Saturday, February 5, 2011

Pear, Leek & Gruyère Turnovers

Since it's pear season (and they're so delectable right now), I really wanted to try something new with pears. I was delighted when I spotted this recipe because it had been so many years since I made turnovers. I knew it was meant to be. 

I'm pleased to report that I wasn't let down. These were a real treat. Warm, crispy, flaky, slightly gooey, savory and sweet, all at the same time. Definitely a home run. Even my 5-year-old loved them.

Yield: 8 turnovers

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups chopped leeks
1 (6- to 7-oz.) firm but ripe pear, peeled, cored and chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 cup (packed) grated gruyère cheese (about 3 oz.)
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 (17.3-oz.) package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
1 egg, beaten to blend (for glaze)

1.      Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks; stir 1 minute. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook until leeks begin to brown, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Stir in pear and sugar. Increase heat to medium; sauté uncovered until any liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl; cool. Stir in cheese and chives.
2.      Place puff pastry sheets on work surface. Using 4 1/2-inch-diameter tartlet-pan rim or bowl as aid, cut out 4 rounds from each pastry sheet. Roll out each pastry round to 5-inch circle. Place leek mixture on half of each pastry round, dividing equally. Brush pastry edges with egg glaze. Fold pastry over filling, pressing to adhere. Press edges with fork to seal. Brush turnovers with egg glaze. Pierce pastry in several places with toothpick. Place on baking sheet. Chill 20 minutes.
3.      Preheat oven to 400° F. Bake turnovers until puffed and golden, about 18 minutes. Serve warm.

Copyright Bon Appétit, March 2000
cooked leeks and pears
rolling out the puff pastry rounds (using frozen
puff pastry makes this recipe easier than it looks)
filling on top; brushing the edges with egg
sealed (or one could even say turned over)
crimping the edges
brushing with egg
already brushed, with holes poked
closeup of the flaky layers

There are frozen puff pastry doughs out there made with real butter instead of oils (the way puff pastry was meant to be). They can often be found in gourmet or specialty shops. If you're lucky enough to have one nearby, check out the freezer section and see what you can find.


Elizabeth (Foodie, Formerly Fat) said...

These look fantastic! The flavor combination of the filling is making my mouth water just thinking about it. And you've solved a long standing quandary for me... a turnover is just an American pasty! I'm going to have to get myself some puff pastry today. The kids would love these.

Judie Cleland said...

Susan, I wish we lived closer so we could help Chuck and Maddie eat the delicious things you are making! How lucky they are.
These look wonderful!

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