Puff Pastry and Apple Turnovers: You’ll never buy the frozen kind again!
Have you ever wondered why most of the foodtv chefs are never seen making puff pastry from scratch? It’s always store bought that they simply unwrap, fill and bake. I love to make everything from scratch, getting as close to 100% homemade as possible. So when I had a hankering for apple turnovers yesterday, it was natural for me to see if I could make puff pastry dough by hand. Well folks, I found out that it’s pretty labor intensive to make this flaky buttery dough, very different than making a pie crust, although it uses the same ingredients. You can view the video that show you how to do it the extreme way here.
Now, it’s not that I couldn’t do this the old fashioned way, it’s just that I had a gut feeling someone somewhere had to discover a more simple way to do this. And to my discovery there was!
The puff pastry recipe is by Nick Malgieri and the apple turnover recipe I adapted from Ina Garten’s. I made these special this morning to bring with me when I went to the hospital to visit Kathy. They stayed warm during my ride down to the city and received great reviews, except they were a little on the tart side for Kathy so I tweaked the recipe a bit to make them sweeter for you because I agreed. One tip I have to point out is that you will definitely want to refrigerate the dough as instructed so it has ample time to chill and set up. Otherwise, you will be wrestling with the dough as it gets soft very quickly at room temperature while you’re trying to assemble the turnovers.
Yield: 1 ½ pounds dough
2 ½ sticks cold unsalted butter
½ cold tap water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
In a liquid measuring cup dissolve the salt in the tap water. Place the flour in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Dice four tablespoons of the butter and add to the work bowl. Pulse 10 times until the butter and flour are blended. Dice the remaining two sticks of butter and add to the work bowl, pulse three to four times. Add the water while pulsing three to four times or until the dough starts to come together. Do not over process.
Flour a work surface and form the dough into a ball and then a disc. Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap, place the dough on it, lay another piece of plastic wrap on top. Roll out the dough into a 12 by 18 inch rectangle.
Peel away the top plastic wrap and invert the dough sheet onto a floured work surface. With the long side facing you, roll the top half to the middle, follow with the bottom half folding it up so that you end up with a 6 by 18 inch rectangle. Then roll up the 6 inch ends, this time you’ll want to equally fold them over so that you get three layers. Form into a rectangle and refrigerate for a few hours until very firm or overnight.
Yield: 8 pies
½ lemon zested
1 lemon juiced
1 pound apples of your choice (2 to 3 apples)
3 tablespoons dried cherries, roughly chopped
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus extra to sprinkle on top
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch kosher salt
1 puff pastry recipe
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Raw sugar to sprinkle on top
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine lemon zest and juice in a medium bowl. Peel, core and dice the apples to ¾ inch dice and immediately mix with the zest and juice so the apples do not turn brown. Add the cherries, granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt, toss to combine.
Flour a work surface and roll out the puff pastry into a 24 by 12 inch rectangle; cut into 8 squares. One by one transfer a square to the baking sheet. Place a few tablespoons of the apple mixture on one half of the dough diagonally. Turnover the pastry over the apples and press the edges lightly with a fork. Brush each turnover with the egg wash, sprinkle with the raw sugar and cinnamon, and cut a small slit in each to let air escape. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and puffed.