Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rustic Red Raspberry Turnovers

Yuck! Blech! Eww! Dee-sgusting, as a younger relative of mine used to say. What started out as an experiment in new flavors and pastry technique ended up in the garbage. Seriously, doesn’t the title sound wonderful? And I was able to find fresh, organic raspberries on sale for half-off at the grocery store. This recipe was literally begging to be made.

Starting from the inside, the fruit filling was much too tart. So sour, in fact, that my ears hurt when I sampled the turnovers. I was intrigued by the use of cinnamon and nutmeg, spices I normally associate with apples, but their flavors were completely lost in overwhelming sourness of the raspberries.

I’m going to have to make a more concerted effort to find my heavy maple rolling pin. Rolling out refrigerated pastry with a wimpy rolling pin is just too difficult. I thought using my non-stick rolling pin with a sticky butter pastry would allow me to get away with little or no additional flour. Not as much as I would have liked.

And, yes, I have multiple rolling pins. I collect them along with wooden spoons. Perhaps I should rename this blog “The Rolling Pin and Wooden Spoon”?

I don’t recommend using old-fashioned wide champagne glasses as pastry cutters. I didn’t have a 4” round cookie cutter, so I substituted the glasses which are a little narrower. Their edges aren’t really sharp enough to easily make the cuts.

And lastly, if you run into this recipe online, ignore the comments recommending that you cut the baking time in half. As sensible as it sounds that 20 minutes at 400°F is too long for tiny pastries and will burn them, it’s not. I pulled mine out after 10 minutes, as the commenters recommended, and they had barely cooked. Nor was the taste anything special.

The one good thing to come out of this whole mess is that I discovered how easy it is to make pastry dough in a food processor. I may retire my trusty pastry blender.

Verdict: What were they thinking??

Rustic Red Raspberry Turnovers

(source: Fine Cooking)

Buttery Shortbread Pastry Dough

9 oz. (2 cups) bleached allpurpose flour
7 oz. (14 Tbs.) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbs. granulated sugar
1 Tbs. chilled heavy cream
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. table salt

In a food processor, combine the flour, butter, egg, sugar, cream, lemon juice, and salt and pulse until the dough starts gathering together in big clumps. Turn the dough out onto a counter and gather it together. Shaper the dough as directed in the recipe you’re making.

Yields enough dough for 1 single pie crust, 8 mini tarts, or 12 turnovers

Rustic Red Raspberry Turnovers

1 recipe Buttery Shortbread Pastry Dough
4 tsp. granulated sugar; more as needed
1 tbs. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
2 cups (8 to 10oz.) fresh red raspberries, rinsed and air-dried or patted dry with paper towels
1 to 2 Tbs. milk

Divide the pastry in half. Pat each half into roughly a square shape about 1 inch thick, wrap each in plastic, and chill for 20 minutes.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. On a lightly floured surface, using a floured rolling pin, roll out one square of the pastry into a 9x14-inch rectangle. If the dough is too sticky, dust it too with a little four. Cut the dough into six rounds, each about 4 inches in diameter. Remove the excess dough from around the rounds and discard or save for another use. Run a metal spatula under each round to separate it from the counter.

In a large bowl, stir the 4 tsp. sugar and the flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the raspberries and gently toss to coat. Taste and add more sugar if the fruit seems tart.

Put a heaping tablespoon of raspberries (three to six berries, depending on size) in a single layer on one half of each dough round. Press gently to flatten the berries a bit. Dampen the pastry edges with a little water and carefully fold the other side of the dough over the berries to make a half moon. Press the edges of the dough together with your fingers or the tines of a fork. If any small cracks formed in the, pinch them together as best you can with damp fingers. Use a spatula to transfer the turnovers to the baking sheet.

Repeat this process with the remaining half of the pastry dough and the rest of the berries. When all the turnovers are assemble, refrigerate for at least 15 min. and up to 4 hours. Meanwhile, position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F.

When ready to bake, brush the tops of the turnovers (but not the edges or they will get too brown) with the milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 min. Transfer to a rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Compost: eggshell, lemon rind

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