Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

We can't crack the jack recipe, but try our turnovers instead

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Turnovers made with phyllo dough are light and lovely.

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Turnovers made with phyllo dough are light and lovely. Photo Store

Some months back, there was a request for Gunn's Bakery applejacks. That recipe remains uncrackable, but some readers wrote in with other apple pastry possibilities.

A reader named Linda suggested a version using phyllo pastry, apples and cinnamon sugar. I also adapted a recipe for apple turnovers that can be baked or fried -- the deep-fried version is often called an applejack. The Gunn's version of the applejack remains a mystery, but for the time being, these recipes are both very tasty.

If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an email to recipeswap@freepress.mb.ca, fax it to 697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Alison Gillmor, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number.

 

Phyllo Apple Turnovers

2 large or 3 small Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped quite fine

5 ml (1 tsp) lemon juice

45 ml (3 tbsp) granulated sugar

15 ml (1 tbsp) all-purpose flour

2 ml (1/2 tsp) cinnamon

8 sheets phyllo pastry, thawed if frozen

45 ml (3 tbsp) melted butter

Granulated sugar or cinnamon sugar, for topping

 

Preheat oven to 200 C (400 F). Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. In small bowl, mix apples, lemon juice, sugar, flour and cinnamon and let sit for a few minutes to develop flavours. Place the stacked sheets of phyllo on a flat surface and cover with a damp (not wet) clean tea towel to keep phyllo from drying out. Place 1 phyllo sheet on work surface. Lightly coat with melted butter. Top with another sheet. Cut this double sheet lengthwise into three 10-cm (4-inch) strips, each 40 cm (16 inches) long. Mound a generous 15 ml (1 tbsp) of filling at end of one strip near one corner. Fold opposite corner at same end over filling, forming a triangle. Continue folding your way up the strip, making repeated triangles, to the end. Repeat with remaining phyllo and filling to make 12 turnovers. Arrange turnovers seam-side down on prepared baking sheet. Brush with more melted butter and sprinkle with sugar or cinnamon sugar. Bake 15 to 17 minutes, or until golden. Remove to wire rack to cool.

 

Tester's notes: These little turnovers are light and not too sweet. If using frozen phyllo, the best way to thaw it is in the package overnight in the fridge. If pushed, you can thaw in the package on the counter for 4-5 hours. This recipe calls for phyllo sheets that measure about 40 x 30 cm (16x12 inch), but you can work with other sizes. The important thing is to make sure the filling is folded up with multiple layers. Also, this recipe uses just part of a 454 g (1 lb) package, so you might want to plan some other phyllo dish to use the pastry up.

 

Apple Turnovers

500 ml (2 cups) all-purpose flour

10 ml (2 tsp) baking powder

2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt

90 ml (6 tbsp) shortening

175 ml (3/4 cup) whole milk

175 ml (3/4 cup) store-bought or homemade apple butter or cooked apple pie filling (see tester's notes)

45 ml (3 tbsp) melted butter

Granulated sugar or cinnamon sugar, for topping

 

Preheat oven to 175 C (350 F). In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Add the shortening and work into flour with fingers until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the milk all at once and mix in with a spatula until dough begins to come together. Lightly flour your hands and work surface, turn out dough and knead, folding over 10 to 20 times. Roll the dough to about 8-12 mm (1/3-1/2 inch) thickness, then cut into rounds using a 6 cm (2 1/4 inch) cutter. Then roll out each round as thinly as possible to a circle 12-15 cm (5-6 inches) in diameter. Spoon a generous 15 ml (1 tbsp) filling onto dough circle, fold over into half-moon shape, seal edges together, and crimp with the tines of a fork. Snip or cut 3 slits in the top of the turnover to let steam escape. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar or cinnamon sugar. Place pies on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

 

Tester's notes: Really good. Apple butter, which involves apples, sugar and a little spice cooked until caramelized and broken down, worked beautifully in these turnovers, as would your favourite cooked pie filling. If you want to try an uncooked apple filling, just make sure to chop apples quite finely, as with the recipe for phyllo apple turnovers, so that they can cook in the short baking time. For any turnover recipe, you need a filling that's not too chunky and that's moist but not wet. And be careful not to overfill or you'll end up with a mess.

If you want to make the deep-fried version of this turnover, often called an applejack, heat vegetable oil in a deep-fryer or a large heavy pot to 190 C (375 F). Add 1 to 2 pies at a time and fry until golden brown, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. (I'm not a health fanatic, but I couldn't quite justify deep-frying pastry. And honestly, the baked version is delicious.)

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 15, 2013 C5

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