I was somewhat pleased with my last batch of Turnovers, but I had enough trouble with them that I wanted to give it another go. But since I had such a hard time, I decide to use a different recipe. For this batch, I chose William-Sonoma’s Essentials of Baking.
I carefully prepared my Pastry Dough, and cut my 8, 4.5 inch squares out of the initial 9 x 18 rectangle specified. The next step was to peel, core, and thinly slice four large apples to be saute in a large frying pan… wait, four apples?? That’s half an apple per turnover. Uh, okay. Maybe they reduce. The recipe calls for 1.75 lbs total weight in apples. Wow.
Whatever. I did as instructed and found that I ended up with about three times too much filling than needed. Another thing I figured out right away was that “thinly sliced” apple wedges are simply not going to fit into my folded squares comfortably. Not even close. So I saved myself and chopped my apple slices a bit while still in the pan. The recipe should have called for at least chopped apples to begin with, which made me wonder if anyone at William-Sonoma had actually tried to make this recipe. Not encouraging.
I actually checked the book when I saw that four apple thing and noticed that they also included a weight in grams. So I weighed my peeled, cored, and sliced apples and found I was at around 490 grams. The book wanted 675! Just in case, I peeled another apple and added it in to give me 580 grams before cooking. My granny-smith’s were pretty small after all. Looking at the mass of apple slices in my pan, I just couldn’t see all that going into eight turnovers so I resisted adding yet another apple. I’m glad I did. I had enough filling for a whole pie, and then some…
So I filled my squares with the meager two tablespoons of filling per turnover (leaving me enough for another two batches…) and baked those suckers.
They came out pretty nice looking, and puffed a bit more than the pictures in the book. I’m glad I didn’t do the full six turns that their dough recipe called for or they would have puffed into nothing but flakes. Four turns is plenty.
Update! 3/20/05 – I used up the rest of the filling and the other half of the pastry dough. I really think that the recipe was meant to make two batches of eight instead of just one, and that it was somehow missed in the editing. This would make a lot more sense. Six turns on the dough is still too much by a long shot, but even my four/five seemed to really poof this time. I’m not sure why. If you like your pastries really poofy then it should be fine. I tried a little variation in this batch and tried filling the turnovers a bit fuller than two tablespoons as indicated in the recipe. It worked, but the pastries tend to break open a bit. Not terrible, but I just wanted a bit more apple, you know?
I also tried adding cinnamon and sugar to the tops instead of just sugar. It added just a little more flavor. One tip for pastries like these – don’t brush the tops with your egg wash all the way to the edges (where you used the tines of a fork to close the pastries) as it (and the sugar that then sticks to it) will cause the edges to brown and/or burn more quickly. Leave the edges clean and I think overall they will brown more evenly.