With all the bread baking, I’ve been reading a lot about new techniques for baking breads, variations on proofing times, different types of sourdough starters and yeasts, and how flour’s gluten content effects the bread taste and texture. Lots of the books I’ve been reading also include pastry methods and recipes–for croissants, coffee cakes, and beautiful tarts–and I finally gave in to trying my own vegan version of turnovers.
According to The Joy of Cooking, turnovers can be made with either a pie crust or a puff pastry recipes. Puff pastry is delicious, but contains more butter than flour, placing it in rank among the most unhealthy of pastries and also potentially difficult to convert to dairy-free. I opted for a sweet vegan pie crust recipe. For the filling, I used a combination of Bosc and D’Anjou pears. The sweetness of the dough combined with the naturally vegan filling made these turnovers so delicious, they were almost too good to be vegan!
Here’s the recipe: Â Vegan Pear Turnover
Makes 8 turnovers
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup vegan margarine
1/4 cup ice water
3 medium pears, cored and diced
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup Turbinado sugar, optional
To make the crust: In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in the vegan margarine until mixture resembles course crumbs. Add the ice water and mix until combined. Form the dough into a ball, place in an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
To make the filling: In another large bowl, mix together the diced pears, sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch.
To assemble the pastries: On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll the pastry crust into a large square or rectangle. Cut the dough into eight smaller squares. In the middle of each square, place a small amount (roughly 1/8 of the filling). Tuck the corners of the pastry crust in and press the dough together to seal the edges. Flip the pastry so the seam side is facing downward and place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Sprinkle the pastries with a little turbinado sugar, if desired.
Preheat the oven to 375. Bake the pastries for about 40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!
Note: You can use other fruits for the filling: I’d suggest apples, peaches, plums, or even blueberries or strawberries. The dough can be made in advance and kept refrigerated or frozen until ready to use.
As for the bread business, I’m continuing to read about and perfect my bread recipes and look for commercial kitchen space. More updates coming in the next blog entry!