Dessert was not an everyday occurrence when I was a child. I have fond memories of golden syrup dumplings smothered in custard, and large serves of bread and butter pudding (from which I would meticulously pick the gag-inducing plump sultanas). One of my fondest memories, though, is of the apple turnovers that came in a box from the frozen food section of the supermarket.
Frozen desserts from a box were a novelty when I was a child. If I am being completely honest this, rather than the high quality of product, is probably the source of my nostalgia. I can still remember the sense of anticipation as mum removed the box of apple turnovers from the freezer. She would brush them with milk, as per the instructions, and sprinkle over the little sachet of cinnamon sugar that came tucked into the box with the unadorned apple turnovers. Whilst we waited for the turnovers to cook, my sister and I would fight to lick out the cinnamon sugar packet.
Fast forward a few years to my student days. I was living on my own, trying to eke out my grocery budget enough to feed myself for the week. If I was feeling slightly flush with funds, a packet of those apple turnovers would find themselves into my shopping trolley. A packet of four would last a while, and I didn’t have to share the cinnamon sugar packet with anyone.
I hadn’t thought about apple turnovers for years, when suddenly this winter I had a hankering for them. I could have gone to the supermarket to buy a packet; I’m pretty sure they are still in production. I’m also pretty sure that the purchased version would not match up to my childhood memory. Which meant I had to make my own.
My version relies on a couple of store cupboard staples; butter puff pastry and applesauce. The desire for dessert usually strikes just after dinner, and the first time I made these I couldn’t be bothered peeling apples. I had applesauce in the fridge, so used that instead. Whilst not the apple turnovers of my childhood memories, these make an acceptable substitute. I’m happy with that.
I don’t sweeten my applesauce, as I find it sweet enough for my taste. If you want the sauce a little sweeter, just stir a teaspoon or two of maple syrup in with the cinnamon.
- 1 sheet ready-rolled puff pastry, defrosted
- ½ cup unsweetened apple sauce
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon or mixed spice
- 2 Tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon raw sugar or golden caster sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon, extra
- Pre-heat the oven to 220C (200C fan forced).
- Line a tray with baking paper and set aside.
- Cut the puff pastry in half with a sharp knife.
- Cut each pastry half again into thirds. You should now have six pieces of pastry.
- Mix the applesauce and cinnamon (or mixed spice) together.
- Divide the applesauce equally between three of the pastry pieces. Spread the sauce down the centre of each pastry piece, leaving a 1 cm border around the edge of the pastry.
- Brush the border around the edge of the pastry with the milk.
- Place a second piece of pastry gently on top of the applesauce, carefully lining up the edges.
- Press the edges of the pastry together firmly with a fork to seal.
- Place the turnover on the lined baking tray. Repeat with the other two turnovers.
- Mix the sugar and extra cinnamon together in a small bowl.
- Brush the tops of the turnovers with milk.
- Sprinkle over the cinnamon sugar.
- Bake the turnovers for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 180C and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes, or until the turnovers are well risen and golden brown.
- Serve warm with cream or ice cream.
You can make the turnovers in advance. If you wish to do this, assemble the turnovers, and store them in the fridge until required. Brush over the milk and sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar just before baking. You could probably also freeze them, although as they are so quick to make I have never done this.
P.S. Looking for more dessert ideas? Try Apple & Blackberry Crumble or Spiced Chocolate Bread & Butter Pudding.