I made some super-simple Strawberry Turnovers. Super-simple, because the puff pastry is store-bought.
To make these pastries extra-special, I flavored the berries with culinary rose water. This “secret ingredient” makes the turnovers smell as bright and summery as they look and taste. If you don’t have rose water in your pantry, simply substitute vanilla extract.
To start, grab 10 ounces of fresh, local strawberries. I purchased mine from The Berry Farm in Chatham, New York. The berries were picked the same day I bought them.
And a splash (about 1/2 teaspoon) of rose water. My favorite rose water is made by Neilsen-Massey. I buy it online from this source.
No interest in rose water?
Substitute pure vanilla extract.
For this next step, you’ll need 2 sheets thawed but still-quite-cold puff pastry dough.
Note: If your puff pastry should warm and thus soften during any stage of this recipe, just pop it into the freezer for a couple of minutes.
Why omit the juice?
Because it will run all over your pastry dough, and flow onto the parchment liner.
Well, that’s what happened to me the first time I made these turnovers. Now I know that too much juice is…too much juice.
Now pop the turnovers into the fridge while you preheat the oven to 375°F. Also, prepare the remaining pastries on a second baking sheet. Pop this second batch into the fridge while the first batch is baking.
Bake until the pastry puffs and browns — about 25 minutes. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack. If some of the pastries burst at the seams during baking, run out and buy a lotto ticket. Burst turnovers are considered good luck.
Need a copy-and-paste version of the above? Here goes:
Kevin Lee Jacobs (www.kevinleejacobs.com)
Ingredients for 8 pastries
For the berry mixture:
10 ounces (about 20 medium) fully ripe strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons tapioca starch (or use corn starch)
For the cream cheese base:
4 ounces cream cheese
1 egg yolk, beaten
The grated zest of a lemon
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon culinary rose water (or substitute pure vanilla extract)
For the pastry dough:
2 sheets frozen store-bought puff pastry, thawed but cold
1 whole egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water
Confectioners’ sugar (for dusting)
Tip the sliced strawberries into a medium bowl. Add the sugar and tapioca starch (or corn starch), and toss with a spatula. Set aside, and let the berries exude their juices for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, put the cream cheese, egg yolk, lemon zest, sugar, and rose water in a separate, medium-size bowl. Beat with a spoon or spatula until combined.
Unfold 1 sheet puff pastry onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Flatten seams in the pastry with your fingers. Using a pastry cutter (a/k/a “pizza wheel”), cut the dough into 4 quarters.
Working quickly now, so the pastry doesn’t soften, paint a 1/2-inch ribbon of egg wash all around each square. Then put a dollop (about 1 tablespoon) of the cream cheese mixture in the center of each square. Using a slotted spoon, scoop up approximately 1 tablespoon of berries, and place them atop the cream cheese. Fold the dough over the berries to form a triangle, and seal the edges with the tines of a fork. Brush with the beaten egg, and then cut a 1-inch slit in the top so that steam can escape.
Chill the pastries in the fridge while you center the oven rack, and preheat the oven to 375°F. Also, prepare the remaining turnovers. Chill this second batch while the first batch is baking.
Bake until the pastry puffs and turns golden — about 25 minutes. Transfer the turnovers to a wire rack to cool. Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.
Love all things strawberry? Then by all means post a comment below!
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