Blueberry Hazelnut Turnovers
Blueberries do not need much to make them shine. Here it’s just a subtle bump from orange zest and cardamom to highlight their summertime best, wrapped up in layers of sugared puff pastry and nestled in creamy frangipane. Hazelnuts take the place of the almonds classically used in frangipane, granting an earthiness that underscores the musky sweetness of the berries. (The same weight of almonds can be used for any traditionalists.) The frangipane recipe makes double what is needed; the second half can be frozen for up to 3 months.
For the frangipane
- 3/4 cup (105 g) skin-on hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup (115 g) unsalted butter, soft
- 1 cup (115 g) confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon medium-grained kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or seeds scraped from a vanilla bean
- 1 egg, beaten
For the filling and assembly
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom or cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tablespoons flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 1/4 cup (212 g) fresh Ontario blueberries
- 1 pound (454 g) puff pastry, store-bought or homemade, defrosted according to manufacturer’s instruction if needed, divided
- Heavy cream, half-and-half cream, or an egg beaten with 1 teaspoon of water for glazing
- Sanding, coarse, or granulated sugar for sprinkling
To make the frangipane, start by grinding the hazelnuts in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Run the machine only until the nuts are a medium-fine meal; not so long that you end up with hazelnut butter. The nuts will clatter around noisily and then go quiet. That’s usually when to stop, before things are too quiet. It should take about 30 seconds. Transfer the meal to a bowl. In the same processor, whip the butter in short pulses until creamy, 15 seconds. Sift in the confectioner’s sugar, pulse to combine, then let the machine run for 10 seconds. Scrape down the sides, tip in half the hazelnut meal, pulse again. Scatter over the remaining hazelnuts. Sift in the flour and salt, pulse once more. Pour in the vanilla bean paste and egg, and run the machine until the mixture is fluffy and aerated, 30 to 45 seconds. Transfer to a small bowl, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface, and refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours, or up to 3 days.
For the filling, stir together the sugar, orange zest, salt, and cardamom in a medium saucepan. Once combined, stir in the flour. Tumble the blueberries and stir to coat. Place over medium-low heat, stirring, until the blueberries start to release their juice, about 2 minutes. Let simmer for 30 seconds, still stirring all the while. The mixture will be quite thick, but is intentionally so as the fruit will further soften upon baking. Remove from the heat, let cool, then transfer to a lidded container and chill completely.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
On a lightly-floured work surface, roll half the puff pastry into a 10-inch square. With a sharp knife, divide the square into 4 equal pieces. Scoop 1 1/2 tablespoons of the chilled frangipane, slightly off centre of each (if it was a compass rose, we’re talking slightly southeast). Gently pat the frangipane a bit flat with the back of your spoon. Place about 2 tablespoons of the berries on top. Using a pastry brush or finger, barely dampen the edges of the pastry with water, then fold the pastry to form a triangle, pressing out any air as you go. Crimp the edges with the tines of a fork, then transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, rolling and forming 4 more turnovers. Freeze for 10 minutes or refrigerate for 20.
Preheat an oven to 400°F, with a rack in the middle position. Brush the turnovers lightly with cream or egg wash, then sprinkle with sugar. With the tip of a small knife, poke a few steam holes in the top. Bake turnovers in the hot oven until puffed and golden, 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly, then enjoy warm with whipped cream, ice cream, or custard.
OPTIONAL GLAZE: Stir enough confectioners’ sugar into blueberry juice to make a thick, pourable glaze. Spoon or drizzle on cooled pies as desired. Allow to set before serving.
SOURCE: Tara O’Brady
Tara O’Brady writes, mostly about food, and she cooks. Find out more at https://www.taraobrady.com/
Her book, Seven Spoons, was published in 2015, ten years after she started a blog of the same name. Tara is a contributor to The Globe and Mail, as well as Culinary Host for the newspaper’s cruise program. She has written for Epicurious, Saveur, Kinfolk magazine, Jamie Oliver, and Parenting.com, among others.