I wanted to make breakfast pastries and I knew we had a bag of apples at home, so I began a quick search for some sort of apple pastry. I went through epicurious.com and then headed over to Williams-Sonoma’s recipe section. I found a recipe for Apple-Pear Turnovers. Perfect.
I scanned the recipe and it looked long (that is my usual first-pass at a recipe, just looking at its length), almost too long, until I saw a line at the beginning of the recipe instruction that read “Before you start: make sure an adult is present to help.” Ok, so now I had to make this recipe. It was from a kids’ cookbook, and I couldn’t pass it up because it seemed too lengthy because that would put me…with less patience with a nine-year-old who is old enough to read a recipe but not old enough to use an oven unsupervised? I think not. Williams-Sonoma children: I’ll show you.
With some vengeance and spite, constantly thinking “I bet my fork-score marks are better than those little kids'” and “I added cardamom, bet they didn’t think of that!” I made the following recipe. Yes, I can say I feel proud to be as accomplished as a Williams-Sonoma kid. I have left the original recipe somewhat intact so that you can feel good about yourself too.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kids Baking, by Abigail Johnson Dodge.
For the filling:
2 apples, about 3/4 pound total
1 firm but ripe pear, about 1/2 pound
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 pinch cardamom
For the pastry:
All-purpose flour for rolling
2 frozen puff pastry sheets, each 9 1/2 inches
2 tablespoons sugar
Before you start: Be sure an adult is nearby to help.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease 2 baking sheets with butter.
Make the filling:
Peel (I did not peel), cut into quarters, and core the apples and the pear. Using a small, sharp knife, cut the apple and pear quarters into small chunks.
Put the chunks into a bowl. Add the brown sugar, flour, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and raisins and stir together with a wooden spoon.
Roll out the pastry:
Sprinkle a work surface with some flour. Unfold 1 of the thawed puff pastry sheets on top of the flour. Keep the other sheet wrapped in the refrigerator.
Sprinkle some flour on the pastry. Using a rolling pin, and beginning at the center of the pastry, roll out to the far side. Then roll from the center toward you. After every few rolls, give the pastry a quarter turn and sprinkle the top and bottom of the pastry with more of the flour so the pastry does not stick. Keep rolling and sprinkling until the pastry is a 12 1/2-inch square.
Cut out the squares
Using a ruler and a pizza wheel or table knife (I think you can handle this…just eyeball it.), trim the edges to make a 12-inch square. Pull away the scraps of dough and discard. Cut the 12-inch square into 4 equal 6-inch squares.
Add the filling
Spoon 1/3 cup of the filling into the center of each square. Spread the filling across the middle toward 2 opposite points.
In a small bowl, beat the egg with a fork. Set aside.
Assemble the turnovers
Brush the beaten egg along 2 edges of each square with the pastry brush. Fold one-half of each square over the filling, enclosing it fully and forming a triangle. Press the edges together with the fork to seal them.
Place the 4 turnovers on a prepared baking sheet, spacing them 2 inches apart. Repeat with the remaining puff pastry sheet and filling.
Brush and bake the turnovers
Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of the turnovers with the beaten egg. Sprinkle the turnovers with the sugar.
Put 1 baking sheet on the upper rack in the oven and the other sheet on the lower rack in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Then, using oven mitts, remove the baking sheets and put each one on the opposite rack. Bake until the turnovers are puffed and brown, about 15 minutes more.
Using oven mitts (really?), remove the baking sheets from the oven and set each on a cooling rack to cool for 10 minutes.