Apple, Pear and Golden Beet Turnovers
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Yields: 8 servings Prep Time: 25 minutes Total Time: 1.5 hours
Sweet, with a hint of tang alongside the warmth of cinnamon, these turnovers are filled with apples, pears and golden beets.
For the dough:
1 cup unbleached white flour
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (plus 1/4 cup for rolling out)
2 tablespoons cane sugar
7 tablespoons cold (salted) butter, diced
10 tablespoons water, ice cold
For the filling:
1 cup Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced about 1 cubic centimeter
1 cup pear, peeled and diced about 1 cubic centimeter
1/2 cup Golden beets, peeled and diced about 1 cubic centimeter
1/4 cup cane sugar
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
For the egg wash:
1 teaspoon water
2-3 teaspoons sugar to sprinkle on top before cooking
1. Combine 1 cup of white flour, 3/4 cup of wheat flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a bowl. Dice butter into 1 cm cubes and using a pastry cutter, cut into flour mixture.
2. Place a cup or so of cold water in a bowl with ice. Slowly spoon out 1 tablespoon at a time into the flour and butter mixture. Keep mixing and kneading together until a dough is formed – about 10 tablespoons of ice water. Try to avoid the temptation to keep adding excess water, as the butter will soften with the heat of your hands, showing how moist the dough really is. Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes.
3. While the dough is in the refrigerator, begin the filling. In a medium saucepan, combine the diced apples, pears and beets with 1 tablespoon of butter. Add sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and lemon juice. Bring to a medium to high heat.
4. In a small bowl, combine 3/4 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water. Mix well so there are no lumps, and add to apple mixture on the stove. Continue to stir at medium heat until filling thickens, about 10 to 15 minutes.
5. Remove sauce from heat and preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
6. Remove dough from the refrigerator. Cut in quarters, working with one quarter at a time. Roll dough out on surface sprinkled with a bit of whole wheat pastry flour.
7. Roll dough to about 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 2 sections, as “squarish” as possible, discarding the remnants.
8. Place sections on a parchment paper lined baking pan. Spoon 1.5 - 2 tablespoons of apple, pear and beet mixture onto the middle of the dough square.
9. Fold dough over, forming a triangle, so filling is in the middle. Seal the edges of the dough together with your fingers. Use the tip of a fork to seal and create the decorative edges.
10. Continue and repeat steps 7 – 9 until filling and dough are gone.
11. Make an egg wash by beating 1 egg with 1 teaspoon of water. Brush lightly onto each turnover with a pastry brush (there will be a lot of egg mixture left over).
12. Cut 3 slits in each turnover with a knife to let the air escape when baking. Sprinkle each turnover with a dash of sugar.
13. Bake at 400 degrees for 23-26 minutes, until turnovers are brown and cooked, careful not to burn.
14. Let cool before serving.
Turnovers or hand-held pies are so enticing to me. I don’t know why they always seem to be calling my name. There is something about a pastry that doesn’t need a fork (although you could always use one).
I do have to watch my pastry and sweet intake though, as too many baked treats don’t sit well with me. My husband always makes fun of me for not being able to make a “normal” recipe. In part, he is right. I am challenged by the idea of trying to up the nutrition quality of foods, yet still keeping them super tasty.
For these turnovers, I was finally ready to take on the challenge of seeing how I could give an extra boost of freshness and health to a traditionally heavy pastry. So, for this task I turned to Goodness Greeness for a supply of fresh and organic fruits and vegetables, seeing what inspiration came about for these delicious pastries.
When my kids were toothless, puree eating babies, I used to make a puree with beets and blueberries and a dash of cinnamon. They loved it! So, I applied a similar principle and came up with apples, pears and golden beets, again, with a dash of cinnamon. This time, I added a bit of nutmeg and lemon juice (and of course a little sugar) to bring out the sweetness of these tangy items.
While the dough is still a pastry dough, there is slightly less butter and about half of the flour is whole wheat pastry flour, adding extra B vitamins, fiber and minerals. Testing through my husband and kiddos resulted in a resounding two thumbs up (golden beets and all)!
If you like the idea of fresh fruits and veggies in your pastries, here are a few other favorites!