Cooking On A Budget: Sweet Pinwheels and Pastry Turnovers

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sweet Pinwheels and Pastry Turnovers

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Pinwheel Recipe

Sweet pinwheels are so simple to create.  This first recipe is a form of rugelach. It is one of those recipes that you can switch out ingredients to make them different flavors.  The base for it is butter and cinnamon sugar and nuts.

1 sheet puff pastry dough
1/2 cup cinnamon and 2 tsp. cinnamon combined
1/2 stick of butter or margarine - melted
1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 cup raisins

On your pastry sheet, brush the entire sheet with the butter.  Sprinkle a generous amount of the cinnamon and sugar all over the dough.  Then sprinkle the finely chopped nuts and raisins on top of that.

Other variations:
In place of the raisins use dried fruits.  They dry just about any fruits nowadays.  What you want to look for are fruits that are somewhat soft like apricots, prunes, etc.  If they are not soft like banana chips do not consider those.  Just take the dried but soft fruits and finely chop them and spread over the nuts.

Roll up the puff pastry and make sure to press the seam down.  Brush with the egg mixture and with the seam side down cut slices about 1/2 thick and lay them on your baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes in a preheated 400 degree oven.



Pastry Turnovers
So simple, tasty and easy to make are your own puff pastry turnovers.  You will need to use a sharp knife or pizza wheel to cut 4 x 4 inch squares. Using the sheet exactly as it is will yield four 4" x 4" squares with a tail end piece that is 2" x 4". Take the 2" x 4" sections from both sheets and combine them to create two more
4" x 4" segments.  You will need to use a touch of water and your fingers to press the seam down. This will yield 10 squares from 2 sheets of puff pastry dough.

Let's get started on these easy and inexpensive turnover recipes. Each recipes requires 2 sheets of puff pastry dough to make 10 turnovers.  You can choose to make an egg wash mixture to brush on the top of the pastry by combining 1 whole egg and 1 tbsp. water. It gives the tops of the pastry a slight sheen and helps with the browning process.

Keep in mind that you will be making a triangle, place about 2 tablespoons of the filling on the top half and then fold up the bottom half to form the triangle.  Seal the edges by using your finger dipped in water and press down with your fingers or use a dinner fork to seal.

Fillings:
Choose any one of these already prepared fillings that you readily will find in any grocery store.
  • Cherry pie filling - 2 tbsp. per triangle
  • Blueberry pie filling - 2 tbsp. per triangle
  • Black cherry jam - 2 tbsp. per triangle
Or, you can make your own fillings like apple or peach.  With the peach filling you can substitute canned peaches (drained) if fresh peaches are not available.  However, even this time of year we get produce from South America so check the fresh fruit section of your local grocery store.

Apple Filling:
4-5 apples - peeled, cored and cut into small chunks
1 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. white sugar
1 tbsp. butter or margarine
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. corn starch
Optional ingredients might be: 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or 1/4 cup raisins or both could be used in the filling mix.

In a sauce pot melt the butter over medium low heat and add in the apples, cinnamon, water, sugar and corn starch.  If you choose, add the optional ingredients as well at the very end of the cooking time.  Stir and mix all ingredients.  Cook over medium low heat until the apples just begin to soften.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely before you assemble the turnovers.  Place about 2 tablespoons of the mixture on the top half of the triangle and fold over the bottom half and seal.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven until the pastry puffs up and reaches a nice golden brown. This takes about 20 minutes.

Peach Filling:
4-5 fresh peaches - peeled, pit removed and cut into small chunks
1 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. light brown sugar
1 tbsp. butter or margarine
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. corn starch
In a sauce pot melt the butter over medium low heat and add in the peaches, cinnamon, water, sugar and corn starch.  Stir and mix all ingredients.  Cook over medium low heat until the peaches just begin to soften.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely before you assemble the turnovers.  As stated above place about 2 tablespoons of the mixture on the top half of the triangle and fold over the bottom half and seal.

Please note:  If you are using canned peaches, drain them and cut them and place them in a bowl with the sugar, corn starch and cinnamon. Omit the water and butter.  Mix well.You will not need to cook them as they are already softened.
Place about 2 tablespoons of the mixture on the top half of the triangle and fold over the bottom half and seal.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven until the pastry puffs up and reaches a nice golden brown. This takes about 20 minutes.

There are other options for turnover fillings as well. Perhaps you might want to try something a bit different like a pear or plum filling.  Again, this time of year we are seeing produce coming from South America so in addition to the seasonal fruits here in the states you have more options.  View the recipes that I will be posting for a pear filling and a plum filling.


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