Since it's finally starting to feel like fall around here with the cooler weather and the leaves turning vibrant shades or red and yellow, I decided to indulge my apple craving with flaky apple turnovers made with homemade puff pastry.
While there are some very high quality, all-butter puff pastry sheets available at the grocery store, I decided that if I'm going to ingest the fat and calories that come with the buttery-goodness of puff pastry, I should work for it by making some homemade pastry.
Of course the geniuses at Cooks Illustrated developed a recipe for puff pastry that is quite painless and easy. The one seemingly complex portion of the recipe is when you are told to "fraisage" the pastry. After trying to study the diagrams included in the recipe I headed over to YouTube to see the process in action.The technique really does work. The puff pastry was tender, flaky, and light.
Honey crisps are my absolute favorite apple variety to eat and use in baked goods. Their firm and crisp flesh allows them to retain some texture even after baking, and since they aren't too sweet, they provide a fresh, bright apple flavor. They make a perfect filling for these apple turnovers.
Flaky Apple Turnovers with Homemade Puff Pastry
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
For the Pastry:
2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbs granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
16 tbs unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
6 tbs ice water
1 tsp lemon juice
Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse to combine. Add 1/4 of the butter to the flour mixture, and in 1 second pulses cut the butter into the flour until the butter is in dime-size pieces. Add the remaining butter and pulse in 2, one-second pulses. The purpose is to simply coat the rest of the butter in flour. Transfer the mixture to a medium sized bowl.
Combine the ice water and lemon juice in a small bowl. Add 3 tbs of the liquid to the flour and butter mixture and toss until just combined. Toss the remaining liquid into the dough, and turn the dough out onto your work surface. Fraisage dough two times. (See above for a link for the fraisage technique.) Wrap the dough and plastic and refrigerate.
To create the flaky, layers for the puff pastry, the next steps involve folding the dough. Place the dough onto a lightly floured large piece of parchment paper. Roll the dough into a 15 by 10 inch rectangle. Fold the dough lengthwise into thirds (like you're folding a piece of paper to place into a business envelope).
Starting from one of the narrow ends of the folded dough, loosely rollup the dough. Press it to form a 6 by 5 inch rectangle. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm.
Fold the dough again by repeating the previous two steps. Refrigerate the dough while making the filling.
For the filling:
1 lb honey crisp apples, peeled and cubed into 1/4 inch pieces
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp lemon juice
Instructions: Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix. Allow the filling to stand while shaping the turnovers.
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
To shape the turnovers:
On a large sheet of parchment paper lightly dusted with flour, roll the dough to an 18 inch square that is slightly less than 1/8 inch thick. Using a ruler, trim the dough into a 15 inch square. Cut the dough into 9, five inch squares. Place the squares on parchment lined baking sheets, and place the squares in the refrigerator.
Working one at a time, remove the dough squares from the refrigerator and set on a work surface. Place 2 tsp of filling in the center of each pastry square. Moisten two adjoining edges of each dough square with liquid from the apple filling. Using a fork dipped in flour, press to seal and crimp the edges. Place turnovers on parchment lined baking sheets. Refrigerate the turnovers for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine the sugar and cinnamon. Brush the turnovers with water and sprinkle evenly with cinnamon sugar. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown.
Yields 9 turnovers
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