Thursday, January 20, 2011

... a yummy dessert ...


I made a teeny mistake in my previous post ... it was not "cherry tarts" that Mrs. Cox taught us, eighth graders. Nope. Rather, it was "cherry turnovers." My memory became clear when I searched for recipes and saw that tarts are these beautiful, little, fluted open-faced pies. Imagine teaching THAT to a roomful of 13-year olds! This revelations certainly unveils my inexperience with the culinary art of pastry - LOL!! Oh, well. Turnovers, it will be ... now for the ingredients.

Upon searching my fridge & cupboards, I realized that not a cherry could be found ... however, I did have blueberries on hand. So, saving a third trip to the market this week, I settled on "Blueberry Turnovers." :)

I have this wonderfully delicious and incredibly simple recipe for Blueberry Compote that I found in a New England Country B&B Cookbook some years ago. It has come in handy for serving over waffles, adding into cheesecakes, and filling into pies. Truly, you could let your imagination run wild with this recipe, as it is a wonderful base.

Blueberry Compote

2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 t. lemon juice
1 T. cornstarch
Blend the ingredients together in a medium-size saucepan. Cook over low/med heat until thickened and serve warm.
To use as a pie filing, just double or triple the recipe, depending upon your pie plate. :)

Next comes the pastry crust. Now, I must be honest - - I cheated last night. I couldn't help it... the Pillsbury Refrigerated Crust was sitting there, so vulnerable on that shelf and I took it. Laziness, convenience and anxiousness won for the evening. Lazy due to the cold I'm fighting - convenience for time & clean up - and beyond anxious for the premier of American Idol that was due to start in 10 minutes! :)

So - refrigerated crust it is - genius in a snap!!

My son rolled out the crust (as it seemed a little thick to me ...). I like to use powdered sugar rather than flour to roll out pastry/cookie dough. It just adds that tiny touch of sweetness instead of the grainy taste that can happen with too much flour - - especially when baking with the kids!
Next, I found a square container to use as a cutter which made it so easy for my kids to make all the squares that we needed. One pastry crust made six 4"x4" squares, which was just enough for us.

Then, we placed the squares on a silicone-lined baking sheet and spooned our Blueberry Compote onto the center of each square, rubbed water along the edges and folded the pastry over to make a triangle. Using a fork, we gently pressed a lined edge to seal the turnover and pricked the top. Finally, we brushed egg whites over the top and sprinkled generously with granulated sugar.

Baked at 400 degrees for approx. 15 minutes ... and voila!!

Scrumptious Blueberry Turnovers :)
All in all - this dessert took approximately 10 minutes to prepare, 15 to bake, 10 to cool and 2 minutes to devour!!
Using the pre-made pie crust really made this recipe a cinch. However, should you wish to make a homemade pastry crust, this is a tried & true recipe that has been passed down the line in our family ...
Aunt Rosie's Pie Crust
2 cups flour
1 cup shortening
handful of sugar
dash of salt
1 glass ice water
Combine flour and shortening. Cut up ingredients using a pastry cutter. Add sugar and salt. Work mixture until it becomes the size of peas.
Then, add a little ice water and mix. Keep adding a smidge of water until dough becomes rollable. Make into two balls for each crust.
The kitchen is a country in which there are always discoveries to be made.
- Grimod de la Reyniere

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