Apple Turnovers with Cheddar Crust

Supposedly, back in the day, a piece of warm apple pie with melted cheese on top was the bee’s knees. I haven’t tasted it yet. But I feel like I read a whole chapter about it a couple years ago in John T. Edge’s Apple Pie and have been salivating ever since.

If you’re not in the mood to make dough from scratch, please just keep it simple and make an apple tower which could be almost as good if the cheese and the apple are excellent. But there’s nothing quite like pastry. And this filling is pretty awesome.

Dough Recipe

Adapted from The New York Times Cookbook.

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of butter, softened
1 1/2 cups fine, soft homemade whole wheat bread crumbs
1 cup coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cayeanne pepper
Dash of paprika

Combine all the ingredients except the Parmesan cheese in the bowl of a food processor. Process for until the dough starts to come together, about 30 seconds.

Remove the dough from the processor and form it into a flattened rectangle about 1 – 2 inches thick. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for at least one hour or overnight.

Filling Recipe

2 medium apples, peeled and cored
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch salt
1 egg
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farhenhiet.

Grate the apple with a box grater. Squeeze excess moisture out of the grated apple. (Save the juice for a little drink if you wish.) Place apple in bowl along with the sugar, applesauce, lemon juice, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well and set aside.

Roll out the dough on a well floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut dough into 4-inch squares with a pastry cutter or pizza wheel. Transfer the squares to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place a generous tablespoon of the apple filling in the middle of each of the squares.

Beat the egg in a small bowl. Paint a bit of the egg wash on the outer edge of each square. Fold each square over into a triangle and gently press the edges together with your fingertips. Seal the triangle with the tines of a fork. Paint more egg wash on the top of each triangle and make a small slit on the top with a serrated knife. Sprinkle each turnover with finely grated Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 48 hours.

Yield: 10 turnovers
Prep-time: 1 hour
Bake-time: 35 minutes

[donotprint]Oh, and by the way, we just got a new puppy. He’s the sweetest little boy in the world. His name is Otter. He’s a mutt/rescue. Supposedly his mother was a Boxer/Lab mix.

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Pie for Breakfast! (Granola Tart Shells)

These tart shells are super easy to throw together and there is no rolling out of the dough. They take as much time and effort as throwing together a batch of cookies. I still love cookies, but these are a delightful and healthier alternative that can serve as a breakfast treat, snack, or dessert.

Whenever any kind of fresh raw fruit is piled into tart shells, the kids are completely on board. My favorite way to fill it up so far is with fresh chopped peaches, strained yogurt, and honey. Add a dash of cinnamon on top if you dare.

The only warning I should give is that it isn’t the easiest crust to cut up. It’s on the hard and crumbly side. So, don’t hate me if the kids (or grown-ups) make a mess.

1/2 cup white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour
2 cups oats & honey granola (I use store-bought)
3/4 cups walnut pieces
Pinch salt
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil, melted

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place the flour, granola, walnuts, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Run the food processor for approximately 30 seconds or until the mixture resembles large crumbs. Drizzle the honey through the feed tube of the food processor and incorporate for a five seconds. Then pour the melted and butter and coconut oil through the feed tube with the machine running and process until the mixture starts to come together.

Take one large golf ball-sized portion of dough at a time and press it gently into a 4-inch round tart pan with removable bottoms until it covers the bottom and sides of the pan.  You should have enough dough to make 8 shells. Place the filled tart pans on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Place baked shells on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. To serve, remove gently from tart pan by popping up the removeable bottom. The shells may be stored in the pans in an airtight container for up to two days.

Yield: 8 4-inch tart shells
Prep-time: 20 minutes
Bake-time: 10 minutes

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