Thursday, September 18, 2008

Maybe A "Little" Late? But We have "Apple Turnovers"~!

Barefoot Bloggers is such a fun event and I especially enjoy making the recipes along with everyone else because I seem to be continually amazed at how each of the recipes are adapted around entertaining. I love the idea of inviting friends over and actually having the time to enjoy their company; "Not" run out of the kitchen, see if anyone needs a refill, run back in and finish the next dish, hope everything times out the way I had planned, and get everything out on the table. I have had a few evenings where my guests may have seen glimpses of me. I feel embarrassed because I know they would rather be helping or just relaxing with me included "and" be just as happy eating a ham sandwich. . .heaven forbid! The ham sandwich I mean. Ina's recipes focus on parts of the recipe, if not all, being done ahead of time or where guests can be included in preparation. . .with nothing too hard to accomplish. A glass of wine could actually be held longer then a quick slurp. Nice. Thank you Anne of Anne Strawberry for making this stunning choice. The recipe was user friendly and fun. I did not change a single thing and I loved it! I may add toasted and crushed pecans the next time, but I really enjoyed the turnover just the way it was.

I went to Whole Foods to get apples and the only apples available to me for baking purposes were Honeycrisp. The apple is more on the sweet side without any tart flavor but the apple holds up excellently to baking. No mushiness here. I always use Granny Smith apples so I enjoyed getting out of my little rut. The orange peel and fresh orange juice was another nice touch and I did add more cinnamon and nutmeg then was called for. I love herbs and spices and I think many recipes play down the spices to cover a majority of palettes in hopes that many will adjust according to personal taste.

The Barefoot Contessa Recipe can be found at the Food Network website. I am also printing this one here because I want to have easy access for myself since I am definitely baking this again for the weekend. The recipe is so easy and delicious.

Apple Turnovers
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.

I love how these little turnovers are golden brown with sparkles of colored sugar crystals on the top.

The dried cherries were another great addition, even though the flavor of the cherries did not really jump out and grab the taste buds.

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