July 04, 2011

Raspberry-Apple Turnovers

As we've noted in other posts, we're getting lots and lots of raspberries right now.  We've used lots of them to make cookies, and I've been putting some on cereal every morning, but that isn't keeping up with them now that we're picking more than a pint of berries a day.   I was looking through some of my old cooking magazines for some ideas what to do with them when I found a good option:  Turnovers.

The August/September 2010 issue of Fine Cooking featured a recipe for Blackberry-Apple Turnovers.  That looked pretty good, so I decided I'd make a few changes to that recipe - using raspberries in place of blackberries, of course, but also changing the seasonings a bit - to make my own Raspberry-Apple Turnovers.

It turned out to be a bit more of a hassle than I'd hoped would be the case.   Partly that was inherent in the recipe, but I didn't do myself any favors with one of my own choices, either.

The dough is made by processing flour, sugar and salt with cold butter, cream cheese and cream.   I know why they specify that the butter and cream cheese be cold - processing the dough that way results in little bits of the cream cheese and butter being spread through the dough, which makes for a nice, flaky pastry as the butter and cream cheese melt while the dough bakes in the oven - but it's also a chore for the food processor.  Partway through the first step - processing the butter and cream cheese into the ingredients other than the cream - my food processor jammed up.  The blade literally would not move. 

I rearranged the ingredients, tried again, and the same thing happened.  I ended up having to process the dough ingredient in two batches, but even that way, by the time it was done, my food processor had overheated and shut down.  I was worried I might have burnt out the motor, but it thankfully worked again after I let it cool down for an hour or so.   Even so, I consider that something of a problem.   I've had some problems processing larger batches of dough in the past - especially pizza dough - and I've been considering purchasing a larger-capacity food processor for the big-batch stuff, but I didn't want to kill off the one I have in the process. 

The other major problem I had was my own fault, as I changed the order of a couple of steps.  The Fine Cooking recipe specified getting the dough ready to fill before making the filling, but I reversed the steps.  Doing it that way, then taking the time necessary to roll out and cut the chilled dough, resulted in the fruit in the filling having released a lot of its juices (not surprising, since the filling included a bit of salt, which tends to draw out moisture).  That resulted in the filling being pretty soupy, and in it being a bit of a soggy mess to assemble the turnovers. 

After all the effort, and the problems noted above, the results were still pretty darn good.  The crust was nice and flaky, while the filling was tart and sweet and just plain delicious.   Some of the filling leaked out the sides of the turnovers, but that was the case even in the picture that accompanied the recipe in the magazine, and it didn't detract at all from the flavor.   I'm not sure they were good enough to risk killing off my food processor, but by the next time I make this recipe, I'll have a larger-capacity food processor for the big jobs... and I'll remember to make the filling right before it's needed, which will reduce the hassle and mess by quite a bit.   But with those cautions in mind, I'm pretty sure I'll be making these again.  I recommend this recipe, and with some minor adjustments, I think it would serve well with a variety of different sorts of berries, including strawberries and blueberries.

Raspberry-Apple Turnovers

yield = 12 turnovers

2 1/2            cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2                  tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2               teaspoon kosher salt
6                  ounces cold unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
6                  ounces cold cream cheese, cut into 12 pieces
1/2               cup heavy cream

1 1/4            cups fresh raspberries
1                  large, sweet apple (I used Pink Lady), peeled,
                      cored and diced fine
1/2               cup light brown sugar
2                  tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2               teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4               teaspoon kosher salt
1/8               teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1                  large egg yolk
                    turbinado or coarse white sugar

Make the Dough:
Put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor.  Add the pieces of butter and cream cheese and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 8-10 pulses.  Add the cream and pulse, pausing to scrape the bowl once or twice, until the dough starts to come together.  Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface, push it together and pat it into a rectangle.  Wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
     NOTE:  If you have a smaller-capacity food processor, you may need to make the dough in batches, each using 1/2 of the ingredients.  

Preparing to Bake:
Position oven racks at top- and bottom-third positions. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Assembling the Turnovers:
Roll out the dough on a lightly-floured surface to make a 13x18-inch rectangle.  Make sure to loosen and turn the dough several times to prevent sticking.  Trim the edges to form a 12x16-inch rectangle and slice the dough into twelve 4x4-inch squares.  Arrange six squares on each baking sheet.

In a medium bowl, lightly toss the raspberries, apple, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg until combined.

Beat the egg white with 1 teaspoon water.  Brush the outer edges of each dough square with the egg wash.  Spoon a scant two tablespoons of the fruit mixture into the center of each square.  Fold the dough over to make a triangular shape and press to seal the edges.  Brush the top of each turnover with egg wash and sprinkle with a bit of turbinado or coarse white sugar.  Use the tip of a paring knife to cut a small slit on top of each turnover.

Baking and Serving: 
Put the baking sheets in the oven, one on the lower and one on the upper oven rack.  Bake 15 minutes, then turn and switch the positions of the baking sheets and bake another 12 minutes.  The turnovers should be nicely browned and the filling bubbling.

Transfer the baking sheets to cooling racks.  Allow to cool 5 minutes, then use a spatula to transfer the turnovers to the cooling rack.  Allow to cool completely, then serve.

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