I had another post planned for this week, but because of the high demand for the pear turnovers I posted to Instagram I've decided it would easiest to post it here for easy viewing!
These turnovers were a total last minute decision to make, a simple way for me to pass the time on a quite Saturday evening. The pears were not a forethought, they were just the only fruit I had on hand. They turned out so amazing though. The dough is reminiscent of a croissant, with layer upon layer of flakey, buttery crust. I've recently come to realize that I love all the flavors of pie, but I actually don't care for "pie" the fillings almost never stay contained within the crust, and for crust lovers like myself their is just never enough. Turnovers are the perfect alternative. The filling stays perfectly wrapped up in the flaky little envelope and the crust is the main feature with crispy edges all around.
For the crust:
2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2-1 tsp table salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into chunks and kept very cold before using
½ + 1-2 TBSP. Ice water
Combine flour, butter and salt in a mixing bowl. Blend together with a pastry blender until the butter and the flour are combine and you have small pieces of butter throughout the flour mixture. Add the water and mix with the pastry blender until combine. Pour the dough out onto a work surface and shape into a disk. Flatten the disk to about 1 inch thick and cut into fourths. Stack the fourths and press gently to stick them together, reshape into a disk and repeat once more. Wrap your flattened disk in plastic and place in the freezer or fridge until chilled completely. Approx. 2 hours.
4 pears peeled and chopped into small chunks
1/2 cup water
1 star anise seed
1 vanilla bean, split
2 cinnamon sticks
4 TBSP. sugar
Place the spices and water into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add the pears and sugar and simmer until the pears soften and become thick. Turn off heat, remove spices and set aside to cool until you are ready to assemble the crusts.
Once your dough has chilled, remove from the fridge/freezer and roll on a floured surface to between 1/8 and 1/4 in thickness. Cut into circles with a bowl. Place a spoonful of filling in the middle of your circle of dough, along with 1 TBSP. of unsalted butter cut into small pieces. Fold the dough over and seal the edge with a fork or your finger. You may need to moisten the edge with a bit of water to get it to stick properly. Make two slits in the top of each turnover and place on a baking sheet. Refrigerate 20 minutes to re-chill dough then bake at 375 until golden brown 45-50 minutes.