The mornings are turning crispy. Not only in the air but underfoot too as the trees prepare for their sunset-coloured finale. Meanwhile at the bottom of the allotment garden, the apple tree whispers “pick me, pick me”. Autumn is a fleeting but special season for many and one that I love to celebrate by cooking comforting treats with the last homegrown fruits of the year.
Despite it’s dwarf size, my Egremont Russet tree (booth a cooker and eating apple) is a very heavy cropper. So if like me, you have a very productive apple tree, this recipe has become a godsend! These easy-to-make, petite-sized pasties are perfect for parties, office treats, packed lunches or as little puddings dipped in custard! I like to take mine to the allotment to enjoy in the shed with a hot mug of tea.
You can freeze these pastries once cooked and the recipe can be adapted to include other fruits such as blackberries and raisins. To mix things up a bit, I bake half the batch with apple and cinnamon and the other with apple and blackberries because who doesn’t love those quintesentially autumn flavours?!
400g apple (approx. 4)
50g blackberries (optional)
120g soft brown sugar
375g pack of chilled puff pastry
2 tbsp cornflower
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp butter
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
Put a large plate in the fridge & keep your pastry chilled until you are ready to use it. Prepare a large bowl of cold water and stir in the lemon juice. Core, peel and chop the apples into mini pieces, less than 1cm in size. Transfer them to the water bowl to prevent them from browning.
Heat a saucepan on a low-medium setting. Melt the butter before adding the apple pieces, ground cinnamon, vanilla extract and sugar. Cook for 2-5 minutes until the apple becomes soft. Add the cornflour to juices of the pan and stir. Cook and stir until the mixture becomes thick and jammy. You may need to increase the temperature to remove any additional liquid. If you are using blackberries in your recipe, add them now and cook for a couple of minutes.
Turn off the heat and set your mixture aside to cool. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC. Once the mixture has cooled, roll out the puff pastry and use a sharp knife to divide it into a 4×3 grid of 12 equal squares.
Place a square of pastry in the palm of your hand and spoon out approx 1 tablespoon of mixture into the centre. Take one of the corners and pull it over the mixture to the opposite corner.
Press the edges together to seal the pastry before crimping the two sides with a fork. Score a line in the top of the pastry to allow steam to escape. Place the turnover in the fridge until you are ready to bake them all together (when pastry turns warm it becomes a nightmare to work with!). Before baking, brush the pastries with egg wash. Line an oven tray with baking paper and allow them to reach room temperature for 5 minutes of or so before cooking the turnovers at 180ºC for 15-20 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.
How are you using your apples this season? I would love to hear from you!