Back to School Recipes and Tips
Plan ahead for Back to School meals and snacks and for the upcoming holiday of Rosh Hashanah. Apple Turnovers are great for both!
The aroma of baking apples reminds us that fall is around the corner, even if the weather is still hot and humid down here in the Low Country. My kids and I used to pick the ripe apples in orchards where they grew up in Indiana. I would make them into pies and freeze them. Today, I prefer the smaller Apple Turnovers, easy to eat and serve. I bake and freeze them ahead of time. I also like the small size for portion control, ease of eating by small children and the elderly.
This recipe is a perfect marriage with this month’s Foodie Lit choice and for the upcoming holiday of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, when sweet apples are traditionally eaten to usher in a sweet New Year.
In J.R. Ridgley's 16Wheeler, main character Carrie Marshall recently a widow, recently without a job and recently adrift in what was an orderly and planned life, takes off spontaneously to visit her grandchildren. She doesn’t check the weather and is stranded in a freezing snow storm, hearing her dead husband’s voice berating her judgment, as he so often did in life—her dead cell phone, lack of food and emergency supplies.
Trucker John Graham, a widower with grown children, is constantly on the road to escape his life after his beloved wife died of cancer. His life is in his rig, the cab with a microwave, refrigerator, shelves, a bed and internet. His friends are truckers he sees at truck stops and talks to on his CB. His kind heart has him stopping for the car he sees on the side of the road, rescuing Carrie. And turning him from a suspected predator to a hero who saves her life.
Like Noah’s Ark, the rig becomes the world for John and Carrie, adrift in the world. I will never look at an 18Wheeler in the same way again!
Yield 18 turnovers
4 medium apples, cored, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup raisins, optional
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 package puff pastry (both pastries)
1 egg for egg wash
1 teaspoon water
Defrost puff pastry in refrigerator
Core, peel and dice apples.
In a medium saucepan, add apples, butter, orange peel, honey, raisins, vanilla, cinnamon and cornstarch. Cook about 5 minutes or until the apple softens and the mixture thickens.
Remove from heat and reserve.
Tear a sheet of parchment paper the size of the baking sheet. Place it on a clean counter. Take 1 puff pastry out of refrigerator, leaving other in refrigerator. The puff pastry rolls out and work better when it is cold.
Gently open puff pastry and lay flat. With a flour dusted rolling pin, roll puff pastry gently vertically and horizontally, to enlarge a few inches on each side.
Preheat oven to 375 F.
With a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the puff pastry into 9 equal squares.
Take 1 tablespoon of the apple mixture and place in the upper right hand corner of the square, leaving a little edge clear. Fold the square down into a triangle. Use the edges of a fork to press the 2 edges together attractively. Repeat with the rest of the squares. Carefully move parchment paper and apple turnovers to baking sheet.
Beat egg and water for egg wash. Brush each turnover with a pastry brush.
Place in oven. Prepare other puff pastry in the same manner. Bake each for 10-12 minutes or until the tops of the pastry are golden.
Remove from oven and cool.
Serve when warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate for up to 2-3 days. If you like extra sweet, drizzle with confectioners sugar mixed with a drop of water.
To freeze: Cool completely. Wrap each turnover in plastic wrap and place in freezer bag or container. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Dairy Free: Use non-dairy margarine in place of butter.
Vegan: Omit egg for egg wash. Use 1 tablespoon almond milk mixed with 1 teaspoon sugar. Brush on top of turnovers. Mix more if needed.
Other fruit: Follow the recipe with peaches, pears or plums.
Lemon zest: For a slightly sharper flavor, use lemon zest instead of orange zest.
Cut the sugar: Use Stevia in place of honey, following directions for conversion measurements from package.
Try phyllo dough in place of puff pastry for a flakier dough in sliced loaf.
When phyllo dough is defrosted, place damp towel on top. Remove each layer and brush with butter or margarine. Place the apples down the center, leaving room on each side and at the top and bottom.
Slightly fold the top and bottom in and roll lengthwise, placing the seam on the bottom. With a sharp knife, cut slightly into dough to create slices, about 1” apart. Brush with extra butter or margarine.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and sliced almonds if desired. Follow baking directions.