Pear and Bleu Cheese Turnovers

I was always a big fan of turnovers. My Dad’s Mom made amazing fried apple pies –  which is a turnover – mostly. She made them with dried apples – not sure why they were made with dried apples but then she fried them in a  – I am not sure what that thing was called – I think it might be an electric skillet. Maybe? Not sure.

D&D_1492That said, when my grandmama came down from Rockingham North Carolina, she made those fried apple pies and they were (are) sublime. My Mom loved them – which was kind of cool because she was a great cook/bakery herself. Sometimes old recipes are the best. Indeed, mostly they are.

I have found a variation of  (chausson aux pommes “apple slippers”*) the fried apple pies that grandmama made and it totally works for me, but I think this new recipe might be just a little bit more interesting. I mean – pears – and then bleu cheese is involved. Although, I think Granny Smith apples would work well too.

1 sheet of puff pastry
1 good sized not over ripe Anjou pear, peeled, cored, and diced
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup bleu cheese, crumbled
1 egg, for egg wash, beaten with 1 Tbs water
Raw sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment. Combine pears, lemon juice, cranberries, and bleu cheese in a bowl and set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll a sheet of puff pastry into a square, about 11 x 11 inches. Trim back to a 10 x 10 inch square. Using a pizza wheel, cut into 9 smaller squares – oh, lord, math is involved – ugh. Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of each square. Brush two edges with egg wash and fold pastry into a triangle. Press edges to seal. Transfer to baking sheet and chill 20 minutes.

Once chilled, brush triangles with egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar and make a couple of slits for the steam to escape. Bake 25 minutes until puffed and golden brown. Serve warm.

* The French make everything sound so much better, damn them. It is also Bastille Day.

Source: Baking Obsession

Apple Turnovers (chausson aux pommes – apple slippers)

This recipe is a bit time consuming but not really difficult, but it is so worth it because it tastes just like the fried apple pies that my grandmother (Nettie McLean Fields) used to make.  I just imagine that since she used canned biscuit dough, dried apples, and an electric skillet, that her’s were, somehow, easier. But maybe that’s my imagination talking. I did add up the times to get a sense of how to have it ready for dessert for Christmas Eve – here’s what I have: 10-15 minutes to sauté apples, but get the puff pastry out about 30 minutes before to thaw. Then 10 more mins in the freezer and another rest of 30 minutes in the fridge. And then another 15  – 20  to bake, so … um, guess this involves math now – not my strong suit. But here goes: Get going about 90 minutes ahead of when you want to serve.

Might, next time, sprinkle some some kind of sugar on the top for a little bit of crunch. That could be good, since it’s not overly sweet to begin with (hate ending a sentence like that) (or like that – ugh.) Please see notes below.

Apple Turnovers

  • 2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 x 1″ slices
  • 1 1/2  tsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • dash freshly grated nutmeg (must be freshly grated – really!)
  • 2 Tbs unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbs whole milk
  • 1 package (14 – 16 ozs) frozen puff pastry, thawed

Apple Turnover

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Place apples, lemon juice, brown sugar, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and butter in a large saucepan and stir to combine and coat apples. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until apples are soft, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Set a fine mesh sieve over a small bowl and pour in apple mixture   Let apples cool to room temperature and reserve juice in the bowl.

When apple ply mixture has cooled, whisk together the egg and milk in small bowl until the egg is broken up, set aside. Spread a sheet of puff pastry on lightly floured surface. Dust pastry lightly with flour and using a rolling pin, roll into 12 inch square. Using a sharp paring knife, trim the uneven edges and cut dough into four equal squares. Transfer the squares to the baking sheet and place in freezer until firm, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Using a pastry brush, lightly brush a 1 inch border on the edges of the dough with egg wash. Reserve egg wash. Spoon 1/4 of apple mixture in middle of each square and fold dough in half to form a triangle. Seal the edges with the tines of a fork. Cut a few slits in the top of each pastry with the tip of a paring knife. Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm 15 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oven to 425 degrees and arrange rack in the middle.

Remove the turnovers from the refrigerator and remove plastic wrap. Brush the top of each turnover with the egg wash. Bake until golden brown and flaky, about 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool slightly. Serve warm, drizzled with reserve juice.

Thank you – for bringing back a memory.

24 Dec 2014

Notes: Well, this recipe says it’s for a package of puff pastry, but for four turnovers, it’s only one sheet of pastry. Pretty easy to double for eight, but it’s not accurate on that point.