Dear Pie Crust,
It’s not me; it’s you. I have tried for years to love you. To appreciate your flaky, buttery crust fresh from the oven. Everybody raves about you no matter the season – pecan and pumpkin when the leaves are falling, hearty stick-to-your-ribs pot pie when it’s too cold to venture outside, fresh fruit when the sun is shining. I can get behind the filling you encase, but your taste ends up falling flat for me. Maybe I don’t love you because you haven’t loved me back. I’m incapable of rolling you out into a perfect circle to line my pie plate. Perhaps I’m just not a good pie crust maker. Or perhaps I’ve had my share of commercialized pie crusts growing up and you have let me down every time. Don’t think I have to love you because you are my only option. I have found a new lover – puff pastry. It knows how to cheer me up when you fail me. That flaky crust. That puffiness. That crunch when you bake it. I mean, look at these Apple Turnovers. They puff up a million times more than you ever would, pie crust. Then when you take that first bite, that flaky crunch is met with the sweet taste of apple pie filling.
Oh pie crust, do you realize how much easier it is to work with puff pastry? When I took it out of the box, it was already a rectangle. Do you know how hard it is to roll you out into a shape with straight edges? All I had to do was roll it a few inches to make it a 12×12 square then cut into four equal pieces. Four *equal* pieces. I couldn’t do that with you, pie crust. Some would’ve come out larger. Some would’ve come out smaller. Puff pastry made it so easy to fill and fold into triangles. Do you know how hard it is to fold a deformed square into a triangle? When was the last time you didn’t make me cry, pie crust?
Pie crust, you may be laughing because my Apple Turnovers look burned, but they didn’t. Really that’s the egg wash bath and the cinnamon sugar shower I gave them. I couldn’t leave them cold and naked, so I dressed them in a simple vanilla glaze.
Maybe I am pie crust challenged. Maybe I’ve been deprived of a great pie crust all my life. Maybe I need to find a real pie maker that will make me say wow this is the best pie crust ever.
Maybe it really is me.
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tsp apple juice, apple cider, or lemon juice
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground clove
- 1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
- Few drops of vanilla
- 1 cup apples, cored, peeled, and chopped
- 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp sugar mixed with 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tbsp milk
- Few drops of vanilla
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Make the filling first: In a large saucepan, combine water, juice, sugar, and cornstarch. Stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook for 2 minutes, constantly stirring. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and apples. Set aside.
- Make the turnovers: Dust a dry, flat surface with enough flour to roll out the puff pastry. Roll it out into a 12×12 square. Cut the dough into four equal squares.
- In a small bowl, beat the egg. Take one square, brush the edges some of the egg. Place about one or two tablespoons of filling into the middle, being careful not to get too close to the edge. Take one of the square and fold it diagonally to the other corner, forming a triangle. Press the edges together to seal. Place the turnover on the cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining squares. If you have any leftover filling, refrigerate it for another time.
- After all four are on the sheet, cut two slits into each one. Brush them with the beaten egg. Discard any leftover egg. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown and puffed. Let cool.
- When cool to the touch, make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, milk, and vanilla. Drizzle on top of each turnover. Let sit for a few minutes while the glaze hardens.