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.
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
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.
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.
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.
- 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)
- 1 cup of Confectioners sugar