Full disclosure: I’m not posting any new Halloween recipes this year, but I did update my Candy Corn Cupcakes, so that’s something. Right? I don’t know. I’m just not a Halloween gal. I can’t help it. I did purchase some sparkly cat ears, but I’ve mentally moved on to November.I spent one morning last week loading my freezer with pie dough because—can you believe it—it’s almost time to talk about Thanksgiving food. Almost. Not yet. Don’t worry, I’m going to let Halloween happen before we discuss pie (!) and side dishes (!!!) and everything that goes with a teeny Thanksgiving fit for a pandemic (?????).Again though—not yet. Not today, not Friday. But also, if you made these Apple Turnovers a part of your Thanksgiving dessert spread, I don’t think you’d have any complaints. Flaky pastry folded around perfectly-spiced apple filling? Oh hell yes. Pass ‘em my way, please.But why wait til Thanksgiving when you can have apple turnovers today? Or this weekend? Or on election night? I always like to have a cooking or baking project on election night to keep myself from spiraling, and that goes double this year. I pickled carrots in 2012 and made chili in 2016. Is 2020 the apple turnover election night? Maybe so.I make turnovers approximately once every four years, which is ridiculous because they are incredibly simple. Truly, they’re hardly a recipe—just put some filling on a square of puff pastry, fold it over (ahem, “turn it over”) into a triangle, bake until brown, and then drizzle on a glaze. Whether you use homemade rough puff pastry or the thawed frozen stuff, these are one of the easiest homemade pastries out there, y’all.Oh, and they’re so delicious—crisp, buttery, flaky and chock-full of apple filling. They’re a comfort pastry if I’ve ever had one. Is that a thing? Comfort pastries? It should be a thing. Let’s make it a thing.
makes 6 turnovers
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large baking apples, 1/4-inch diced
3 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon cornstarch (or flour)
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
Rough Puff Pastry:*
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
5 ounces (10 tablespoons) unsalted European-style butter, very cold, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup water or milk, very cold
1 large egg
1 teaspoon water
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
pinch of salt
2-3 teaspoons milk
Apple Filling and Rough Puff Pastry may be made a day in advance. Keep both tightly wrapped in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Make the Apple Filling. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add butter and swirl to melt. Add apples and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not mushy (about 8-10 minutes). Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt. Stir in apple cider vinegar. Remove from heat and let filling cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
Make the pastry. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Use a pastry blender or two forks to cut butter into dry ingredients until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. Pour in cold water or milk and stir with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.
Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Turn dough out onto surface, and use your hands to pat it into a rough rectangle. Roll the dough into an 8×10″ rectangle. Fold dough in thirds, and give it one quarter turn. Roll into an 8×10″ rectangle again, fold, and turn. Repeat rolling, folding, and turning until it has been done six times total. Wrap folded dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, or up to 48 hours.
Make the tart. Place an oven rack in the center position. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment.
Make egg wash. Combine egg and water in a small bowl and whisk together with a fork.
Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Unfold dough. Roll dough out to 10×14-inch rectangle. Slice into 6 squares.
Working with one square at a time, roll it into a 5-inch square. Place 2 slightly-heaping tablespoons of apple filling in the center. Paint two intersecting edges of each turnover with egg wash. Fold dough into half to seal. Use a fork to crimp the edge. Remove to prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough and filling, chilling for 15 minutes if dough becomes sticky or difficult with which to work.
Chill pan of turnovers for 10 minutes. Cut vents in each turnover. Brush all exposed pastry with egg wash. Bake 25-27 minutes or until golden. Let cool on the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.
Make glaze. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together confectioner’s sugar, salt and 2 teaspoons milk. Add more milk by the 1/2 teaspoon until the desired consistency is reached. Drizzle over cooled turnovers. Glaze should set after 20 minutes.
Turnovers are best the day they are made, but will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Pastry will soften over time.
If you do not wish to make the Rough Puff Pastry, you may use one sheet of frozen all-butter puff pastry that you have thawed according to package directions.