Flaky apple turnovers for fall

Photo by Monica Reyes.

Apples are abundant during fall. The chilly weather invites me to turn on the oven and make something warm and comforting. Apple turnovers are a perfect fit; there's nothing better than the aroma of apples and cinnamon wafting through the air.

Instead of traditional puff pastry, sour cream makes the dough easy to mix up. Still, this dough needs to be chilled a couple of times in order to produce a wonderful puffy and flaky pastry. To make the process easier, you can split the chilling steps over a few days.

Kitchen Tips:

  • Be sure to cut the apples into small pieces. The larger they are, the harder it will be to fold the dough over them.
  • Once the turnovers have been formed, you can freeze them to bake later. Freeze them on a baking sheet for about 20 minutes, and then put them in a Ziploc bag.
  • Variations: bits of cheese in the filling or on the pastry, adding a bit of cardamom, nutmeg and ginger to the filling, or jam for a homemade Pop Tart.
  • Try and make a tight seal to prevent the filling from oozing out.

 

Flaky Apple Turnovers (Adapted from Baking: From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan)

Makes about 16 

Dough

1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of salt
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, cold
1-2 teaspoons water (optional)

Filling

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 Fuji or Granny Smith apples (I used Honey Crisp), peeled, cored and cut into small pieces
butter, unsalted and cold

Egg Wash

1 large egg with 1 teaspoon of water, beaten
Sugar, for sprinkling on dough

Make dough:

1. Stir sour cream and sugar together.

2. Whisk flour and salt in a large bowl, put butter in and using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it looks like coarse meal and you have small pea- sized pieces of butter. You can also blend the dough by hand using your fingers and smushing the butter between them (note: If your hands are too warm, you will just melt the butter and you don't want that). Do not overmix. Switch to a fork and gently stir in the sour cream and lightly lift and toss it around. If you find the dough too crumbly and dry, add 1/2 teaspoon of water at a time until it pulls together. It should stick together when you squeeze a small bit of it in your hand, but it shouldn't look dry.

3. Divide the dough in half, form a rectangle shape and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.

4. Roll one piece of dough from the fridge into a rectangle about 9x18 inches. You can roll it between 2 pieces of wax paper to make it easier or on a floured surface. Fold the dough in thirds like a business letter and repeat with the second piece. Wrap individually and chill again for at least 2 hours to up to 1 day.

 

Make the filling:

1. Whisk flour, sugar and cinnamon together in a large bowl and add the apples. Toss the apples to coat.

 

Bake:

1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Prepare baking sheets with parchment.

2. Roll dough about  1/8" thick and cut out 4 1/2 inch rounds (I used a mini prep bowl to cut them out. You could also roll out the dough into a rectangular shape and cut into triangles). Repeat with second piece of dough.

3. Place 1 to 2 tablespoons of filling in the centre and dot with small pieces of butter. Moisten the edges of the dough with a tiny bit of water and fold in half. 

4. Use a fork to seal the edges and to poke holes in the turnovers so that they can release steam.

5. Brush turnovers with egg wash and sprinkle sugar on top.

6. Bake for about 20 minutes rotating the sheets after 10 minutes. Turnovers should look golden, puffed, and firm to the touch. Transfer to a rack to let cool.

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