After the success that I had with Dorie’s Buttery Jam Cookies, I decided that I would try one more recipe from her cookbook, Baking: From My Home to Yours, for the Cookbook Spotlight that I was invited to participate in by Sara of I Like to Cook.
Instead of randomly choosing a recipe, I decided to make something that I was craving. So this past Sunday, I looked out the window at the chilly fall weather and thought one thing: apples. I didn’t particularly care what form they came in, but I wanted hot, cinnamony apples to comfort me.
I checked the cookbook index and was immediately drawn to to the recipe for Flaky Apple Turnovers. While I love apple pie, I’ve always been slightly resentful of having to share. After all, a pie is meant to be shared. But why should I share my delicious apples wrapped in buttery, golden crust. Is it wrong to want them all to myself?
This is why I think that the inventor of the turnover deserves our never ending gratitude. Instead of having to split it eight or ten ways, like a pie, you get your very own little pie. All for yourself.
Or in this case … myself.
The dough for the turnovers was a snap to make. And interestingly, the dough called for sour cream which added a slight tangy flavour, but also made the crust super flaky. While the recipe called for Granny Smith or Fuji apples, I used a combination of Granny Smith and Cortland apples because that’s what I had on hand. I put the filling together in minutes and before I knew it, I was rolling out the lovely dough and cutting circles out to make my turnovers.
I cannot even describe how wonderful the house smelled while these little babies were baking. It was like the union of butter and sugar and cinnamon all rolled into one incredible aroma. While the recipe recommend baking the turnovers for 20 minutes, I baked them for 25 to develop a really golden crust. They were plump and gorgeous when they came out of the oven!
I will confess that I ate most of them.
But I did save a few. While I’m not given to sharing my pies, especially apple pies, I did save a few turnovers for my sweet friend Lisa of La Mia Cucina who celebrates her birthday today (Happy Birthday!!!). Lisa, you better hurry over. The turnovers are calling my name and I don’t know how much longer I can hold out!
Flaky Apple Turnovers
Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.
For the turnover dough:
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into tiny pieces
- In a bowl, combine the sour cream and sugar and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and salt.
- Add the butter pieces and with a pastry cutter or your finger tips, mix in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse oatmeal and has a crumbly texture.
- Add the sour cream/sugar mixture and gently mix together with a fork or your hands.
- You want the dough to come together into a ball. If the mixture is still a bit too dry, add a bit of cold water to help bring it together. Be careful not to overmix or overwork the dough.
- Once you can gather it into a ball, divide the ball in half, flatten each half into a disk and refrigerate (wrapped in plastic) for about an hour.
- When you’re ready to make the turnovers, remove one-half of the dough and roll it into a rectangle shape that is roughly 9 inches by 18 inches. You’ll need to flour your work surface well as you roll out the dough. Once you’ve rolled it to 9 by 19, fold the dough in thirds (like a letter) and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. Follow the same procedure for the other half of dough.
For the filling:
- 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- a pinch of nutmeg
- 4 medium-sized apples of your choice, peeled, cored and cut into small pieces
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into tiny pieces
- 1 egg, beaten with a bit of water for the egg wash
- granulated sugar for dusting
- Combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl. Add the apples and mix well to ensure the apples are completely coated.
To assemble the turnovers:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and be sure to have a rack in the top third of the oven and a rack in the lower third of the oven. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Roll out one piece of dough to a thickness of about 1/8 of an inch. With a cutter that is about 4 to 4-1/2 inches in width, cut out circles. You will probably get between 6 and 8 circles from the dough you have rolled out. You can reroll the scraps to cut out more circles. In total, from both pieces of dough, you shouldn’t have more than 16 circles or you may not have enough filling.
- Once you’ve rolled out both pieces of dough and cut out your circles, take one circle and put a tablespoon or two of apple filling in the centre. Dot with a few pieces of butter. Wet the edges of the dough with a bit of water and then fold one half over to meet the other half. Seal with your fingers and then use the tines of a fork along the edges of the dough to further seal the turnovers. Poke a few holes in the turnover to allow the steam to release. Lay the turnover on the cookie sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough and apple filling.
- Once your turnovers are complete, brush each one with egg wash and sprinkle with a pinch of granulated sugar.
- Bake the turnovers for 20 minutes, rotating the trays from front to back and top to bottom half way through.
- If you can resist, let the turnovers cool slightly on a wire rack (for about 5 or 10 minutes) before eating them.
Note: Depending on the thickness of the dough and the size of your cutter, you could get anywhere from 12 to 16 turnovers. If you don’t want to bake them all, you can freeze the turnovers once you’ve assembled them and before baking them. Then you can just pull them out of the freezer whenever you want to bake them. You can bake them frozen, just be sure to bake them for a bit longer.