizzle on top of the turnovers with a back and forth motion. (see photo) 

****** The turnovers have a shelf life of about 4 days, and are best if frozen immediately (rather than being stored in the refrigerator). Frozen apple turnovers are best if eaten with 6 months of freezing. Remember freeze without the frosting, as you can add that later. 


Till Next Time………………………………..

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  1. Apple turnovers are such a delicious treat at any time of the day. I totally agree with the fact that shop bought frozen pastry is really good and very handy indeed. Sometimes if I fancy a sweet treat I use it to make quick pastries. I love your recipe thank you! They look so delicious and easy to prepare! Ciao bella :-)

    1. Dear Alida,
      Thanks for your comment and your visit. I am glad that you enjoyed this post. I have been on a puff pastry kick since you posted that recipe of the strips of puff pastry with the jam. This recipe is easy and apple turnovers are a delicious treat for anytime of the day, you are right my friend. Thanks again...Have a good rest of the week...Ciao!
      Hugs Dottie :)

  2. Frozen puff pastry for me. Although everyone should probably make it from scratch once just to see what's it like. But once is enough -- it's a lot of work! Never knew its history before -- that was really interesting. And now, you know, you have me totally craving apple turnovers! :-) Super post -- thanks.

    1. Hi John,
      Thank you for your comment and your visit. I agree frozen puff pastry is really a great time saver. I have tried making it from scratch but had major problems with keeping it cold. As you said it is a lot of work, so I use the frozen now. Glad that you enjoyed this post. And now you are craving apple turnovers! A perfect time to make them with this recipe...Enjoy! Have a great week...
      Dottie :)

  3. Dear Dottie, My dad loved apple pie and apple turnovers. I remember the large apple turnovers my mom used to get when I was a girl. They were so delicious and filled with apples.
    Keep cool and stay well; only a few more days of this heat.
    xoxoxo Catherine

    1. Dear Catherine,
      Thank you for visiting! I am glad that you enjoyed this post and it brought back memories for you as to your family. I know that my parents as well as myself love anything with apples. This was an easy and delicious recipe. I made these for last Saturday as that is when we celebrated July 4th with my family. They went so fast when I put them on the plate that I was lucky I took the photo, or they would have been gone. You as well keep calm and cool..It just hit 89 degrees as I am writing this. The A/C is on thank goodness. A few more days..Have a good rest of the week...
      Hugs Dottie :)