Turnovers are often forgotten in the dessert world. Tarts and pies steal the show when it comes to articles, cookbook recipes, and blogs, but turnovers are just as sweet and delicious, and portable to boot. Like their bigger and more prevalent cousins, turnovers are simply cooked fruit encased in buttery pastry dough. Yet unlike the tart and pie, you don’t need to slice them, set them on a plate, or make a presentation out of serving them. Sure you could plop some ice cream or whipped cream next to one and set a mint leaf on it, but you could just as easily wrap it in a napkin and stick it in your pocket for later. This is why turnovers (both the savory and sweet variety) are also referred to as pocket pies.
Portability makes turnovers the perfect dessert for a variety of occasions. They're a great choice for parties where people will be milling about instead of sitting down. They're also ideal for putting in kids' lunches, packing for picnics, or taking on car or airline trips. But you don't need an occasion to make turnovers; they're great any time.
Turnovers are incomparably delicious when made with homemade puff pastry, but very few of us have the time or inclination to make puff pastry from scratch. Although you can create a nice turnover with homemade pie crust, I prefer puff pastry's flaky texture for the finished product and so I opt for frozen store-bought sheets. If you have time to make your own puff pastry or know of a shop where you can buy it, you'll be in for an extravagant indulgence when you bite into your luscious turnover. But if you're like me and usually have only the frozen stuff available, you will still reap the rewards of a buttery and fruity treat.
To make fruit turnovers, simply create a bowlful of whatever pie filling you like most. I am partial to apple and cherry turnovers, but blueberries, pecans, and pureed pumpkin are also great fillings. Anything you would stick into a baked pie or tart will work. You then scoop the filling into cut pieces of puff pastry, seal and bake. That's it.
There's no reason dessert has to be a plated affair. So the next time you're taking a road trip, want to put something extra special in your child's lunch, or you're simply in the mood for a sweet pocket pie, make some very easy and delicious turnovers.