Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Apple and Dried Cherry Turnover



I hope everyone had a nice Christmas!  I'm sorry I've been a bit absent lately... the holidays were busy this year and we're not quite done yet!  Our good friends, Justin and Dana, from North Carolina are visiting this week through the New Year so I'll be gone for a little while longer.  So I thought I'd leave you with this delicious homemade breakfast treat until I have time to blog again!

These homemade Apple and Dried Cherry Turnovers are extremely easy, quick, and painless to put together!  Only a few ingredients required and minimal steps to assemble this perfect grab and go breakfast during the busy holiday season.

Personally, I grew up loving apple turnovers.  It was always a treat when my dad and I would go to the Portuguese bakery to get fresh pospico's (Portuguese rolls) for our big Sunday lunch.  I looked forward to it because that meant I got to pick any dessert of my choice.  The decision was a difficult one because the Portuguese really know how to bake!  They're known for their flaky crusts and custard consistencies- a delicious combination!  One of my favorites today are their pasteis de nata's, but back then I always chose their apple turnover. 

This homemade version was a close replica to my childhood favorite.  It was my first time making turnovers and I think Ina Garten's recipe is a perfect recipe to start with.  It's simple and straight forward, allowing room for personal adaptations.  The next time I make this, I might add some brown sugar... I love a really sweet and thick apple filling.  I also added more dried cherries then the recipe called for- every turnover should have a few cherries so the apple and cherry flavor combination is evident with each bite. How do you like your turnovers?!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!!


Place your frozen puff pastry on a floured pastry mat:


Unfold it:


And roll it out into a 12 inch x 12 inch square:


Then cut it in half vertically and horizontally to create 4, 6x6 inch squares:


Repeat these steps with the second piece of puff pastry and place all 8 squares on a plate to refrigerate until the rest of your ingredients are ready:


Prepare your Granny Smith apples by peeling and slicing them into 3/4 inch cubes:


Meanwhile, grate orange zest with a cheese grater:


And juice your orange:


Combine both the 1 teaspoon of orange zest and 3 tablespoons of orange juice in a small bowl, add immediately to your apples:


Toss to coat:


Add your dried cherries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a dash of salt to your apples:


Stir until well combined:


Meanwhile, beat your egg and water in a small bowl:


Remove the puff pastry from your refrigerator and place one square at a time on your pastry mat.  Brush the edge of your puff pastry with the egg wash mixture:


Add your fruit mixture to half of the square:


Fold your puff pastry diagonally over the apple mixture to meet the other side:


Press down to seal the edges:


Then press the edges of the pastry with the tines of a fork to secure your filling and securely seal the edges:


Transfer your turnover to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and brush with egg mixture:


Generously sprinkle with sugar:


Poke two small slits in the turnover


Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.  Once removed from the oven, sprinkle with additional sugar and serve once cooled:



Dig into this flaky delicious breakfast treat!


Yumm!!








Apple and Dried Cherry Turnovers
Ina Garten, Back to Basics
Makes: 8 turnovers
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients
1 package of Puff Pastry (defrosted overnight)
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water, for egg wash
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 1/4 pounds Granny Smith apples (3 apples)
1/4 cup dried cherries
3 tablespoons sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
2 tablespoon flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of kosher salt

Directions

Place your frozen puff pastry on a floured pastry mat,  Unfold it and roll it out into a 12 inch x 12 inch square.  Then cut it in half vertically and horizontally to create 4, 6x6 inch squares.  Repeat these steps with the second piece of puff pastry and place all 8 squares on a plate to refrigerate until the rest of your ingredients are ready.

Prepare your Granny Smith apples by peeling and slicing them into 3/4 inch cubes.  Meanwhile, zest your orange zest with a cheese grater and extract 3 tablespoons of fresh orange juice.  Combine both the 1 teaspoon of orange zest and 3 tablespoons of orange juice in a small bowl and add immediately to your apples.  Toss to coat.  Add your dried cherries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a dash of salt to your apples.  Stir until well combined.

Meanwhile, beat your egg and water in a small bowl.  Remove the puff pastry from your refrigerator and place one square at a time on your pastry mat.  Brush the edge of your puff pastry with the egg wash mixture.  Add your fruit mixture to half of the square.  Fold your puff pastry diagonally over the apple mixture to meet the other side.  Press down to seal the edges.  Then press the edges of the pastry with the tines of a fork to secure your filling and securely seal the edges.  Transfer your turnover to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and brush with egg mixture.  Generously sprinkle with sugar.  Poke two small slits in the turnover and bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.  Once removed from the oven, sprinkle with additional sugar and serve once cooled.


StumbleUpon

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!


StumbleUpon

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cookbook Giveaway Winner!!!


Thank you to everyone who entered the Cookbook Giveaway of
"A World of Cake" by Krystina Castello.  


Thanks to RANDOM.ORG comment number 22 was the randomly selected winner!  

Congratulations Raw Girl!!

Your cookbook will be sent out shortly... hope you enjoy it!!!

StumbleUpon

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Norwegian Omelette & a Cookbook Giveaway!



I'm so excited to feature my first cookbook giveaway today!  The publisher of "A World of Cake" by Krystina Castella recently contacted me to see if I'd be interested in doing a giveaway of this wonderful cookbook to one lucky reader.  I was immediately interested after watching this video trailer of the cookbook she sent me.  All of the desserts look so delicious as well as unique- two very important characteristics I look for in a successful dish! 

When I received the cookbook I was immediately impressed.  The cover caught my attention- colorful, bright, inviting, professional looking, and very informative and enticing displaying examples of many of the desserts featured in the book.  It was a great start, provoking curiosity to read on!

When I opened the book I found an interesting focus on the many different regions of the world and their most popular style of baking.  I particularly loved that not only are you learning a world of unique recipes, but you're also getting a bit of history of each region's baking progressions.

I found it very difficult to choose just ONE recipe to try because while all of the recipes are of different cultures I'm unfamiliar to, they all looked absolutely delicious- leading me to feel that I've been missing out on a world of sweets I never even knew existed!

In the end I chose to try the "Norwegian Omelette" made by the French.  No this dessert isn't from Norway- an interesting fact I learned from "A World of Cake" is the French call it the Norwegian Omelette because of its Arctic appearance- I learn something new every day!

I was immediately intrigued by this dessert because on the recipe page Krystina Castella describes the History of Baked Ice Cream"... baked ice cream!  What a fun and unique recipe to try!  While it appeared difficult using unfamiliar baking techniques, I thought I would give it a shot and see how it goes!  Luckily, thanks to the descriptive recipe instructions, my final product was a success!  This Norwegian Omelette is beautiful and filled with layers of flavors you'll be sure to love! 
  
Now onto the giveaway!!  Simply post a comment at the bottom of this blog post by 8:00am on 12/23 answering the question, "If you could travel anywhere in the world for the most exotic and delicious dishes, where would you go?"  I'll count the number of posts and enter it into RANDOM.ORG to generate the winner. Good luck and don't forget to check back 12/23 when the winner is announced!


Before you post your comment- take a look at the Norwegian Omelette made from "A World of Cake"... 


To prepare your cakes, preheat your oven to 375 degrees and start with combining your cake flour, cornstarch, and cocoa powder in a large bowl:


In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, egg yolks, salt, and sugar:


Mix until combined:


Then transfer to a double boiler and gently whisk over medium/low heat until your egg mixture is warmed, about 5 minutes:


Once warmed, transfer back to your electric mixer and mix on high:

Until your mixture triples in volume:


Then fold your flour mixture into your batter:



Until your flour mixture is completely incorporated into your batter:


Then grease and flour a large muffin tin:

Evenly distribute the batter into each muffin tin:



Bake for 20-25 minutes or until your cakes are cooked through an inserted toothpick comes out clean:


Allow your cakes to cool.  Then slice your cakes into two thin slices.  First on the bottom of your cake:


Then just below the muffin top:


Then line your muffin tin with plastic wrap:

 Place the bottom half of your cake on the lined muffin tin:



Fill 1/2 inch thick layer of softened vanilla ice cream:

Then top with your cherries:


Add your second layer of cake:

And finish with another 1/2 inch thick layer of softened ice cream.  Continue these steps until all of your muffin tins are complete.  Cover with plastic and freeze for at least 4 hours or until you're ready to serve them:

When you're ready to serve your cakes, prepare the meringue.  Start with combining your egg whites, vanilla extract, and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Mix on high until medium peaks form:

Continue to whisk on high and gradually add your sugar, adding one tablespoon at a time:

Mix until stiff peaks form:


Then preheat your oven to 500 degrees and take a large plastic ziplock bag and cut one of the bottom corners off:

Place your piping attachment through the hole:


Fill your bag with the meringue:


Once your meringue is ready and piping bag is assembled, remove your cakes from the freezer, unwrap the plastic, and place your cakes on top of a baking sheet:


Pipe the meringue along the bottom all the way to the top:


Your meringue should cover your entire cake:


Then immediately place in your oven and bake for 2 1/2-3 minutes or until the top browns.  A layer of melted ice cream will puddle on the bottom of your pan, but don't worry- the center is still nice and frozen!:

 


Serve immediately:

 
And dig into that deliciously layered center!


 





Don't forget to enter the Cookbook Giveaway!






Norwegian Omelette
A World of Cake by Krystina Castella
Makes: 6 cakes
Prep Time: ~1.5 hours (not including freezing time)
Bake Time: 3 minutes
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients
Chocolate Genoise Sponge Cake
1 1/3 cups cake flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup dutch-processed cocoa
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar

Fillings
1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened
2 cups cherries, pitted and halved

Meringue
6 egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar

Directions

Cake
To begin, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Combine your cake flour, cornstarch, and cocoa powder in a large bowl.  Then in the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, egg yolks, salt, and sugar and mix until combined.  Then transfer to a double boiler and gently whisk over medium/low heat until your egg mixture is warmed, about 5 minutes.  Once warmed, transfer back to your electric mixer and mix on high until your mixture triples in volume.  Then fold your flour mixture into your batter until your flour mixture is completely incorporated into the batter.  Grease and flour a large muffin tin and evenly distribute the batter into each muffin tin.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until your cake is cooked through and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  

Assembly
Allow your cakes to cool and then cut them in two thin slices, first cut the bottom of your cake and then just below the muffin top, making sure your slices are equal in size.  Then line your muffin tin with plastic wrap large enough to have a one inch overhang.   Then place the bottom half of your cake on the lined muffin tin.  Fill 1/2 inch thick layer of softened vanilla ice cream.  Then top with your cherries.  Place your second layer of cake on top of your cherries.  Then finish with another 1/2 inch thick layer of softened ice cream.  Continue these steps until all of your muffin tins are complete.  Then cover your pan with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours or until you're ready to serve your cakes.  

Meringue
Once you're ready to serve your cake, prepare the meringue.  Start with combining your egg whites, vanilla extract, and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Mix on high until medium peaks form.  Continue to whisk on high and gradually add your sugar, adding one tablespoon at a time. Mix until stiff peaks form.  Take a large plastic ziplock bag and cut one of the bottom corners off.  Place your piping attachment through the hole.  Fill your bag with the meringue. Once your meringue is ready and piping bag is assembled, remove your cakes from the freezer, unwrap the plastic, and place your cakes on top of a baking sheet.  Pipe the meringue along the bottom all the way to the top making sure to cover the entire cake.  Make sure to work quickly because the ice cream begins to melt quickly.  Bake immediately.

Baking 
Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.  Place your oven rack in the center of your oven.  Bake for 2 1/2-3 minutes or until the top browns.  A small layer of ice cream will puddle on the bottom of the pan, but don't worry- the center is nice and frozen.  Serve immediately.
StumbleUpon