So last weekend I went apple picking with friends and family. We were only picking for an hour or so, but we came back with two bags full of apples with comes down to about 40 lbs of apples. With that many apples and a limited amount of time to make things with it.
We picked two varieties of apples: Mcintosh and Lobo (whose parent is McIntosh, as it turns out). What is the difference between those two? Visually, the Lobo is much larger than the McIntosh. While the former is usually about 10 cm (4 in) diameter, the McIntosh were generally much smaller, averaging around 6-8 cm (~3.5 in). In terms of taste, they are both fairly tart, but the McIntosh is a little more so than the Lobo. We collected about equal amounts of both, maybe a bit more McIntosh. Since they are fairly similar, unless I am aiming for a particularly sour recipe, I would mostly use a mix of the two.
What to do with apples?
When we were at Quinn Farm, they had all sorts of different things for sale among which were fresh apple turnovers. On arriving home, I wanted to make some. Rather than making turnover dough though, I used filo pastry dough that I had left over from a previous experiment.
I wanted this to be short and sweet (literally and figuratively). I grabbed a few apples, mixed in some sugar and cinammon, buttered some filo dough, and threw them in the oven. It turned out pretty well, so I decided to repeat an improved version on Saturday morning for breakfast.
I like apple desserts to be tart, but sweet. I do not want it to be excessively sweet like some of the store bough ones, specially considering this is breakfast.
Recipe – Filo Dough Apple Turnovers
- 2 small McIntosh apples (yields 2 cups when chopped)
- a squirt of lime juice
- 1/8 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/8 cup white flour
- Small pinch baking soda
- 2 sheets of philo dough
- 1/8 cup butter
Start by skinning and coring the apples, then chopping them into small pieces. I would cut each quarter apple into 5 slices, and again 5 times. Normally I like to have pieces of apple be noticeable, but since the filo dough is fairly delicate, the apple has to be small enough to cook through at the same time as the dough.
Once they are all cut, add in the lime, sugar and cinnamon. Mix thoroughly and let it sit. Set the oven to 350 F. The sugar on the surface of the apples will pull some of the juice out of the pieces of apple. By the time your oven has reached its temperature, 10-15 minutes the apples will have sufficient time to soften and expel the juice. This is good though, it will ensure we have a moist filling. If we leave the liquid as it is though, it will leak out and be all soggy. That is where the flour comes in. Add flour slowly until the juice that has accumulated in the bottom stays sticking to the apples, and no longer accumulates in the bottom. In my case, I added the flour and mixed it in 1/8 cup at a time, and after 3/8 cup it was enough. If you add too much flour it will result in a dry filling. It should not be pasty!
Now to prepare the dough. The key to good filo dough is… butter! Melt the butter (I just use the microwave). With a brush, apply butter between the two layers of filo dough. Cut the stacked sheets once in each direction to get 4 small rectangles. The turnovers that I know are normally triangle shaped, but filo dough is somewhat fragile and so the rectangular shape is easier. I elected to just make them like egg egg rolls.
Prepare a baking sheet covered with aluminium foil. Add about 1/4 of the apple mix to the center of each rectangle. I use a bit of the left over sugar apple juice with flour in the bottom of the bowl as a glue to keep the dough together. Fold it over the long way both ways, then fold over then short ends closed. Move it to the baking sheet with the folded ends underneath.
Once all of them are folded shut and put on the baking sheet. It is not quite done yet though, more butter! Once again butter the outside of the turnovers, then transfer the baking sheet to the hot oven, and cook for 25 minutes.
Once you take it out of the oven, give it a few minutes to cool and then sieve a bit of confectioner’s sugar over the the top and serve.
All part of a complete breakfast, as a dessert for 2 poached eggs with Hollandaise sauce over hash browns with a few rolls of capicolli with a hot cup of coffee.