Turnovers more ways than one

This past week I did the dreadful turning over of clothes from summer to fall. When you live in a 400-sq. foot apartment in NYC every inch counts. (Any New Yorker will tell you storage space is impossible to come by.) We even go "ooh and aah" over how we gained 1 sq. foot because we got rid of the 100 reusable shopping bags that have been stored under the kitchen sink for over a year.

Typically, in situations like these you need to purchase a closet, like the one we have from IKEA which resides in our bedroom/my office that my husband Chris, our dog Trixie and I share.

Yes, Trixie is a fashionista and shares in our most precious space and some would say she is far more fashionable than her parents. The nightmare of 'turning over' begins with pulling all of the clothes out of the IKEA closet and dragging the winter clothes out of the back closet which is barricaded by our bed. When pulled out it looks like a giant piece of salami. The entire room is in shambles for a day and Ms. Trixie watches from the hallway as I tackle this amazing feat! While I am conquering and dividing the clothes situation I am thinking about our upcoming home "Sheridan Green", and how just this week the structure is starting to have a frame!

I thought about our kitchen which will have an oven that will no longer have the nickname "easy bake" and enough space where I do not feel like I am doing the tango with my husband over making a pot of coffee. Or, my American Dream which is to have a normal size refrigerator that is not sized for a college dorm. And finally, a walk in closet and actual storage space where the clothes are not hanging like stuffed salamis. There will be 1 more turning over of the closets in Spring of 2013 and who knows what that will inspire then. But in the meantime, all of this turning over of closets and daydreaming of spaces got me thinking about a perfect tribute and delight to the fall season — the Apple Turnover.

INSIDE-OUT PUFF PASTRY
adapted from the book “Desserts” by Pierre Hermé

Turnovers are typically made with a puff pastry dough that contains hundreds of thin layers of butter and pastry dough, which puffs up into a light, crispy pastry once it bakes in the oven. There are four main ingredients in puff pastry: flour, butter, salt, and water and the way these ingredients are combined is which causes the puff reaction to occur. This was the first time I ever made puff pastry and if you are on the fence about making your own you should just go for it! Typically, when making puff pastry the block of butter goes on the inside, but Pierre Hermé has it going on the outside. Since it was my first time making puff pastry I had nothing to compare this to so I figured what the hell. The process will take you about 2 days to prepare and to be honest I had my moments but this buttery, crispy puff pastry was totally worth it.

1st "block" mixture

  • 3 sticks plus 4 tbsp of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

directions

  1. Put butter in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream until smooth.
  2. Add the flour and mix until combined.
  3. Scrape the soft dough onto a large sheet of plastic wrap and form a 6 inch square and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Transient

2nd "block" mixture

  • 3/4 cup of cold water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp white vinegar
  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, melted and cooled

directions

  1. Mix the water, salt and vinegar together and set aside.
  2. Put flour in the mixer on medium-low speed and add the melted butter and mix until the flour is moistened.
  3. Gradually add the water mixture slowly to the flour while the mixer is on low speed. You might not need all the water and will know once the dough begins to wipe the sides of the bowl clean. The dough should be elastic like tart dough.
  4. Transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic wrap and shape it into a square that is about 2 inches smaller than the butter block. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Transient

to roll and turn

First mixture: Place the chilled butter block on a well-floured work surface (marble is ideal as it typically keeps cool) Roll dough into a rectangle that is roughly 12x7 and be sure to roll in both directions and dust with flour as necessary.

Transient

Second mixture: Place the flour block onto the bottom half of the rolled out butter block and fold the top half of the rolled-out dough over and press the dough into a neat package. Make sure the block that is inside reaches out to all corners and comes to about a 7x8 size. Wrap the dough and refrigerate for another 2 hours.

First double turn or wallet turn: Roll the dough on a well floured surface to about 21–24 inches long, 3x its width. (do not worry if your dough isn’t exactly the specified size) Fold bottom quarter of dough up to the center and then the top quarter of the dough down to the center (so they meet). Now fold dough in half at the center. (you will have 4 layers of dough)Wrap the dough and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Second turn: Repeat with above. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or preferably overnight.

Last turn: Same as above however you will be doing a letter or business fold. Roll the dough three times the longer than its width. Fold one end so it covers the middle third of the dough and fold the other end over it. The dough should be in the shape of a square (if not it will still be fine as long as it is 3x the size as its width). Wrap the dough and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 

Note:  You can roll and turn the dough, wrap it and let it stay in the refrigerator for several hours rather than the minimum 2 hours to accommodate your schedule. Just make sure you do all the steps. Also you can refrigerate the dough for 48 hours or put in freezer for up to a month.

Roll the dough to about 1/8" thickness and refrigerate the dough for another 30 minutes before cutting. 

APPLE TURNOVERS

ingredients

  • 3 large apples such as granny smith, crispins, or mutsu (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • 1 tsp corn-starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 3 tbsp of Laird's apple jack whiskey
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp of dried black currants
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 egg and 2 tbsp mixed for eggwash 
  • 3 tbsp of granulated sugar for sprinkling on turnovers
note: you can make vanilla sugar for sprinkling by taking a used vanilla bean and covering it in a glass container with sugar.

directions

  1. Peel, quarter, and core the apples and then cut them in 3/4-inch dice.
  2. Add to a pot over medium heat the cider, whiskey, lemon zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, vanilla and corn starch. Stir for about 5 minutes over a slow boil and then shut off heat.
  3. Place apples and currants into hot liquid and let sit until cooled.
note: you can prepare this filling the day before and store in the refrigerator or use immediately once it is at room temperature.

Assembly

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Take the Puff Pastry and cut a 12x12 inch square and create (4) 6x6 squares for the Apple Turnovers. 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 on top, and bake for 20 minutes, until browned and puffed. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Transient

Makes about 8 Apple Turnovers.