What are apple turnovers? At the most basic, they are sugar-covered puff pastry triangles, filled with stewed apples. But at their most wonderful, these apple treats can be a lot more than that. Served hot from the oven, golden and crunchy with sugar, filled with spiced apples they make a memorable end to a meal. And they're just as good served cold with your afternoon tea. In that case, a second filling of whipped cream may be added to the pastry triangles.
Whichever route you choose, apple turnovers need to be fresh to be memorable, the puff pastry at its most crunchy. There's nothing appetising about soggy, flabby pastry. Fortunately, there are many brands of good quality ready-made puff pastry in the shops if you don't feel like making your own.
And for the filling? Traditionally, this would be made from rather sharp cooking apples, with an extra flavouring of lemon rind and lemon juice. I like to add a dessert apple - diced very finely - for texture.
There's nothing stopping you experimenting with flavours. Apple and lemon is still a favourite. But if it's the middle of winter and you fancy something warming, why not try apple and cinnamon? Or replace the lemon with orange and a teaspoon of marmalade. Both fillings will produce very memorable apple turnovers. And as for adding a few raspberries to the mix ...
This makes 8 apple turnovers, and I'm not even suggesting you make your own puff pastry, opting instead for a treat that's relatively quick to prepare. If you're a kitchen wiz and love making pastry.... please don't let me stop you! ;-)
Start by preparing the filling. Peel and core your apples and dice them finely. Place in a pan with a splash of water, the caster sugar and your chosen flavouring (lemon rind and juice, orange rind and juice or a teaspoon of cinnamon). Put over a medium heat and stew until the apples are soft and a little collapsed. Leave to cool.
Set the oven to 180°C / 350°F / gas mark 4.
Divide the puff pastry into eight pieces. Roll each piece into a square.
Place the apple filling onto the pastry, dampen the pastry's edges and fold it corner to corner to form a triangle. (By the way, Mrs Beeton instructs to roll the pastry out into a circle and fold that into a triangle. You then 'turn over' the pastry so the join is underneath. Starting with a pastry square is, perhaps, not as traditional, but a lot easier.)
Press the edges well together to seal. You don't want any of the filling to be running out.
Glaze the top of the pastry with egg wash and sprinkle thickly with coarse caster sugar. Turn the pastry triangles over and repeat do the other side.
Transfer the prepared treats to a lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes until puffed up and golden.
Serve immediately, with whipping or thick clotted cream for an impressive end to your dinner.
...you could gild the lily:
Your pastry is nice and puffed up, the apple filling has reduced and collapsed. You now have a small empty space between the apples and the pastry lid ... just crying out to be filled with cream.
How do you do this?
Leave the pastry triangles to cool. Beat 100ml of whipping cream until it holds its shape. Fill the cream into a piping bag. Make a small hole in the side of the pasty and pipe in some of the cream.
Then serve your creation with a large pot of tea.