These homemade berry turnovers use a shortcut version of traditional puff pastry dough that’s often referred to as rough puff pastry. Each bite is mostly flaky dough with just a touch of berry filling. Make sure the butter is very cold before beginning the dough.
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon warm water
- 1 cup (about 150g) mixed berries (I use 1/2 cup blueberries, 1/4 cup halved blackberries, 1/4 cup chopped strawberries)
- 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons (18g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 and 1/3 cups (166g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for generously flouring hands, surface, and dough
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks; 170g) unsalted butter, very cold and cubed
- 6–8 Tablespoons (90-120ml) ice cold water
Egg Wash + Topping
- 1 large egg*
- 2 Tablespoons (30ml) milk
- optional: coarse sugar for topping
- optional: vanilla icing
- Make the filling first so it has time to cool: Whisk the cornstarch and water together until all the cornstarch has dissolved. (I just use a fork to mix– very easy.) Place the berries, sugar, cornstarch mixture, and lemon juice into a small saucepan over medium heat. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir the mixture as it cooks. Break up some of the berries as you stir. Bring it to a simmer and allow to simmer for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove pan from the heat and cool completely. The mixture will thicken as it cools. Once cool, filling can be covered and refrigerated for up to 5 days before using. Makes 3/4 cup of filling.
- Make the dough: Whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Place the cold and cubed butter on top. Gently toss the flour and butter together with your hands, and then briefly rub the butter into the flour to begin combining them, as you can see in the video tutorial above. You do not want to break down the butter too much in this step. This step is only possible if the butter is very cold because if the butter is warm, you’ll end up with paste. I do not recommend a food processor, pastry cutter, or mixer for this step because it will break down the butter too much.
- At this point, the butter is still in large cubes/chunks. Begin adding the ice cold water 1 Tablespoon (15ml) at a time until dough forms 1 large shaggy clump in your bowl. Use your hands to toss the mixture together after you add each Tablespoon. (I usually start with 2 Tablespoons (30ml) of water before I begin tossing together.) You can use a spatula or spoon for tossing, but I really do recommend your hands so you get a good feel of the dough. As the dough begins to hydrate after about 4 Tablespoons (60ml) of water, you can start lightly squeezing or clumping the dough together with your hands to help bring it together. Mixture will still be very shaggy, as you can see in the video above and photos below. If your dough feels sticky and wet before adding 6 Tablespoons of water, your butter was likely too warm– you can continue with the recipe, but the dough will not be as flaky.
- Pour the shaggy clump of dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. There will still be large chunks of butter at this point and that’s a good thing. Begin patting the dough down with lightly floured hands until it’s 3/4 – 1 inch thick, about a 5×8 inch rectangle. Fold the dough into thirds as if you were folding a business letter. Use your hands to gently flatten and smooth out any cracks in your dough. Wrap it up tightly in plastic wrap, parchment paper, or aluminum foil, or place into any tightly sealed container.
- 1st refrigeration: Refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
- Roll & Fold: Take the dough out of the refrigerator to begin the “rolling and folding” process. If the dough chilled for longer than about 3 hours, it’s likely very stiff so let it rest for about 5 minutes before you begin rolling. Lightly flour a work surface. The dough gets sticky, so make sure you have more flour nearby as you roll and fold. Use your hands to gently flatten the dough into a small square. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 6 inch wide and 12 inch tall rectangle that’s 1/2 inch thick. The exact dimensions are not important, but the thickness is. As you roll, it’s best to flip the dough over once or twice to make sure it’s not sticking to your work surface. Lightly flour your work surface as needed. Fold the rectangle into thirds as if it were a business letter. (See photos and video tutorial.) Turn it clockwise or counter clockwise and roll it out into a 6×12 inch 1/2 inch thick rectangle again. Then, fold into thirds again. Turn it clockwise or counter clockwise. You’ll repeat rolling and folding 4 more times for a total of 6 times.
- 2nd Refrigeration: Wrap up/seal tightly and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes and up to 24 hours. You can also freeze the dough at this point. See freezing instructions.
- Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Rimmed baking sheets are best because butter may leak from the dough as it bakes. If you don’t have rimmed baking sheets, when it’s time to preheat the oven, place another baking sheet on the oven rack below to catch any butter that may drip.
- Take the dough out of the refrigerator to begin the shaping steps. Lightly flour a work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll dough into a 12-inch square. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut into 9 4-inch squares. Transfer squares to prepared baking sheets. (4 on one, 5 on the other.)
- Spoon 1 heaping Tablespoon of filling into the center of each square. Fold one corner over the filling to make a triangle. If some chunky filling has seeped out, use a fork to push it back in if you can. Using a fork, crimp the edges of the turnovers together to seal. If the dough has become too warm and sticky to crimp, refrigerate the triangles for 10 minutes. You want to make sure you have a tightly sealed turnover to help prevent filling from spilling out in the oven.
- Chill the shaped turnovers in the refrigerator, covered or uncovered, for at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour (or freeze, see freezing instructions below). You can preheat the oven and make the egg wash (next steps) as they finish up chilling.
- Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
- Egg Wash: Whisk the egg and milk together. Brush on each turnover. Cut 3 slits into the tops of each to allow steam to escape. If desired, sprinkle with coarse sugar.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes or until golden brown on top and around the edges. Some butter may leak from the dough, that’s completely normal and expected. Feel free to remove the baking sheets from the oven halfway through baking and brush the dough with any of the leaking butter, then place back in the oven to finish baking. (That’s what I do!)
- Remove baked turnovers from the oven. Cool for at least 5 minutes before icing/serving. Centers will be hot.
- Drizzle with vanilla icing if desired.
- Cover leftover iced or un-iced turnovers and store at room temperature for 1 day or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Or you can freeze them for up to 3 months. Thaw before serving. Before enjoying, feel free to reheat leftover iced or un-iced turnovers in the microwave for a few seconds until warmed.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: You can make the filling up to 5 days ahead of time. See the end of step 1. For the dough, prepare as instructed in steps 2-4. At this point the dough can be refrigerated up to 24 hours. You can also prepare the dough through step 6. At this point the dough can be refrigerated for up to another 24 hours. During or after this second chilling time, you could also freeze the dough for up to 1 month. (I don’t recommend freezing the dough before the rolling and folding step.) Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then continue with step 8. In step 11, you can cover and freeze the shaped turnovers for up to 1 month. Thaw in the refrigerator, then continue with step 12.
- Mixed Berry Filling: The ratios I list above are what I find work best, but feel free to substitute in raspberries. You can use all blueberries, all halved blackberries, or all chopped strawberries instead. Raspberries are very fragile and juicy, so I don’t recommend using all raspberries for this filling. You can use frozen berries (don’t thaw) with no changes to the recipe.
- Double Batch: The filling and dough recipe can easily be doubled. In step 4, make sure you’re patting the dough to be about 3/4 – 1 inch thick. In step 6, roll out to 1/2 inch thick. The dimensions in both of these steps doesn’t matter much, but the thickness does. In step 9, divide dough in half before rolling out into 2 separate 12-inch squares. Continue with the recipe as written.
- Other Uses For This Dough: After the dough has chilled in step 7, it’s ready to shape however you want. This recipe makes around 1/2 pound of dough, which is enough for one 9-inch tart or pie. If your pie or tart recipe requires par-baking with pie weights, I still recommend using them with this dough. I would follow all of the same instructions in your recipe, just switching out the dough to this. After step 7, roll it out to a 12 inch circle and use it as the topping for this skillet pot pie. Or after step 7, roll it out to a 12 inch circle and use it as the bottom crust for quiche— par-bake and dock the crust with a fork as instructed in the quiche recipe. Or after step 7, roll it out to a 10×14 inch rectangle and follow the recipe for honey pear tart.
- Chilling shaped turnovers: Chilling the shaped turnovers in the refrigerator before baking them helps them maintain their shape in the oven. Remember, cold pastry dough is best. I usually refrigerate them for 15 minutes as the oven preheats. If you’re nervous to chill the baking sheets in the refrigerator then bake them (which can cause warping), you have two other options. You can simply assemble the turnovers on parchment paper or silicone baking mats, lift the parchment/baking mat as a whole and place on another baking sheet or directly onto a shelf in the refrigerator. After chilling, carefully lift up and place the entire parchment/baking mat onto the baking sheets for baking. Or you can use a thin spatula and very carefully transfer the assembled unbaked pastries to a large plate to chill.
- Egg Wash: An egg wash promises that golden sheen on your pastries. You can skip the egg and use a total of 3 Tablespoons (45ml) milk (any kind, dairy or nondairy) instead.
Keywords: berry turnovers, puff pastry