Saturday, September 27, 2014

Apple and Cheese Turnovers


My first official dessert of autumn!  I knew it had to be something with apples.  Apple and spice and every nice, you know.  An absolute must at this time of year.



What is your favorite kind of apple?  I love an apple that is sweet and juicy and has a lot of crunch.  I usually pick Fuji, Braeburn or Honey Crisp.  I still haven't tried the new Sweet Tango yet.  I was thrilled to see organic Honey Crisp apples at the market this week.  I do try my best to avoid the "Dirty Dozen".


These little turnovers, or hand pies as people like to call them now,  are made with store bought puff pastry, a perfect example of easy and delicious!  With the addition of Farmers' Cheese, they become a tasty twist on a blintz.
 

This was the first time I had baked with Farmers' Cheese (dry curd).  It tastes like a cross between cream cheese and ricotta cheese, flavor and texture-wise so don't be put off by the itsy-bitsy curds in the filling.  It tastes delicious! 


The original recipe calls for 1 lb (or 2 sheets of puff pastry). If you use only one sheet of puff pastry you can make six turnovers, which I did for just my husband and myself.  I'm going try and freeze a couple to reheat on Sunday morning. They would make perfect picnic food for a trip to a park or to the country to see the fall colors.


My husband and I recently returned from attending a wedding near Atlanta, Georgia for the daughter of very good friends.  While there, we did some sight-seeing in and around Atlanta.  One of the most impressive of the places we visited was The Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Those of you who have followed me for a while know that I am an avid gardener.  The living sculptures at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens were just amazing and are so well maintained and beautiful.  Here are just a few of the many photos I took.  



At the top is the Earth Goddess.  She is 25 feet tall and a waterfall flows from her hand.  Her tresses are real plants and are tended to and changed regularly. Below her are a gorilla and cobra, both made with living plants and 10-20 feet tall.  There are many more amazing living sculptures like this throughout the gardens. I highly recommend a visit to the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

Apple and Cheese Turnovers

Adapted from Food and Wine
Printable Recipe

SERVINGS: makes 12 hand pies (can be easily halved by using only 1 sheet of puff pastry - roll out to 8 x 12 and cut 6 squares)

These turnovers or hand pies have a filling that combines tart and sweet apples with farmer cheese and cinnamon.

1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 pound puff pastry (2 sheets)
2 Honey Crisp apples, or apples of your choise, coarsely grated (I used the large holes on a box grater)
3 tablespoons sugar, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup farmer cheese (most well-stocked stores carry it in tubs).  See Note*
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (optional - my addition)
Pinch of salt
1 large egg, beaten

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry into 2 8 x 12 rectangles and cut out twelve (6 per sheet) 4-inch squares. Transfer the squares to a baking sheet and freeze until firm, 10 minutes. In a bowl, toss the apples with the sugar, farmer cheese, cinnamon, salt and 1 1/2 tablespoons of flour.

Preheat the oven to 375°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Brush the edges of the squares with the egg and mound 2 tablespoons of the apple filling on each one. Fold to form triangles and press to seal. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes.

Using a fork, crimp the edges of the triangles. Brush the tops with egg and sprinkle with sugar. Cut 3 small slits in each to release steam. Bake until golden and crisp, about 30 minutes, shifting the pans front to back halfway through. Let cool, then serve.

*I've read that you can use small curd cottage cheese in place of Farmers Cheese.  Just drain it very well and then pulse it in a food processor for a creamier texture. 

61 comments:

  1. Beautiful post and such a yummy recipe!
    Thanks for sharing and enjoy your weekend.
    FABBY

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bomnjour Susan..I love the garden pics..we have or had a similar exposition here..Le Mosaïcultures..I loved it the year we attended..
    Have I told you how fortunate I think you are to have such a wonderful group of longtime friends with similar interests?
    What fun.
    I like Honey Crisp:)

    And your post is so timely..you will laugh at this..first thank you for this lovely recipe:)

    But 3 of the boys are sleeping over tonight..when I had my girls..I was 22 had no idea how to make turnovers..so we always bought Pillsbury apple turnovers..

    and that's what I bought (Yes I bought dessert)..:) to let the boys make theirs tonight..
    Little trip down memory lane for me..
    Hope you are not yawning by now:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used to buy them too :) Nothing wrong with buying dessert when you're busy!

      Delete
  3. I love apples so.I really love these turnovers look delicious Susan.
    A really delucious recipe:)
    xo

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love all kinds of apples, these turnovers would be welcome tomorrow for breakfast for sure:@)
    PS-S'up wit da Pack???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What Pack - LOL! Brewers crashed and Packers off to a bad start. Something in the air? Thanks, Lynn.

      Delete
  5. Yum ! One of those would hit the spot about now.
    Thanks for sharing pics of the beautiful gardens. I have not been to Atlanta in many years.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have never made apple turnovers before, but I really have no idea why! This looks amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope you try them, Cathleen! So easy and delicious.

      Delete
  7. Oh, YUM! Those apple turnovers look Perfectly delicious! :)
    Amazing sculptures - such creativity!

    ReplyDelete
  8. The sculptures at Botanical Gardens are so amazing!
    These hand pies are such a perfect Fall treat. The store bought pastry makes life so much easier, don't they?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are! Thanks, Angie. One day I'm going to try making my own but store bought is so easy.

      Delete
  9. I dreamt about apple turnovers last night! Spooky (and a little odd) yours look gorgeous. Love the addition of cheese here too. Gorgeous. I love a crisp sweet Braeburn.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Pretty turnovers and they would fit right in with our breakfast this morning. I'm not fond of the overly sweet apples, so Honeycrisp is my favorite. Your photos of the botanical gardens in Atlanta are gorgeous. We should just run down there one day and see them ourselves.
    Sam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should! It is so beautiful. Go before the end of October to see The Four Seasons scuptures :)

      Delete
  11. Blintzes with farmers cheese are the way to go. And apples with blintzes are even better. That exhibit looked fabulous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Abbe! I've never had apple turnovers with cheese before - they were delicious!

      Delete
  12. Gorgeous apple turnovers! Looks really yummy!
    And beautiful photos of the Botanical Garden! Very creative!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Those turnovers are perfect for the first dessert of fall! I've done turnovers but not with the cheese. I'm anxious to try that addition. Atlanta is one of my favorite places. It has been years since I was there but have been to those beautiful gardens. It was a nice trip when we lived in Charleston.

    Best,
    Bonnie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Bonnie! I think you'll love the cheese addition.

      Delete
  14. wow great combo and those gardens look amazing

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Susan, you pictures are so wonderful here of the gardens and of your lovely turnovers. Love that you used farmers cheese with the apples, bet it was delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  16. What a delicious recipe Susan ! Have a great week, a warm hug

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am loving the idea of apples, cheese, and a touch of cinnamon. Of course the crunchy, buttery puff pastry helps the fantasy! And those living sculptures are absolutely magnificent.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Your turnovers are to die for. They look delicious, Susan! And that garden looks pretty amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was hard keeping my hands off of them :) Thanks, Pam!

      Delete
  19. Wow, these are beautiful and sound fabulous. I even have some puff pastry in the fridge! My apple tree didn't give me one apple this year, but I got some great ones at the store.
    I love the four seasons! They are so fabulous. What a treat to get to see them and so huge!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wish I had an apple tree! Thank you, Jacqueline!

      Delete
  20. These are some delicious apple turnovers Susan! Indeed fall is all about apples!

    ReplyDelete
  21. A funny thing happened on my way to breakfast this morning :) a Honeycrisp apple and white cheddar landed on my plate.
    Well, not funny, but rather, peculiar. It's the only snack I've been devouring, night and day, since the 22nd.
    And here you post these delicious apple/cheddar turnovers, and my head is spinning out of control. It cannot possibly get any better than this.

    Btw, the living sculptures are just as magnificent!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Mmm not many people realise how good cheese and apple are together :D
    Beautiful looking turnovers, I love it!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    ReplyDelete
  23. What a wonderful and delightful idea, apple and cheese, Susan they are a nice size too .:-) :-) "yummy " :-)

    ReplyDelete
  24. This is a breathtaking post --- now I need to hop a plane to Atlanta!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Oh Susan, these hand pies with apple and cheese look delicious...I always like cheese with fruits...
    Thanks for sharing the pictures of the sculptures...I sure enjoy it!
    Have a great weekend :D

    ReplyDelete
  26. Wow, what a spectacular exhibit. If I ever make it to Atlanta the Gardens will be on my list. Your turnovers look delicious, Susan. I have seen farmers cheese in the market but haven't tried it. I bet it is wonderful with apples. Whatever would we do without premade puff pastry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you get to see if one day, Cathy! Thank you!

      Delete

  27. These are such lovely pictures, thank you for taking us along to the Botanical Gardens!
    The apple dessert looks amazing, we use this kind of Farmers cheese ( very similar to what we call Topfen) a lot in Austria . It adds a delicious flavor and makes a perfect match with this apple dessert.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Daniela! The food in Austria must be wonderful!

      Delete
  28. What a treat to not only have a delicious recipe but I'm so happy that you shared your photos of the gardens. Absolutely wonderful, thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I've never been to Atlanta's botanical gardens....how marvelous! I already pinned a couple to my flower and garden board. That cobra is amazing. Great photos, Susan.
    Love your apple hand pies. Never have used Farmer's Cheese, but I will next time. Isn't frozen puff pastry the best invention ever?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Barbara! Those are just a few of the living sculptures, too. It's quite a beautiful place.

      Delete
  30. Those apple pies look so inviting, and I've got all the ingredients in hand to make them today. I loved seeing the botanical garden photos too, and loved those living sculptures. By the way, I saw the same ones by Phillip Haas last year at the Bronx Botanic Garden, and they're based on paintings by the Italian Renaissance painter Archimboldo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great information about the inspiration for the sculptures! Thank you, Linda. I knew the exhibit had been a traveling one so glad you got to see it.

      Delete
  31. Beautiful photos and delightful dish. Great combination of flavours. I would love to try. :)

    ReplyDelete

I appreciate your comments! I turned off Anonymous comments due to spam. If you need to contact me regarding a recipe, please use my email address found under About Me in the tool bar at the top of the page.