Turnovers and hand pies are the ideal picnic food. They are easy to make, transport, and with little need for extra dishes or serveware. Wrap them in a tea towel in small basket and you’re good to go. Not only are they practical, they are just enough of a serving for one person which helps when planning for a larger or even smaller gathering. They’re perfect for an autumn hike or winter snowshoe too!
They lend beautifully to savory and sweet — simply put turnovers can’t get enough picnic praise in my book! During the warmer months, ripe juicy berries are delicious. In the autumn, turnovers are delicious way to celebrate the bountiful apple harvest. During the Christmas season, why not dress them up with the warm and cozy flavors of the season such as cranberries or pears, cinnamon, cloves, and touch of orange zest?
You can bake them a day or two in advance as they keep well and warm them up before your gathering.
Personally, I love the warm and comforting flavors of apple and cinnamon. Feel free to improvise with your favorite flavors - it’s hard to go wrong! My general rule of thumb is if you can imagine it in a scone or pie, it will probably work as a turnover!
Apple Cinnamon Turnovers
makes 8-10 turnovers
For the dough:
2 1/2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
4-5 tablespoons of ice water
1 cup of cold unsalted butter
for the apple turnovers:
4-5 crisp apples such as cortland, granny smith, or braeburn
juice of a small lemon
1 1/2 cups of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of cornstarch
1 tablespoon of flour
In a food processor, quickly pulse the flour, sugar, salt, and butter until it resembles small coarse bread crumbs. Be sure not to over mix, make sure it still is very crumbly with bits of butter scattered throughout. Start by adding the ice water and gently pulse it as it combines together. It should hold together but still be rough and crumbly. Be careful not to over mix, crumbly is better! The dough shouldn’t be too sticky or too dry. If it’s too sticky, add touch of flour. If too dry, add a tiny bit of ice water.
Turn out the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Gently combine all the dough together to form a large ball. (Do not knead it!) Place the dough ball into a mixing bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour. If you are in a rush, stick it in the freezer. Otherwise, the dough will keep fine refrigerated for several days.
Meanwhile, peel and core the apples. Cut into halves and then quarters. Chop into 1-2” pieces or slices. Bear in mind, the bigger the apple slice the less apple you will be able to fit in the turnover!
In a small bowl, combine the apples and remainder of ingredients. Coat the apples evenly and set aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Once the dough is chilled, place the dough on the lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to form a large rectangle. It should be about 1/4” thick. Dust flour as needed if it begins to get sticky.
Using a sharp knife, cut about 5” squares out of the dough. The bigger the square, the bigger the turnover. You will have to cut a few then reshape and roll out again to continue.
Once you have a square, spoon a tablespoon or two of the apple mixture into one of the corners of the square. Gently fold over the other side to meet the apple filled corner. Tuck in any little bits of apple if needed. To seal, gently pinch the edges closed by using the pronged edge of a fork around the open edges. Continue until all the dough and apples are used up!
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the juices begin to release out.
Serve warm or cold and reheat if necessary!