Learning 2 Bake – from Scratch

Strawberry Turnovers

Fleet Farm sells very yummy dried strawberries. The turned biscuit experience had me thinking about pastry. Guess what! I made pastry: Strawberry turnovers. My Joy of Cooking is still packed, somewhere, so I turned to the Internet for a starting point. I found an apple turnover recipe that looked good at Brown-Eyed Baker.

The pastry, which I cut in half:
2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, cold, cut into ¼-inch cubes
6 tablespoons ice water
1 teaspoon lemon juice

I tried to think of a strawberry equivalent to apple’s cinnamon. Vanilla seemed close, so I swapped a 1/2 tablespoon of water for vanilla.

Ready to combine

It’s pastry dough; there are only two ways to screw it up: Let it get warm and/or overwork it. I did the latter. I started early by forgetting that the point of the “refrigerate after combining” step is to allow the water to evenly penetrate the flour. I was impatient and added a 1/2 tablespoon of water to get “dough”, not a crumbly mass of flour; I was also thinking of all the “lightly floured surface” rolling that was to come that would balance out the ratio.

Ready to refrigerate.

While that was (re)cooling, I prepped the filling:

It’s as bad as cutting up gumdrops.

The custard cup has some (unmeasured) water, a 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla, and 1 tablespoon of butter. The dried strawberries are bit tough. I wanted them softened with a bit of syrupy strawberry-ness. I got them softened. Simmered until the water was absorbed, then set aside to cool.

By the time I was done rolling and turning, the rolled out dough was pulling back, which is definite sign of way too much gluten. I think smaller chunks of butter would have helped; those are pretty large to turn-in. It took much rolling, too much. I’m also bad at rolling “out”, not “down”. I also turned it six times, not three (as the recipe says).

Back to the refrigerator with you!

The pan of filling went in the ‘fridge with the wrapped-in-plastic dough. The Laird and I went off to do other things. When we returned: the last rollout to fill, filling, and sealing. I have a disagreement with Brown-Eyed Baker on this step. I don’t want crimped edges; I want puffed up, separating-layer pastry edges. Press down quite hard with a finger, the long way, around the edges, the slice off about about halfway across that finger-width. This will expose the layered edges and keep them from sticking together.

Note the parchment paper, this time; no scrubbing strawberry goo for me!

375 doesn’t seem hot enough. The instructions called for 18-22 minutes. These were in for about 25 minutes. I think 425 would be better.

I was too curious to wait until after the picture.

Nothing to be ashamed of; I’d serve them. But, also nothing to be proud of; I’ve made, let alone eaten, better. The filling is an unqualified success, so these will be attempted again.

In comparison, this is the biscuit edge that I wanted on the turnovers:

That’s puffed up and layer-separated!

I need to remember: It’s pastry dough – if you’re touching it, you’re likely making things worse! Fewer turns and less rolling!

Update: Browsing through the Brown-eyed Baker site, I just bought the recommended oven thermometer. Perhaps 375 isn’t too cool, but my oven is off! I’m holding off on the scale until the new kitchen is ready (eta: May).

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