Thursday, September 18, 2008

Apple Turnovers--Barefoot Bloggers Bonus Recipe

In addition to the two regularly scheduled Ina Garten, recipes a month we Barefoot Bloggers post on the 2nd and 4th Thursday, there is also an optional bonus recipe, selected by the person who refers or links the most people to the Barefoot Blogger's website (here!). This month it was the wonderful Anne of Anne Strawberry who won and picked: Ina's Apple Turnovers.

Apple Turnovers are a weakness of mine and I will occasionally buy a box of the frozen Pepperidge Farm Apple Turnovers and bake them in the oven. This is because one more time: I AM NOT A BAKER! I really wish I was. I look at all the Tuesday's With Dorie Bloggers (I even have her book) and the Daring Bakers posts, drool and think--I wish I could do that! Quite frankly it intimidates the heck out of me. If anyone ever starts a "Cautious Bakers" or even better a "Wussy Bakers" where those of us baking phobes could start with bar cookies and work our way up to bundt cakes or something count me in but until then i will just admire everyone's baked goods from afar. But, for the apple turnovers, I thought, "Hey, I can do this!" I wouldn't have to make dough or anything, puff pastry comes in a box so I should just be able to throw apples and stuff in and put them in the oven--easy peasy! But alas it just reinforced my NOT A BAKER theory even more.

This was my first time working with puff pastry (remember NOT A BAKER!) and although I have a rolling pin (bought at Ross eons ago), I really needed something to roll dough on. I finally ended up with a flexible cutting board which was just under 12x12--so a little tricky to maneuver. I also probably waited a bit to long after setting the sheets of puff pastry out to defrost before starting on the recipe. To spare you a lot of the gory details, lets just say I ended up with some very assorted sized squares and what I thought would be ugly, misshapen turnovers oozing out filling. I considered scrapping them and going back to the store to buy the puff pastry shells (you don't roll those right?!?) But I stuck my sad little turnovers in the oven and hoped for the best. As it turns out, puff pastry is fairly forgiving. What looked ugly unbaked actually didn't look that bad once they came out of the oven. Sure, there will be prettier, fancier apple turnovers out there but I did something new for me, I am proud of myself and I think Ina would be too! (In my reoccurring dream that Ina and Jeffery adopt me, I think that Ina would show them to Jeffrey and say "Look Jeffery, Deb baked her first apple turnovers aren't they cute?!" Just like a proud parent looking at their preschool child's latest art project would. ;-) Hey, a girl can dream can't she!)

You can find the recipe for Apple Turnovers here at Food Network

Apple Turnovers
by The Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten

1 teaspoon grated orange zest
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 1/4 pounds tart apples, such as Empire or Granny Smith (3 apples)
3 tablespoons dried cherries
3 tablespoons sugar, plus extra to sprinkle on top
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch kosher salt
1 package (17.3 ounces, 2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.Combine the orange zest and orange juice in a bowl. Peel, quarter, and core the apples and then cut them in 3/4-inch dice. Immediately toss the apples with the zest and juice to prevent them from turning brown. Add the cherries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.Flour a board and lightly roll each sheet of puff pastry to a 12 by 12-inch square. Cut each sheet into 4 smaller squares and keep chilled until ready to use.Brush the edges of each square with the egg wash and neatly place about 1/3 cup of the apple mixture on half of the square. Fold the pastry diagonally over the apple mixture and seal by pressing the edges with a fork. Transfer to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Brush the top with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar, make 2 small slits, and bake for 20 minutes, until browned and puffed. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes/Results: I liked the flavors in this recipe; the tartness of the apples, the addition of the cherries and the touch of citrus from the orange juice and zest. I iced some of my tarts because I like them with icing but they were also perfectly good without it. Would I make this recipe again? Maybe--as I do need to work on my puff pastry skills. If I need them in a hurry to feed a craving i will still probably buy the Pepperidge Farms ones--not as good of course but much faster and easier!

Thanks to Anne for a wonderful pick! Because this is an optional recipe, not all the Barefoot Bloggers may have posted it but you can check out who did here. We are up to over a hundred BBs now! Next week we we will be making Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup (yum!) picked by Chelle of Brown-Eyed Baker. Then there are only three recipes to go until I get to make my pick--I can't wait!


  1. Okay, Deb. If they look that good after you baked them, I have to imagine that you were being very hard on yourself. Those look AWESOME! Way better than mine do... and I bake all the time. I really wish we had done the icing. That sounds yummy, yummy!

    You're too funny. I always thought I wasn't a baker too, but lately I am doing it more and more. I like your addition of icing too.

    Oh, I'm not buying a word of the whole "I am not a baker" thing, Deb. No way Jose -- not when I see how your turnovers came out! They look SPECTACULAR. They look perfect! They can't possibly be improved on! And you DRIZZLED A GLAZE on them, no less! I think you're a natural.

    They're gorgeous! Good job! And good call on drizzling them with icing. I thought mine were a bit dry....

    What do you mean you can't bake? Yours look great! The puff pastry is always fiddley and funny looking until it bakes. Then, all is forgiven.
    Great job tackling your baking fears, I love apple turnovers!

    Aww, sorry you had trouble with your puff pastry sheets! I think your turnovers look wonderful though, I love the golden browned tops, that is how they are supposed to be but I had to take mine out a little early so the bottoms wouldn't burn. The glaze looks great on these as well! Way to tackle a recipe, Deb! And I love your Ina dreams :)

    that looks really yummy...You should try the little cream cheese filled pastries at panya... if you can eat dairy that is.

    it's funny, but I just read your bio and I have never met anyone who also loved 'like water for chocolate'. This is a wonderful book!!
    anyway, i also live in hawaii and am named Debi...
    catch you again soon.

  2. To all of you wonderful people who left the comments on my post that I cut and pasted above.

    I went in to fix a typo in my post this morning and the whole thing wouldn't save and went back to my first draft from yesterday! Augh! No clue what happened or why but I cut and pasted and reposted and hopefully it is close to the same!

    I really love and value all of your feedback so I took the liberty of cutting and pasting your comments off of my email so I didn't lose them.

    I'll be coming around to check out your turnovers soon and despite your wonderful praise: STILL NOT A BAKER! ;-)

  3. Great job trying something new- they look fabulous and you seem like you are a baker to me!

    So... what you going to chose for your recipe? I can't wait to see!

  4. You are selling yourself short - your food always looks great and there is no reason baking should be any different. Also, you can cheat with puff pastry and buy pre-rolled sheets, and spare yourself some of the pain!

  5. Deb, I think you did wonderful job. Your turnovers are golden brown and flaky and even though I can't taste it I can imagine that the apple filling was to die for. I absolutely love Ina. And I really believe she would be so proud of you, just like I am. Great Post.

  6. Wow! They look great. I'm also not a baker. Things that rise frighten me. But I've come to love puff pastry.

  7. I had my first puff pastry experience this week, too, and it was a (qualified) success! Congrats on giving it a try - that's the best part!

  8. I think yours are lovely. That's the great thing about most pastries--sometimes when they look a little rustic it's all the better.

  9. Hi Deb. Found your blog through Teresa's chocolate blog. Your apple turnovers look delicious--better than I could bake. I am not a baker, either. Love your blog.

  10. Thanks again everyone! You are all great support for my baking phobias! ;-)

    Gloria--Teresa's chocolate blog is great--I gain weight just looking at it! Thanks for dropping by!

  11. Your post made me laugh. Our experience with these was very similar. Maybe we should start "Wussy Bakers" together! They looked pretty in the end and the icing was a nice touch.


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