Some days are just ho hum, and you need a pick-me-up to turn things around. That, my friends, is when you must head to the kitchen. No, I’m not encouraging you to eat your feelings (though a once-in-a-while ice-cream binge never really hurt anyone, right?). But I am encouraging you to pour those feelings into something productive. And what’s more productive than dessert? Okay, lots of things are more productive than dessert. But lots of things are less productive, too. So, hungry yet?
These 20-minute apple turnovers (adapted from Food52) require two things I happened to have in my freezer and refrigerator at the end of a snowed-in week: apples and puff pastry. Throw in a whole lot of good spices and a bit of brown sugar, and you have the makings of a pretty awesome dessert. Like most great inventions, this recipe had me saying, “How have I not thought of this before?” I’m looking at you, Snuggie.
Yes, these turnovers are easy to make, but they also have that wonderful homemade-ness about them that you just can’t get from the store. They taste like somebody’s super cool, hyper-organized mom made them (what up, Beany and Bear?). Basically, they are the essence of productivity, wrapped in flaky pastry. And you don’t even have to tell anyone they only took 20 minutes.
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, defrosted
- 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
- 2 medium apples (something crisp with a little tartness, like Honeycrisp or Granny Smith), peeled and diced
- ¼ brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Juice and zest of ½ lemon, divided
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- Pinch of ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg plus 1 tablespoon water (for egg wash)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Defrost frozen puff pastry (either let it sit in the refrigerator overnight, or let it sit on the countertop for 40 minutes to 1 hour). Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apples, and cook them for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Juice the ½ lemon over the apples, and add the brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and lemon zest. Cook for about 3 minutes, until the apples are knife-tender and sauce is thickened. Remove from heat, and stir in the vanilla extract.
- While the filling cools, unfold the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface, and use a floured rolling pin to roll it out just slightly to make a square (try to keep the edges straight if you can). Use a sharp knife to cut the pastry into 4 equal squares for 4 large apple turnovers. (You could also do 8 squares for 8 small turnovers.)
- Brush the egg wash along the edges of the squares (this will be a binder for the turnovers). Add a heaping ¼ cup of the apple mixture (1/8 if you’re making smaller turnovers) in the middle of each square. Fold the pastry in half diagonally, and lightly press the edges together. Run a knife along the edges to seal the pastries completely, or you can use the tines of a fork to add a decorative design.
- Transfer the turnovers to baking sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment paper. Lightly brush more of the egg wash on the tops of each turnover. Then make 1 or 2 small slits on the top of each turnover and sprinkle them with additional sugar if desired.
- Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until tops are golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and let them cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack.
- To make the glaze (though they’re pretty and delicious without the glaze, too), whisk together the powdered sugar, milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla until totally combined. Add more milk to make the glaze thinner or more powdered sugar for a thicker glaze. Drizzle it over warm turnovers, and serve immediately.