Now that the seasons are changing and it's becoming clearly more autumnal as each day passes, with the chillier, shorter days and the leaves beginning to turn all shades of red, many of us are starting to be drawn towards comfort foods.
For me, being a girl with an obvious sweet tooth (just check out my recipe index and I'm sure you'll soon agree), comfort food can be anything from pies, crumbles, steamed puddings to rich fruit cakes.
The great thing about autumn as I see it, other than the fact that it's a whole lot of fun to walk through piles of crisp, freshly fallen gold and russet leaves (I know, I'm such a big kid!) is the huge range of seasonal fruit and vegetables available. From blackberries and pears, to pumpkins and squashes, and beets. And of course it's the start of the apple season too!
Having felt the change of seasons in my bones (it's as though I've been brewing a cold for the past week or so), the comforting warm hug of a pie called. And with the new apple season knocking on our door, a homemade apple pie with a touch of cinnamon was the perfect bake.
Not firing on all cylinders, I wanted a quick pie. A pie where I didn't need to bother lining a tin. A pie that didn't need blind baking. A pie that's forgiving. A pie that I could eat out of my hand. These Apple and Cinnamon Turnovers, or as our American friends call them Apple and Cinnamon Hand Pies, are super easy to make and absolutely delicious both warm (though not hot as you're likely to burn your mouth!) or cold .
As I mentioned above, turnovers are super easy to make. The pastry discs are cut out with a large biscuit cutter (though a tea plate or upturned bowl would work equally well, and would produce a hand pie a little larger than the ones I made here which is no bad thing). They're filled with a simple yet delicious apple and cinnamon mixture which is thickened with a little cornflour to prevent that dreaded soggy bottom!
These little parcels of apple and cinnamon are absolutely scrumptious! The filling is wonderful and fresh with a delicate touch of spice, and the pastry is wonderfully flaky with that melt in the mouth quality. In fact the pastry used to make these Apple & Cinnamon Turnovers is enriched with cream cheese making it even more delicious than the usual sweet or puff pastry used for hand pies! It's a pastry I first came across, and fell in love with, when making a batch of rugelach with a sweet mincemeat filling a couple of Christmases ago. It works so well in these Mini Apple and Cinnamon Turnovers too! The cream cheese pastry is quick and easy to pull together, but I must admit with it containing a significant amount of fat courtesy of the butter and cream cheese it does need to be chilled to prevent it from becoming sticky and difficult to work with!
As promised, just before I share with you my Mini Apple & Cinnamon Turnover recipe, here are 13 apple recipes from top food bloggers for you to try out! As usual, just click on the green text of any that catch your eye to be taken to the post and recipe.
- Spice Apple & Rose hip Jelly from Claire at Foodie Quine,
- Naturally Sweetened Apple & Sultana Cinnamon Sugar Free Flapjacks from Mandy at Sneaky Veg,
- Deep Fried Apple Pies from Jenny at Apply to Face Blog,
- Sticky Toffee Apple Breadsticks from Jenny at Mummy Mishaps,
- Blackberry & Apple Jam from Camilla at Fab Food 4 All,
- Apple & Passion Fruit Puffs from Helen at Casa Costello,
- Apple Crumble Flapjack from Charlotte at Charlotte's Lively Kitchen,
- Easy Mini Apple Pies (vegan) from Daniela at My Gorgeous Recipes,
- Caramel Apple Trifle from Helen at The Crazy Kitchen,
- Apple & Honey Cookies from Helen at Family Friends Food,
- Celery Apple & Blue Cheese Garden Soup from Debbie at Proper Foodie.
So, here's how to make Mini Apple & Cinnamon Turnovers
or even parcels. They're easy to make, and the lightly spiced apple
filling is encased in a delicious cream cheese pastry. They're the
perfect bake for the autumn months.
Hands on time: 40 mins Bake time: 20 - 25 mins Yield: 20 small turn overs / hand pies
10cm diam plain round Cookie Cutter (see note a below)
For the Sweet Pastry with Cream Cheese (see note b below)
- 235g Plain Flour
- small pinch of Salt
- 200g Butter, unsalted & chilled
- 1 tbsp Sugar
- 200g Cream Cheese, full fat
- Icing sugar, for rilling out
For the Apple Filling
- 5 medium Eating Apples (we used Braeburn & they weighed almost 300g once thinly peeled & cored
- 3 tbsp Water
- 2 tbsp Sugar
- ½ - 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon (see note c below)
- 2 tsp Cornflour
- 25g Butter
To Finish the Turnovers
- Caster Sugar
1. Make the pastry. Place the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Cube the chilled butter and add to the flour. Rub the butter into the flour between your thumb and finger tips, until the mixture resembles course breadcrumbs. Stir the sugar into the crumbs. Tip the full fat cream cheese onto a plate and slice it up (avoid over handling it). Add it to the breadcrumb mixture. Use a pallet knife or the back of a dinner knife to cut through the mixture. Move the bowl around as you do so. Gradually the cream cheese will become coated in flour and will resemble course breadcrumbs. At this point use your hands to bring the dough together into one ball. 2. Chill the pastry. Place the pastry ball onto a work surface and divide into 3 or 4 pieces of approximate equal size. Shape each into a ball and then flatten to a disc. Wrap each separately in cling film. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (or up to 2 days).3. Prepare the apple filling. Peel, core and chop the apples. Place into a pan. Add the water, sugar and cinnamon. Place on the hob over a medium heat. Stir. Allow the sugar to dissolve as the mixture heats. Continue to stir periodically with a wooden spoon whilst the apples cook. Meanwhile spoon the cornflour into a small bowl or cup. Mix to a smooth paste with 3 tsp of water. Once the apples are starting to soften but still have some firmness (test with a sharp paring knife) and have produced some juice add half of the cornflour paste. Stir. The apple mixture should thicken. If it's still a little too runny (depending upon how much juice your apples have produced) add a little more cornflour paste. Once thickened, add the butter and stir into the apples. Once the butter has melted into the apple mixture remove it from the heat and pour into a bowl. Set aside to cool.4. Prepare a baking sheet. Base line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.5. Roll out the pastry. Remove one of the chilled pastry packs from the fridge. Allow it to warm up slightly for a couple of minutes. Unwrap the pastry and place onto a clean work surface liberally dusted with icing sugar. Dust the rolling pin with icing sugar. Roll out the pastry 3 - 4 mm thick (see note d below). Cut out discs using a plain round 10cm (diameter) cookie cutter. Ball up the off cuts, wrap in clingfilm and place back into the fridge. 6. Fill the pastry discs. Place a teaspoon of the cold apple filling on one half of the pastry disc, leaving a boarder of about 5mm. Use a pastry brush to paint a little water around the edge of the pastry. Fold the pastry in half gently so that it covers the apple and the edges meet neatly. Apply a little pressure to seal the pastry. Carefully lift the filled pastry (you may need to use a pallet knife or fish slice for this) and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Hold a knife vertically and with the back of the knife gently push it into the sealed pastry crust by just 1-2mm to create a pretty edge pattern. Alternatively gently press the tines of a fork into the pastry crust.
7. Repeat. Once the remaining pastry discs have been filled in the same way place the baking sheet in the fridge to allow the pastry to rest and firm up again before baking. Use the remaining bundles of pastry one at a time to make more apple turnovers. Shape more pastry discs with the off cuts, rolling it out just the once to avoid over working the pastry. 8. Chill. Chill the apple turnovers for 20 - 30 minutes.9. Preheat the oven to 200℃ / 180℃ fan / Gas 6. 10. Prepare to bake. Use a pastry brush to paint a little milk over the top of the apple turnovers. Scatter over a little sugar. Use a sharp knife or pair of clean scissors to make a hole in the top of the pastry for steam to escape. 11. Bake. Place the baking tray into the centre of the oven and bake for 20 - 25 minutes until a deep golden brown and the pastry is cooked through. You may need to rotate the tray after 15 minutes of baking. Once baked removed from the oven and allow to cool on the baking tray. 12. Enjoy either warm or cold!
Notes: a) If you don't have a 10cm plain round cookie cutter to hand alternatives you could use are an upturned large drinking glass, saucer, tea plate or dessert bowl. Use a sharp knife to cut around the object to create a pastry disc. Obviously if using a larger item to cut around your yield of hand pies will be smaller. b) Use a sweet short crust ready made pastry if you prefer. You will need about 600g for the quantity I made here. c) We used ½ tsp of ground cinnamon for a subtle flavour. Use up to 1 tsp if you prefer a more defined cinnamon flavour. You could omit it all together if you prefer. d) If you like to roll your homemade pastry extra thin line me, do try to keep this cream cheese pastry a little thicker. This will allow the pastry to puff and create a lamination effect due to the high percentage of fat in this pastry.