Well, I did a little experimenting in the kitchen today, and yes I actually mean today. This blog is something that always seems to surprise me. Sometimes I write posts days or weeks in advance, and others happen out of the blue. I wake up one morning and decide, "Hey. Let's make apple turnovers today." So that's what we did. Well, first we took a short trip to the Kalona Sales Barn. If you didn't know, we go there quite a bit. It's like a free zoo, except the animals are for the most part not contained for long periods of time and are sent to live somewhere happy, they change daily, and we get a chance to be up close and personal with them. Today we actually had a purpose for visiting other than looking at the animals. We've decided to officially get some chickens next spring and raise them as backyard pets! It's an exciting time, and though we have been doing a lot of research (thanks to Melissa Caughey's book!!), we wanted to see what might be for sale at the sales barn. There are a few fun ways to purchase chicks: mail order, farmer's markets, farmers you may know, and livestock auctions. When we were spending a morning at the sales barn in the summer, there were boxes upon boxes filled with chicks to be bought! It was adorable, fuzzy perfection wrapped in a little box, but I had no idea what kind of chicks we wanted. Now that I've done my research, I know exactly which types of hens I want, but I still wasn't sure what they offered at the sales barn and if that was even a place where we could purchase our chicks. Well, they didn't have chicks today. Duh. It's basically winter. But they did have a few fully grown hens and roosters ready to auction, which was just as interesting to me. Alas, none of the breeds I wanted (I am wanting Australorps, Plymouth Rocks, and Buff Orpingtons for those of you curious). It was still a fun time to check them out and see how Tad reacted to them.
Truth be told, he was a bit jumpy around the chickens, completely terrified of the horses, and absolutely in love with the piglets and goats. I just love taking him to see the animals! There's something so special about being around these amazing creatures and watching my little boy's face light up when he's near them. It makes my mind start to wander and scheme with pictures of tall grasses floating in the breeze, white shiplap, autumn leaves, enamel mugs, sitting on porches, caring for our own animals, collecting and growing herbs and vegetables, linen aprons, baking with apples, and the chilly breeze floating in the window. So when we got home, I was totally inspired to whip up something delicious, something cozy, something autumn and perfect for the farmhouse. I don't have the farmhouse yet, but I do have a great way with apples and pie crust! I decided to combine a couple of my favorite recipes, one being the Rustic Apple Pie by The Beekman Boys, and change that into some yummy turnovers.
For the crust:
- 1 1/4 Cup all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 stick butter
- 2-3 tbsp ice water
For the Filling:
- 1 lb sweet apples (I used Honeycrisp)
- 2 tbsp sugar + some for dusting
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- melted butter (for the pastry)
- 1 beaten egg
- Prepare your crust. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. With a cheese grater, grate the butter (make sure it is very cold) into the dry mixture and combine with your fingers until pea-sized amounts form. Slowly add in ice water and form the dough together with your hands until it becomes one, sticky but not sticky enough to cling to the sides of the bowl. Add more flour if necessary. Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Peel and slice your apples. In a large bowl, toss them with 1 tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp dried rosemary, 1/4 tsp ginger. Make sure each of your slices is well coated.
- Roll out your pie dough into a 10" square. Divide this into four 5" squares. With your melted butter, crush each of the little crusts. In a small bowl, combine 1 tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp dried rosemary, and 1/4 tsp ginger. Sprinkle this mixture over the melted butter.
- Spread your apples in each of the little pie crusts. With the beaten egg, brush the edges of each of the pastries. Fold the pastries in half and fold over the edges. Place each of the pastries on the baking sheet. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling. Enjoy!
Okay, these were seriously good. I was a bit nervous to combine some recipes and experiment, but I am just wowed at myself! I love the combination of ginger + rosemary. It feels so rustic and old fashioned, tangy and filled with flavors of Christmas. This is just the perfect recipe if you are wanting a quick taste of warm apple pie from Grandma's! Enjoy. Can't wait to talk more about our chickens. Head back here tomorrow to see our kitchen garden layout!!