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
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!