The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Flaky Turnovers made with Cream Cheese Pastry

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Flaky Turnovers made with Cream Cheese Pastry

Hello, I tried making a cream cheese pastry dough, rolled with 3 turns, to make some turnovers.
The recipe I used was 'Lemon Turnovers' from Pastries from the La Brea Bakery by Nancy Silverton.

I was thinking, because of how these turnovers are made, they might be a good thing to make ahead and bake from frozen. This might come in handy with the holiday season approaching, so I thought I'd post about them.

I want to respect copyright so don't want to reproduce her recipe verbatim, but this recipe for the pastry is close (may be a bit heavy on salt, though): http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Cream-Cheese-Pastry-Dough-101585
To make 12 turnovers, each made from a 4" square of pastry, you'd need to double the recipe in the link above
(this would be, by weight, 8 ounces softened cream cheese, 8 ounces softened unsalted butter, 250 grams unbleached all purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt).
(Butter and cream cheese not super soft, say, 65-70F).


I mixed all except flour in Kitchen Aid on slow speed just until combined, added flour, mixed slow just until combined.
Lined a 13x18 sheet pan with plastic wrap, rolled out the dough to roughly fit the pan, transferred dough to sheet pan, rolled and patted until flat. Covered with plastic wrap, chilled in fridge overnight.
The next morning, warmed enough to roll out, and rolled out on a floured Silpat mat to 12x20. Did a business letter turn.
Rolled out again, same size, then second business letter turn.
Rolled out again, same size, then third business letter turn.
Wrap in plastic wrap, back to fridge for a few hours to firm up.
Here's a cross-section of the dough after three turns:


 


After the pastry had rested in the fridge, took it out of the fridge and let it warm up a bit to make it easier to roll out, to about 14x18.
Cut 4x4 squares, filled, sealed, then placed on parchment lined sheet pan, covered in plastic wrap, froze 1 hour before baking.
*Make and freeze ahead at this point?
Cut steam vents in tops, brushed with whole egg wash, sprinkled with sugar, baked 375 convection & started checking for doneness at 28 min.


12 baked....7 left on the plate...didn't take long for these to start disappearing!
Can't wait to try these with a fruit filling, although the lemon was fabulous.
I think this pastry would work well with savory fillings as well.

Happy baking everyone! Regards, breadsong


 


 

swtgran's picture
swtgran

Those are beautiful.  Did you save one to freeze?  I would be anxious to know how well they do making ahead for company.  Thanks, Terry

JitkaB's picture
JitkaB

I have been baking with this dough for years and love it very much. I usually fill the pastries with plum butter and sprinkle with some confectioner's sugar when done. The baked turnovers freeze very well and taste just as great after defrosting. I have not tried to freeze the dough to bake later, but I'd like to find out about that possibility, too. 


Jitka

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello and thank you!
After freezing the shaped turnovers for one hour prior to baking, they were firm but I wouldn't say frozen solid.
I had some left over pastry, so I rolled it out, cut some strips, dipped in milk then cinnamon sugar and then froze.
I baked from frozen. The strips puffed up to about 3/4" high. I broke one baked strip in half and found lovely layers!
Here's a pic:


A happy result! Regards, breadsong

highmtnpam's picture
highmtnpam

You've got to stop baking and let the rest of us catch up!  I'm thinking of a second home next door to you.


Pam

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Thanks Pam - the freezer is full and my electric bill is getting higher as the oven is always 'on'!
And yet I am still compelled to bake.  Regards, breadsong

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

I'm thinking apple and pecan filling with cinnamon sugar on top.  Thanks, Breadsong.


Glemm

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Those sound yummy!
If you make these turnovers I hope you like the pastry.
I liked the ease with which the pastry came together when mixing, and was
pleasantly surprised by the amount of flakiness once baked!
Happy baking to you - from breadsong


 

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

I mixed the dough this afternoon, rolled it out and refrigerated it.  Tomorrow I'll do the rest.


I couldn't find a lemon filling recipe that looked just right. but I'm going to try the "Grandma Dodge's Lemon Pie" filling from the KAF website.


I'll let you know how it comes out.


Thanks,


Glenn

EvaB's picture
EvaB

and made me curious to see the recipe, which turns out to be the one I use all the time for my little pies I make at Xmas, although I make it in large quantities and don't roll and fold, which I may try this year to see if I can get it flakier.


I also make this with just cream cheese for pie crusts, this is espeially nice for savory pies, as you can add thyme or oregano flakes to the mixer before chopping together. The little turnover's I make for Xmas, are meat, cheese, and black olive and onion filled, so they turn out nice and tasty with a savoury crust!


I have simplified my production by buying a double perogy maker, and cutting the pieces of dough to fit it, filling the dough, and topping with another sheet of dough and pressing. To make the differences in fillings known, I use a fork and prick the shell (steam vents) with 1, 2 or 3 fork marks, and bake. These are small turnovers not more than 2 inches long, and are great apatizers.

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello EvaB,
I was amazed at the flakiness created by the three turns, considering this is not a laminated dough. It was such a quick and easy mix, and one pastry recipe I will definitely come back to again.
Your little savory pies sound really, really good. Thanks for letting me know how you make them! 
from breadsong

EvaB's picture
EvaB

the savoury pies are like most of my best recipes, from a magazine, I find them either in the ads or in the magazines, these came from Canadian Living Magazine more than 20 years ago. They used thyme in the pie crust and its made with a mixture of lard, cream cheese and butter, but I usually just use the cream cheese and a small bit of butter, this year I am going to try and make my own lard, and will use some of that when I get the stuff rendered.


Just a note on that, make sure you have good ventilation if you try rendering pork fat or suet, its not a great smell. You need to have a pan with a rack to put the lard on, and heat it in a med oven 200-300F at most for a long time. Keeping a good eye on the hot lard in the oven. My brother said our gandmother used to do this with pork fat or fat bacon and would take the left over bits which turn brown as the fat is renderd from them, and make biscuits with them (they still have a lot of fat) or cornbread, she called them cracklings, both she and my mother would put cut off bacon skins into the oven and roast to puff up the skins, now these are a huge and profitable market on their own.


If you want the actual savoury fillings I will put them out online but unless you ask, I won't bother.

TuzaHu's picture
TuzaHu

that sounds so simple, and looks so great!


 


I like the idea of apples and pecans with sugar/cinammon on top.  Maybe some caramel sauce on top of the apple filled turn overs?  Maybe some home made cinnamon ice cream on the side?  Blueberry compote would be wonderful inside, too.


How about some pumpking pie filling or pecan pie filling inside with whipped cream on top or home made ice cream?  Crushed toffee and chocolate candies and a marshmellow inside the topped with cherry sauce?

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Thanks for the great dough, Breadsong.  I made lemon turnovers, and the dough was nice and flaky.  But I wasn't sure what filling you used, and I opted for a lemon pie filling that was too liquid.  Much of it leaked out.


I'm guessing you used a lemon curd, right?


Thanks.


Glenn

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Glenn, So glad you liked the pastry. I bet it all tasted delicious!

The filling I used was very close to this recipe:
http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/lemon-curd-cake-filling.aspx
I'd throw in one extra egg yolk for added thickening power; my recipe had 50% more lemon juice and butter than this, but the extra liquid was offset by 3 Tablespoons cornstarch.
I made sure the filling was chilled really well before baking - it was quite firm, not runny at all when I filled the turnovers (I still had a bit of filling leak out though).
- from breadsong


 

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

That filling sounds great!  I hope to try again before the end of the year.


Glenn

Jo_Jo_'s picture
Jo_Jo_

Ok, I make a great loaf of bread, but pie crusts are NOT my thing.  They never come out flaky, more like little tiny flakes of dryness that fall apart into tiny pieces as you eat it.  I am wondering if I basically am doing it all wrong and should follow what you are saying for these turnovers?  I am trying to picture how you made this dough, and then rolled it and folded it etc, but I really really need to see what is happening.  Is it possible you took more pictures than the few you have above?  Or maybe know where there are pictures that would show me how you did this?  Or maybe someone could help me with my pie crusts?

LindyD's picture
LindyD

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2007/11/cooks-illustrated-foolproof-pie-dough-recipe.html


Google "Cooks Illustrated vodka pie crust" and you'll find tons of hits raving about that method.


BTW, you don't drink the vodka while making the pie crust - it's an ingredient in the pie crust.  ;-)

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

"you don't drink the vodka while making the pie crust"

Why not?

Glenn

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Oopsie.  Of course I really meant don't drink all the vodka while making the pie crust!  The baker's gotta chill, too.   :>

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Jo_Jo_,


LindyD has recommended the Cook's vodka pie crust recipe - I haven't tried that one myself but can't imagine why it wouldn't be anything less than wonderful - Cook's Illustrated stuff I've found always to be very good!

I make this pie dough recipe often:
http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/pate-brisee-pie-dough


I like that it's all-butter for flavor, and the food processor blends everything quickly so all the ingredients stay cold. I've always been pleased with how the pie pastry turns out with Martha's recipe.

I will try to remember to take more pictures of the mixing process the next time I make the turnover dough and post them.

from breadsong

EvaB's picture
EvaB

then you won't have flaky pie crusts, and yes it is flaky, I've made it and while it didn't look like pie crust to begin with, it rolled wonderfully well after it was chilled. And flaky, but then again with all that butter and shortening yes it would be. I'm used to makeing the tenderflake lard recipe, which has a pound of lard in 5.5 cups of flour, and yes that is it, you beat an egg in the measuring cup, add a tablespoon of vinegar and fill it up with ice water, and mix, and it makes great pie crusts, the secret is to not cut the lard in too fine, and to not handle the crusts a lot. Its been working better for me, since I started weighing my cups of flour at 140g per cup.


My cream cheese crust is made in a food processor, put in two cups of flour, half a pound of lard (I actually make three batches and use 1/3 of the pound in each batch) a package of cream cheese (240g here) and half a tsp salt, and for my savoury pies which is where I got the recipe from a good sprinkle of freshly dried thyme. Put the flour in the processor, along with the salt and the thyme, add the lard cut in pieces, the cream cheese cut in pieces, and process until its sort of lumpy without the huge chunks of shortening etc, then process until it makes a ball in the processor, no moisture needed. Makes the best meat filled tarts or turnovers you've ever tasted.

Jo_Jo_'s picture
Jo_Jo_

I think you are misunderstanding what I am asking for.  I have tons of recipes for making a pie crust, they all claim to be for making a flakey crust.  I follow them, and end up with nearly the same results every time and I think it is the methods that I am using that are creating the issue.  Most recipes stop with the finished dough, some don't even talk about letting it sit in the fridge for 1/2 hour before rolling it out and none talk about anything specific your are supposed to do when you roll it out.  Breadsong talks about rolling it out and folding it and shows a picture of that, but it sounds like there is a lot more than that involved and I wondered if she has pictures of it and if it would help me create better pie crusts.  I guess at least my crusts are not hard, just really small flakes that are usually kinda dry and crumbly.


I found a recipe on King Arthur Flour that talks about rolling it out and folding it over etc, but again no pictures for what they are talking about and I am a very visual person.  It also talks about leaving some of the chunks of butter/lard/shortening in larger pieces for when you roll it out and fold it.  My mom is and was a wonderful mother, but she worked so didn't have time to teach me to cook or bake.  Everything I learn is from books or internet, and for a person who is so visual it can make it hard to copy methods when you have no one to help you.


This is what I think I am doing wrong just to start with.  First I cut my shortening into the dry ingredients using my kitchenaid and the wisk attachment.  I think I start the process all wrong and if I use the kitchenaid I leave it on far to long and create small chunks, whereas I should be leaving some large and some small and not nearly so fine.  I finish the dough and form it into a ball, but never knew I should put it back in the fridge for 30 minutes at least before rolling it out.  I roll it out as quickly as I can, thinking the less I work the dough the better it will be, but from what breadsong did with the turnover that couldnt be true.  Her turnovers have all that wonderful flakyness when she's done.  Anyway, I was thinking that maybe it's not the recipes it the way the baker is handling the dough....