Prior to this apple turnovers baking, I thought that baking apple turnover is always easy and basic to do. Simply wrap diced apple into puff pastry and bake... and what can be more difficult than that... Then, I realise that baking apple turnovers can be as challenging as I would imagine and it depends on each individual's expectation of a good apple turnover.
This is me and my crazy apple turnover thinking again... I have written down a small list to conquer and I called this my good apple turnover No-No list... LOL!
My number One No No is No soggy dough.
My number Two No No is No tasteless apple filling.
My number Three No No is No overcooked, undercooked, mashy or watery filling.
Looking at my No-Nos, my ultimate aim is to bake apple turnovers with flaky crispy buttery crust filled with flavoursome, firm but well cooked real apple fillings.
With all these factors in my mind, I'm very keen to bake my turnovers using this Cook's Illustrated recipe. This recipe claims that its puff pastry recipe can create super super-flaky, buttery layers made with lots of folding. Each fold creates thin layers of butter and pastry which puff and separate into delicate layers while baking.
I can never imagine that I can make puff pastry from scratch... It seems scary at first. Now, baking these, I reckon making my own puff pastry is definitely not scary at all... or in fact, it can be quite therapeutic.
Using this recipe, do you think my apple turnovers have conquer all in my No-No list? My answer will reveal as you scroll to see my last picture...
|My Apple Turnover|
|Making the pastry for the puff pastry... sounds like a tongue twister, isn't it?|
|Puff pastry making - Part 1|
|Puff pastry making - Part 2|
|Puff pastry making - Part 3|
|Finally - This is my puff pastry!|
|Preparing the apple filling|
|Assembling the apple turnovers...|
|... and bake it!|
|Apple turnovers with my No-No?|
No. 1 No No - No soggy dough, checked. Pastry is crispy on the top and flaky inside.
No. 2 No No - No tasteless apple filling, checked. This apple filling tastes great!
No. 3 No No - No overcooked, undercooked, mashy or watery filling, checked. Each apple piece is tender to bite and not mashy at all.
Challenge accomplished! *Happy*
Here are the recipes from the book, The Cook's Illustrated Cookbook
(with my notes and modification in blue)
Flaky Apple Turnover
1 pound Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped coarse
(I used only 1 medium apple for half recipe)
3/4 cup sugar (reduced to 50g for half recipe)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 recipe Puff Pastry Dough, divided into two 8-ounce pieces
1/2 cup applesauce
(I use baby food, apple puree. It is 100% apples at least! - LOL!)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400°F (or 180°C fan forced). Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Pulse apples, 1/2 cup sugar (reduced to 35g for half recipe), lemon juice, and salt together in food processor until largest pieces of apples are no larger than 1/2 inch, about 6 pulses (To avoid over-processing, I chopped the apples briefly to specified size). Let mixture sit for 5 min, then transfer to fine-mesh strainer set over bowl and let apples drain, reserving juice, until needed.
Roll each piece of dough into 10-inch square between 2 lightly floured sheets of parchment. Remove top sheets of parchment and cut each piece of dough into four 5-inch squares (you will have 8 squares total). For half of the recipe, I have rolled my dough to about 7x15-inch rectangle and cut it into 4 equal rectangles.
Toss drained apples and applesauce together in separate bowl. Place 2 tbsp apple filling in center of each piece of dough. Brush edges of dough with reserved juice, then fold 1 corner of square diagonally over filling. (I fold mine from a rectangle to a square) Crimp edges of dough with fork to seal. Lay turnovers on prepared baking sheet and freeze until firm, about 15 min. Assembled turnovers can be frozen for 1 hour, then transferred to zipper-lock bag and frozen for up to 1 month. Let frozen turnovers sit at room temperature for 20 min, then bake as directed. (I didn't freeze mine at all and bake them immediately after shaping)
Combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar (reduced to 15g for half recipe) and cinnamon in bowl. Brush turnovers with more reserved juice and sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar. Bake turnovers until well browned, 20 to 26 min (I baked mine at 180°C fan forced for 25 min), rotating baking sheets. Immediately transfer turnovers to wire rack and let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Note: Using half the recipe, I have made four 3.5 cm x 3.5 cm square apple turnovers.
Puff Pastry Dough
Makes about 2 pounds
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp lemon juice
1 cup water, chilled
24 tbsp (3 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
For the dough: Process flour, sugar, and salt in food processor until combined, about 5 secs. With food processor running, add lemon juice, followed by 3/4 cup water, in slow steady stream. Add remaining 1/4 cup water as needed, 1 tbsp at a time, until dough comes together and no flour) bits remain. (I didn't use a processor for this step and the knead the dough by hand)
Turn dough onto sheet of plastic wrap and flatten into 6-inch square. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hr.
For the butter square: Lay butter sticks side by side on sheet of parchment paper. Sprinkle flour over butter and cover with second sheet of parchment. Gently pound butter with rolling pin until butter is softened and flour is fully incorporated, then roll it into 8-inch square. Wrap butter square in plastic and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hr.
Roll chilled dough into 11-inch square on lightly floured counter. Place chilled butter square diagonally in center of dough. Fold corners of dough up over butter square so that corners meet in middle and pinch dough seams to seal.
Using rolling pin, gently tap dough, starting from center and working outward, until square becomes larger and butter begins to soften. Gently roll dough into 14-inch square, dusting with extra flour as needed to prevent sticking. Fold dough into thirds like business letter, then fold rectangle in thirds to form square. Wrap dough in plastic and let rest in refrigerator for 2 hrs.
Repeat the rolling and folding step twice and let dough rest in refrigerator for 2 more hrs before using.
Note: I made my pastry using half of the recipe and rolled it according to half of the dimensions as mentioned in the recipe.
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