Thursday, 14 September 2017

Mini Apple & Cinnamon Turnovers

You may know these Mini Apple & Cinnamon Turnovers as hand pies or even parcels.  They're easy to make, and the lightly spiced apple filling is encased in a delicious cream cheese pastry. They're the perfect bake for the autumn months.

Mini Apple & Cinnamon Turnovers recipe with a cream cheese pastry

Now that the seasons are changing and it's becoming clearly more autumnal as each day passes, with the chillier, shorter days and the leaves beginning to turn all shades of red, many of us are starting to be drawn towards comfort foods.

For me, being a girl with an obvious sweet tooth (just check out my recipe index and I'm sure you'll soon agree), comfort food can be anything from pies, crumbles, steamed puddings to rich fruit cakes.

How to make Mini Apple & Cinnamon Turnovers

The great thing about autumn as I see it, other than the fact that it's a whole lot of fun to walk through piles of crisp, freshly fallen gold and russet leaves (I know, I'm such a big kid!) is the huge range of seasonal fruit and vegetables available.  From blackberries and pears, to pumpkins and squashes, and beets.  And of course it's the start of the apple season too!

If you're looking to rustle up a few seasonal bakes, here are some ideas from the Only Crumbs Remain kitchen for inspiration (just click on the image to be taken to the recipe).  If beetroot is your thing do check out this collection of 14 brilliant beetroot recipes too, but if you're looking for ways to use apples, then keep reading as I will not only share with you my Mini Apple & Cinnamon Turnover recipe but a further 13 apple recipes from some top food bloggers.       

This Blackberry & Pear Jam uses nature's free bounty to make a tasty preserve for just a few pence.  Not only is homemade jam easy to make and can be used in lots of ways, this blackberry jam recipe uses 25% less sugar than most! An easy to make beetroot and chocolate muffin style cupcake, which is just as delicious with or without the vibrant pink beetroot frosting.  These cupcakes are beautifully moist, and are punctuated with chocolate chips. With a classic flavour combination, this Pear and Almond Tart not only looks inviting but also tastes amazing too.  The frangipane tart was glazed with a little apricot jam to produce a wonderful sheen.     Apple rose tarts are eye catching, resembling a pretty bouquet of roses.  They're just as delicious as any apple pie  With a wonderful earthy flavour, this vegan beetroot & lentil pie recipe produces a delicious, colourful and nutritious meal which is perfect served with vegetables and potatoes or a simple salad.

I digress a little!

Having felt the change of seasons in my bones (it's as though I've been brewing a cold for the past week or so), the comforting warm hug of a pie called.  And with the new apple season knocking on our door, a homemade apple pie with a touch of cinnamon was the perfect bake.

Mini Apple and Cinnamon Handpies are a great way to use apples

Not firing on all cylinders, I wanted a quick pie.  A pie where I didn't need to bother lining a tin.  A pie that didn't need blind baking.  A pie that's forgiving.  A pie that I could eat out of my hand.    These Apple and Cinnamon Turnovers, or as our American friends call them Apple and Cinnamon Hand Pies, are super easy to make and absolutely delicious both warm (though not hot as you're likely to burn your mouth!) or cold .

As I mentioned above, turnovers are super easy to make.  The pastry discs are cut out with a large biscuit cutter (though a tea plate or upturned bowl would work equally well, and would produce a hand pie a little larger than the ones I made here which is no bad thing).  They're filled with a simple yet delicious apple and cinnamon mixture which is thickened with a little cornflour to prevent that dreaded soggy bottom!    

How to make apple turnovers, hand pies and parcels

These little parcels of apple and cinnamon are absolutely scrumptious! The filling is wonderful and fresh with a delicate touch of spice, and the pastry is wonderfully flaky with that melt in the mouth quality.  In fact the pastry used to make these Apple & Cinnamon Turnovers is enriched with cream cheese making it even more delicious than the usual sweet or puff pastry used for hand pies!  It's a pastry I first came across, and fell in love with, when making a batch of rugelach with a sweet mincemeat filling a couple of Christmases ago.  It works so well in these Mini Apple and Cinnamon Turnovers too!  The cream cheese pastry is quick and easy to pull together, but I must admit with it containing a significant amount of fat courtesy of the butter and cream cheese it does need to be chilled to prevent it from becoming sticky and difficult to work with!      

Apple and Cinnamon turnovers are such a delicious treat.

As promised, just before I share with you my Mini Apple & Cinnamon Turnover recipe, here are 13 apple recipes from top food bloggers for you to try out!   As usual, just click on the green text of any that catch your eye to be taken to the post and recipe. 

So, here's how to make Mini Apple & Cinnamon Turnovers

print recipe

Mini Apple & Cinnamon Turnovers
You may know these Mini Apple & Cinnamon Turnovers as hand pie s or even  parcels.  They're easy to make, and the lightly spiced apple filling is encased in a delicious cream cheese pastry. They're the perfect bake for the autumn months.

Hands on time: Bake time:     Yield: 20 small turn overs / hand pies

Specific Equipment
    Baking sheet(s)
    Rolling Pin
    10cm diam plain round Cookie Cutter (see note a below)
For the Sweet Pastry with Cream Cheese (see note b below)
  • 235g Plain Flour
  • small pinch of Salt
  • 200g Butter, unsalted & chilled
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 200g Cream Cheese, full fat
  • Icing sugar, for rilling out 
For the Apple Filling
  • 5 medium Eating Apples (we used Braeburn & they weighed almost 300g once thinly peeled & cored
  • 3 tbsp Water
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon (see note c below)
  • 2 tsp Cornflour
  • 25g Butter
To Finish the Turnovers
  • Milk
  • Caster Sugar

1. Make the pastry. Place the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Cube the chilled butter and add to the flour. Rub the butter into the flour between your thumb and finger tips, until the mixture resembles course breadcrumbs. Stir the sugar into the crumbs. Tip the full fat cream cheese onto a plate and slice it up (avoid over handling it). Add it to the breadcrumb mixture. Use a pallet knife or the back of a dinner knife to cut through the mixture. Move the bowl around as you do so. Gradually the cream cheese will become coated in flour and will resemble course breadcrumbs. At this point use your hands to bring the dough together into one ball. 2. Chill the pastry. Place the pastry ball onto a work surface and divide into 3 or 4 pieces of approximate equal size. Shape each into a ball and then flatten to a disc. Wrap each separately in cling film. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (or up to 2 days).3. Prepare the apple filling. Peel, core and chop the apples. Place into a pan. Add the water, sugar and cinnamon. Place on the hob over a medium heat. Stir. Allow the sugar to dissolve as the mixture heats. Continue to stir periodically with a wooden spoon whilst the apples cook. Meanwhile spoon the cornflour into a small bowl or cup. Mix to a smooth paste with 3 tsp of water. Once the apples are starting to soften but still have some firmness (test with a sharp paring knife) and have produced some juice add half of the cornflour paste. Stir. The apple mixture should thicken. If it's still a little too runny (depending upon how much juice your apples have produced) add a little more cornflour paste. Once thickened, add the butter and stir into the apples. Once the butter has melted into the apple mixture remove it from the heat and pour into a bowl. Set aside to cool.4. Prepare a baking sheet. Base line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.5. Roll out the pastry. Remove one of the chilled pastry packs from the fridge. Allow it to warm up slightly for a couple of minutes. Unwrap the pastry and place onto a clean work surface liberally dusted with icing sugar. Dust the rolling pin with icing sugar. Roll out the pastry 3 - 4 mm thick (see note d below). Cut out discs using a plain round 10cm (diameter) cookie cutter. Ball up the off cuts, wrap in clingfilm and place back into the fridge. 6. Fill the pastry discs. Place a teaspoon of the cold apple filling on one half of the pastry disc, leaving a boarder of about 5mm. Use a pastry brush to paint a little water around the edge of the pastry. Fold the pastry in half gently so that it covers the apple and the edges meet neatly. Apply a little pressure to seal the pastry. Carefully lift the filled pastry (you may need to use a pallet knife or fish slice for this) and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Hold a knife vertically and with the back of the knife gently push it into the sealed pastry crust by just 1-2mm to create a pretty edge pattern.  Alternatively gently press the tines of a fork into the pastry crust. 
 7.  Repeat. Once the remaining pastry discs have been filled in the same way place the baking sheet in the fridge to allow the pastry to rest and firm up again before baking. Use the remaining bundles of pastry one at a time to make more apple turnovers. Shape more pastry discs with the off cuts, rolling it out just the once to avoid over working the pastry. 8. Chill. Chill the apple turnovers for 20 - 30 minutes.9. Preheat the oven to 200℃ / 180℃ fan / Gas 6. 10. Prepare to bake. Use a pastry brush to paint a little milk over the top of the apple turnovers. Scatter over a little sugar. Use a sharp knife or pair of clean scissors to make a hole in the top of the pastry for steam to escape. 11. Bake. Place the baking tray into the centre of the oven and bake for 20 - 25 minutes until a deep golden brown and the pastry is cooked through. You may need to rotate the tray after 15 minutes of baking. Once baked removed from the oven and allow to cool on the baking tray. 12. Enjoy either warm or cold!  
Notes: a)  If you don't have a 10cm plain round cookie cutter to hand alternatives you could use are an upturned large drinking glass, saucer, tea plate or dessert bowl. Use a sharp knife to cut around the object to create a pastry disc.  Obviously if using a larger item to cut around your yield of hand pies will be smaller.   b) Use a sweet short crust ready made pastry if you prefer.  You will need about 600g for the quantity I made here. c) We used 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon for a subtle flavour.  Use up to 1 tsp if you prefer a more defined cinnamon flavour.  You could omit it all together if you prefer. d) If you like to roll your homemade pastry extra thin line me, do try to keep this cream cheese pastry a little thicker.  This will allow the pastry to puff and create a lamination effect due to the high percentage of fat in this pastry.  

Pin Mini Apple & Cinnamon Turnovers (hand pies) for later!

How to make apple & cinnamon turnovers, though you may know them as hand pies or even parels.  They're filled with an appleand cinnamon filling thickened with cornflour and encased in an easy cream cheese pastry.

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Useful Baking Equipment when making Mini Apple & Cinnamon Turnovers


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  1. They are absolute beauties Angela! I haven't eaten a turnover in yonks but really want one now. I love cream cheese pastry, mainly because it's so easy to work with, and it's the only pastry I like to make as I am extremely rubbish at pastry making!
    thanks for including my trifle recipe :)

    1. Thankyou Helen, it's such a fab pastry isn't it - and so yummy too! You're welcome, we're huge fans of trifle in our family!
      Angela x

  2. Angela I love the sound of these. Lovely photos too, especially the flat lay!! I don't think I've ever made cream cheese pastry before but I'm certainly tempted to give it a go having read this recipe. Thanks also for including my flapjacks. Loving the sound of Debbie's apple and blue cheese soup.

    1. Thankyou Mandy, I was really pleased with the how the flat lays came out - all thanks to a tip from Charlotte tbh about the f-stops! Ooh you must try a cream cheese pastry when you have chance Mandy, it's so easy to make - and incredibly yummy! You're more than welcome, i love flapjack, and yes Debbie's soup really does so amazing!

  3. These look so good Angela! The perfect thing for a chilly autumn day. And lovely to see your new backdrop being used...I have that one too - it's fab isn't it? It always makes food look good and no lines to line up!! I would probably use it every time if that wasn't just a tad boring!! Thanks for linking up to #CookBlogShare :-) Eb x

    1. :-) To be honest I was inspired with your images, and that's why I decided to get that particular design from Lucy. It's so perfect for baking styled pics. And yes, you're right there's no lines to line up (or un-line up) either . That's the only thing which I'm not keen on with the other backdrop - I feel as though the line (which I realise is meant to be the gap between the planks of wood) breaks up and separates the image if that makes sense. At the moment I try to position things so that the line can be cropped our of the image.
      Angela x

  4. mmmmm your mini turnovers look divine. I love how the apple juices have spilt out off the pastry slightly, and looks almost caramelised. I dint remember the last time I ate an apple turnover, but its been too long!
    Thank you also for including my recipe Angela x

    1. I was just the same Juenny, I must have been creeping up 20 years since I had an apple turn over! I know, way too long given how yummy they are! Those caramalised bits were lush Jenny, and although i had two minds about re-baking them so the juice didn't come out I figured these were 'real' and shows what happens.
      Angela x

  5. These are real beauties!!! Love the addition of cream cheese to pastry and really curious to try it out! Mmm the smell of apples and cinnamon makes you feel oh so cosy, it doesn't get any better than this. Love the photos as always! x

    1. Ooh you must try the cream cheese Jo, I'm sure you'll love it as much as we do.
      Angela x

  6. These look incredible. I love cinnamon and apple together. I haven't tried cream cheese pastry before but it sounds even more delicious than puff pastry so I will have to give these a go!x

    1. I with you there Cat, apple and cinnamon are just heavenly aren't they :-) You must try the cream cheese pastry at some time - it's soooo much easier to make than puff!
      Angela x

  7. These are beautiful Angela!! Who doesn't love a warm spicy apple filling in the fall months! Adding cream cheese to the pastry dough is such a great idea! Lovely!!

    1. Apple and cinnamon is a must in autumn isn't it - just so yummy!
      Angela x

  8. Oh these are wonderful and the pastry looks incredible! I grew up eating all kinds of apple pies and tarts and have such a weakness for desserts like this. Thanks so much for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice x

    1. Haha, I think my brother & I as well as hubby were weaned on pastry too! Just love the stuff! It's so comforting, and really quite easy to make too :-)
      Angela x

  9. They look absolutely moreish! I'm loving all the spiced apple recipe at the moment!

    1. Thankyou Kat :-) Autumn definitely says spiced apple to so many people doesn't it :-)
      Angela x

  10. Ooh, these look fabulous and are just perfect for this time of year. Commenting as BritMums Baking Round-up Editor. :)


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