Baked Apple Turnovers

I made these turnovers last week as I had a bag of frozen apple slices that wanted using, as well as a puff pastry dough that had been sitting in the fridge a couple days while I decided what to do with it.  These turned out delicious, and well worth keeping the recipe on hand for the next time – and so I share it here!  I found several recipes online, but most call for deep-frying; I don’t do grease.  Baking them is healthier, ecologically as well as medically, and they come out tasting like the apple pie pockets from a well-known fast-food chain restaurant – except I know exactly what goes into these, no chemicals or unpronounceable ingredients involved. They only take about 10 minutes to prepare and would be a great dessert for guests, or a quick toss-together when you’ve got withering apples to use up.

For a real treat, serve these warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.  Enjoy!

Apple Turnovers

Baked Apple Turnovers

3-4 apples, peeled, cored and finely diced

4 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

1 sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry

A bit of milk or cream for brushing

Prepare the apples as instructed; then toss together with the sugar and spices.

Roll out the pastry dough, and score with a knife to cut into 6 squares.

Spoon a bit of the mixture into the centre (off just a bit, as you’ll fold it at the centre), keeping it away from the edges.  Fold over corner-to-corner into a triangle, and press the open edges together with the tines of a fork.  Repeat until all are done, spreading them evenly on a baking tray lined with baking paper.  Brush the tops with a bit of milk or cream (or egg wash).

Bake at 180°C (350°F) for ~30-40 minutes, or until golden brown.

Makes 6 turnovers.

Save

Marronikuchen (Chestnut Torte)

marronikuchen

Credit:  Coop

It’s been quite some time since I added a new recipe; I’ve been quite sick since mid-November (respiratory infection), so I haven’t really felt like experimenting in the kitchen – I’ve encored several of the recipes that already appear in the archives here.  Today, however, I spent a couple hours doing crafts with some women from our church, and one of them brought a wonderful cake; I asked her for the recipe so that I could present it to you, and make it available to add to our Pinterest boards!  It was a recipe that appeared in the Swiss Coop grocer’s online magazine back in October 2013, so I offer you the original German version along with my English translation and conversions.  It’s a delicious torte well worth making!

 

In case you’re wondering what the difference between a cake and a torte is, the latter is a rich, dense cake made with relatively many eggs and little to no flour; that also means that you’ll want to serve smaller portions!

Marronikuchen

4 Eier (Eigelb und Eiweiss trennen)

200 gr Butter

1 Päckli Vanillezucker

150 gr Zucker

350 gr Marronipurée

50 gr Mandeln

½ Päckli Backpulver

Zubereitung:  Butter schaumig rühren, Eigelb, Zucker, Vanillezucker zugeben, weiterrühren.  Marronipurée, Mandelm und Backpulver zugeben.  Eiweiss zu Schnee schlagen und vorsichtig unter die Masse heben.  In einer eingebutterten Springform bei 180°C ca. 50-55 Minuten in der unteren Ofenhälfte backen.

Chestnut Torte

4 eggs (separate yolks and whites)

200 gr. (7 oz.) butter

7 gr. vanilla sugar, or 1 tsp. vanilla extract

150 gr. (5 oz.) sugar

350 gr. (12 oz.) chestnut purée (in Switzerland, also known as “Vermicelles”)

50 gr. ground almonds

7 gr. (1½ tsp.) baking powder

Preparation:  Beat the butter until foamy, then stir in egg yolks, sugar & vanilla; blend thoroughly.  Add the chestnut purée, almonds & baking powder.  In a separate bowl, whip egg whites until foamy; carefully fold into the first mixture.  Pour into a buttered springform pan and bake at 180°C (350°F) for 50-55 minutes on the lower rack of the oven.

Vintage Life Hack #1: A Hint When Boiling Potatoes

We might be tempted to think that life hacks are a modern phenomenon, but they’ve probably been around as long as the need to communicate with another human has.  Fire?  Rub sticks together.  Meat?  Better cooked than raw (apologies to the vegetarians out there, but back then – and in many countries today – people couldn’t afford to be vegetarians… it was down to survival).

Here’s a vintage life hack on boiling potatoes:

Eat to Live Tip: Relieve Tension

If you’re feeling tense, grab a carrot, a stick of celery, a bell pepper, popcorn, an apple, pear or peach, and bite in!  Let the tension go as you munch on crunchy healthy snacks, and improve your health two ways at once.

Crunchy Snacks & Tension

OLD-FASHIONED CAULIFLOWER PIE with POTATO CRUST

Old-Fashioned Cauliflower Pie with Potato CrustI recently made this for dinner, and loved it!  It takes about an hour to pre-prepare, but the potato crust is well worth the effort.  I prepared it when I had time in the afternoon (you could do so the evening before as well), and then did the final baking before serving dinner.

POTATO CRUST

2 firmly packed C. of grated raw potatoes

½ tsp. salt

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 C. grated onion

2 green onions, thinly sliced

Vegetable oil (I use coconut oil)

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Spray a 9-inch pie pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place the raw potato strings in a colander. Add salt to the potatoes & let them set for 10 minutes, then, using your hand, squeeze out the excess water.

In a medium bowl, combine the potatoes, eggs, & the onions & stir to mix well.  Pat the potato mixture into the greased pie pan gently with the back of a spoon.   Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove the pie pan from the oven & let rest & cool a bit before adding the cauliflower mixture. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F (180°C).

 FILLING

½ tsp. salt

3 eggs, beaten

1/4 C. half & half cream

2-3 Tbs. Mascarpone (cream cheese)

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. paprika

Make the potato crust & bake it while you are preparing the pie mixture. In a small bowl, beat together the salt, eggs, half & half, pepper & paprika, then set aside.  You may be tempted to make more liquid than this, but believe me, this is enough!

3 Tbs. butter

½ C. onion, chopped

4 green onions, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

½ tsp. seasoned salt

1 tsp. savory

½ tsp. dried thyme

½ tsp. dried oregano

2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley leaves

1 large cauliflower, broken into small florets

In a frying pan over medium heat, sauté the onions, garlic & seasoned salt until the onions soften & the garlic just begins to colour.  Add the savory, thyme, oregano, parsley & cauliflower & cook, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat.

1 C. grated Cheddar cheese

1 C. grated Swiss cheese

Paprika, for garnish

Optional:  Top with pretzels, coarsely crumbled, for a nice crunch

Layer the baked potato crust with half of the cheeses, then the cauliflower-herb mixture, then all the remaining cheese.

Pour the cream mixture over the top.  Bake 35-40 minutes at 180°C (350°F), until the pie is firm & set & the top is just beginning to brown up.  Remove the pan from the oven, let sit for 10 minutes to firm up, sprinkle with paprika & serve.

Pimabas Smoothie

I just made a delicious smoothie using pineapple, mango, banana

strawberry-banana-pineapple-smoothie

Image credit:  www.howtomakeasmoothie.com

and strawberries – hence the name!  I added plain yoghurt and a bit of almond paste, diluted with milk, and have enough smoothies for over the weekend.  I used freshly frozen fruits (I bought them recently, processed them and tossed them in the freezer), except the pineapple, which was a small tin of unsweetened, about 4 rings.

Pimabas Smoothie

1 small can unsweetened pineapple rings, plus juice

1/2 C. mango pulp

1/2 banana, in slices

1/2 C. strawberries

a drizzle of honey (to taste)

1-2 tsp. almond paste, or peanut butter

150 ml. plain yoghurt

 

Pop it all in a blender, and mix until smooth.  For each glass of smoothie, pour half full with the mix, and fill the rest with milk, or any fruit juice you choose.  Serve chilled, preferably with a straw to get all the goodness!

Smoothies make a great base for homemade ice cream, or popsicle.

 

Swiss Apple Tiramisu

I posted this originally in 2012, and wanted to share it with those new to the blog!  I’ll be making this tonight as a dessert to Swiss cheese fondue; despite the cream layer, it will make a light and refreshing contrast to the heavier main meal.  Over a decade ago, I got this recipe from a Swiss friend; I’ve made it dozens of times, and it always gets rave reviews and requests for the recipe!  Unlike other tiramisu, this has no raw eggs, or coffee.

 

lady finger cookies

Lady Fingers Cookies

Swiss Apple Tiramisu

 

750 gr. apples

Peel them, chop into large chunks, and blitz them with a chopper (or knife if you’re a purist) into a coarse apple puree.  Add:

1 Tbs. vanilla sugar

½ lemon’s juice

1 C. apple juice

a dash of Amaretto or almond extract

Mix it all together into an apple sauce.  Next, in a separate bowl, mix the cream layer:

500 gr. mascarpone

5 dl. whipped cream

2 Tbs. apple schnapps (Calvados)

Beat til foamy.  You’ll also need:

3 pkgs. Lady Finger cookies (approx. 18 per 2 layers = 36)

In a casserole dish, layer as follows: A bit of applesauce, then rows of biscuits, and whipped topping; repeat once more.

Make this at least an hour before serving, and chill it until time to serve.  I stab toothpicks around the edge and a few down the centre to keep the plastic foil from touching a nicely-smoothed surface.