This Valentine's Day I have two hot dates: my husband, Maxwell, and our daughter, Ursula. And since Monday is neither the sexiest night of the week, nor a night when we usually eat dessert (especially the little one), it seemed like a nice excuse to come up with something different for this year's Valentine's present, which is always something homemade.
The container of leaf lard in my freezer got me started on the idea of pie, but making a whole pie for three people seemed excessive. So turnovers came to mind, thinking of the family-style romance of delivering a few warm little packets of sweetness. There were a few apples about to go off on our counter, so I had my mid-winter fruit. What could I do to make it a little different? A sprig of rosemary peeked out of my snow-crusted windowbox on the fire escape; apples and rosemary go nicely. Maybe a pinch of nutmeg for depth. And that, friends, is how the mind of a recipe developer works.
Rosemary Apple Turnovers with Honey
single pie crust, chilled* or 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
large apple, about 8-10 ounces, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice
pure vanilla extract
minced fresh rosemary
freshly grated nutmeg
egg, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 375° F.
In a bowl, combine the apple, honey, vanilla, rosemary, nutmeg, flour, and salt. Set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pie crust out to a 17- x 9-inch rectangle. (If using puff pastry, unfold the sheet.) Trim to a 16- x 8-inch rectangle. Cut the sheet into eight 4- x 4-inch pieces.
Place a generous spoonful of the apple mixture in the center of each square, leaving at least 3/4-inches around all sides. Using a finger or a pastry brush, gently apply a coat of the beaten egg to the exposed border of the pastry.
Fold each piece to form a triangle. Seal the edges with the tines of a fork, or pinch with two fingers. Brush the tops of the turnovers with more of the egg wash. Slice a few small slits in the top of the turnovers to allow steam to escape.
Place the turnovers on a lined baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.
* A note about pie crusts using lard:
We have a lot of coverage of pie crusts on The Kitchn, though we have not yet written about pie crusts using lard. My go-to recipe is Melissa Clark's (see Heaven in a Pie Pan: The Perfect Crust).
If you don't have time to find leaf lard, try this recipe, with step-by-step tutorial photos:
• How To Make a Pie Crust from Scratch
More Sweet Projects for Valentine's Day from The Kitchn
(Image: Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan)