Curried Apple Turnovers.
My family always looks forward to apple picking this time of year. The kids enjoy climbing up on daddy's broad shoulders to reach for juicy autumn orbs tucked beneath leafy branches. They get even more excited about all the other glorious things you find at an apple orchard...farm animals to feed, hay rides, play areas, and decedent apple treats!
Henderson county, just south of us, is known for having more apple orchards than any other county in the US. Yes, that includes Michigan and Washington! Who knew that this little corner of western North Carolina could produce such apples!
We have visited our fair share of apple orchards over the last six years and have firmly decided on a favorite, Sky Top Orchard. As noted by it's name, Sky Top Orchard is located on a mountain top in Flat Rock, NC. With lush mountain views in all directions, why would you want to pick apples any where else? Plus, they have great variety in the orchard, a well-stocked apple emporium, and plenty of extra attractions to keep the kiddos busy long after the bushels are filled to the brim. And if that isn't enough, they sell HOT, fresh, apple-cider donuts! After your first bite of these supple, sugar-crusted rings, you don't know whether to swear, thank God, and cry out of utter bliss!
Alright, enough about the donuts. While I'm pondering the possibility of recreating them, I'd like to offer you another apple treat that is perfectly lovely in it's own right. Apple turnovers are one of my favorite fall snacks. They are cute, easy to take with you, and full of flavor!
There is one problem with making apple sweets. When you bring home bushels of apples from the orchard, you start to worry about monotony. After all, what better accents apples than cinnamon? But if you spice all your apples with cinnamon, it doesn't matter whether you make turnovers, pies, crisps, cakes, or muffins. You end up with SAME flavors--just varied textures!
As a girl who likes a lot of variety, I've been experimenting with different flavor profiles to complement apples. I've found that CURRY POWDER and garam masala do wonders to spice up savory or sweet apple dishes! Both are Indian spice blends usually containing a little cinnamon. Yet, you also get a bit of coriander, clove, fenugreek, turmeric, cumin, and cardamom as well. These extra spices provide rich depth to your apple treats...and the element of surprise!
I've noticed that if you don't tell your taste-testers what your secret ingredient is, they will devour several hand pies while contemplating the possibilities, and still may never figure it out! A touch of curry adds that little SOMETHING, without overpowering the apple-y goodness!
But I, when I undress me
Each night upon my knees
Will ask the Lord to bless me,
With apple pie and cheese
~Eugene Field, American poet
Curried Apple Turnovers
2 medium apples
1/2 cup golden raisins
zest of 1 orange
2 Tbs. orange juice
2 tsp. flour
½ tsp. garam masala
¼ tsp. curry powder
¼ tsp. salt
3 Tbs. brown sugar
2 sheets of puff pastry
1 egg + 1 Tb. water
Turbinado sugar for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Peel and chop the apples into ¼ inch cubes. Mix the apple cubes with the raisins, orange zest, orange juice, flour, garam masala, curry powder, salt and brown sugar.
Cut each puff pastry sheet into 9 squares and place them on baking stones or parchment paper-lined cookie sheets. Gently roll out each square into a diamond shape.
Top each diamond with a tablespoon of apple mixture.
Whisk the egg with 1 tablespoon of water and brush the egg wash over the edges of the diamond. Then fold the dough over the apple mixture and crimp the edges with a fork.
Brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle with Turbinado sugar. Bake for 17-20 minutes until golden brown on top.
Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 18.