Well, peeps, we’ve got a recipe here for strawberry basil turnovers from my book, The Vintage Baker, for your viewing and baking pleasure. I was inspired to share the recipe because I am joining in a day of strawberry blogging, as it were (to see all of the other amazing strawberry desserts on the intraweb today, check out this hashtag on instagram). Plus it is (almost) strawberry season here on the east coast and I am awfully fond of sweets involving strawberries, and I grew up eating Pepperidge Farm Raspberry Turnovers, and will forever have a soft spot when hand pies are involved.This particular recipe came about after seeing a variety of fruit filled pies in my collection of vintage recipe booklets (I collect the booklets, which were published from the late 1800s to the 1960s, and my cookbook includes over 50 recipes from my stash, that I have twisted and tweaked for the 21st century baker). The twists and tweaks here, are pretty obvious and in the form of basil and black pepper, if you weren’t sure, as those two ingredients did not make their way into any of the old-fashioned recipes I stumbled upon while writing my book.And basil and black pepper each couple beautifully with strawberries. I call for cooking the fruit before filling the flaky pastry, as I find it makes for a more flavorful filling and one that doesn’t leak quite as much as its non-cooked brethren. The pie dough is made in the food processer and as long as you are mindful about not over processing the dough, this makes for the tenderest of butter-based doughs. The photo below the recipe, FYI, is from the book, and by Alice Gao – and I hope you love it (and the turnovers!) as much as I do.
Strawberry Basil Turnovers
For the filling
- 4 cups strawberries sliced
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1 ⁄2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/8 tsp table salt
- 1 ⁄4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2/3 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves chopped
For the Pie Crust
- 2 cups plus 6 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 ⁄2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup 2 sticks, unsalted butter, chilled
- 6 Tbsp ice water
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar chilled
For the egg wash
- 1 egg
- 1/8 teaspoon table salt
- Turbinado Sugar for sprinkling
For the filling
- In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, cook the strawberries, granulated sugar, cornstarch, salt, pepper, and lemon juice until sputtering, stirring frequently. Cook 5 minutes more, stirring constantly, until thickened. Bring to room temperature before adding the basil.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
For the crust
- Combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a food processer fitted with the metal blade and process briefly to combine. Cut the butter into cubes, add to the food processer, and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
- Add the water and vinegar slowly, pulsing the machine only until the dough is crumbly, and a bit of dough can be pinched together between two fingers and hold its shape. Transfer it into a bowl and, using your hands, shape the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and form 8 equal balls. Return 7 balls to the refrigerator and work with one ball at a time. Lightly flour a work surface and, with a rolling pin, roll out each ball, re-flouring as necessary, until it is about 7 in [17 cm] in diameter.
- Place the dough rounds on the prepared baking sheet, layering one on top of the other with small pieces of parchment paper between them. If your dough has softened, and you have trouble transferring the rounds to your sheet, return it to the refrigerator to chill briefly. Refrigerate the dough rounds for 10 minutes before assembling the turnovers.
For the egg wash
- Combine the egg and the salt in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
- For each turnover, brush half of the edge of the dough round with the egg wash. Spoon a rounded 1⁄4 cup filling onto the center of the rounds. Gently fold the dough over, forming a half-moon shape. Pinch the edges together to seal. Use a fork to decoratively mark the edge of the turnover. Using a paring knife, make 3 small slits in the top of the turnover. Repeat with the remaining dough. Remember: These turnovers are rustic looking and they will leak.
- Transfer the turnovers on the baking sheet to the freezer for at least 1 hour, or overnight, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap. They will keep in the freezer for up to 3 days. Do not thaw before baking.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Brush the tops of the turnovers with egg wash and sprinkle with Turbinado sugar. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating at the halfway point, or until the juices are bubbly and the crust is nicely browned.
- Let cool for 15 minutes before serving with vanilla ice cream. Turnovers will keep on the counter, tightly covered in plastic wrap, for up to 3 days.
Photo by Alice Gao for The Vintage Baker
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