‘Tis the season for pies and turnovers. The nip in the air, the naked trees, fingers in mittens all demand one thing: crust. I’ve made two dishes lately that fulfill this wintery crust-lust. The first, Jamaican beef patties, are curry-spiked pockets of spicy beef. The second is a simple apple turnover that derives much of its awesomeness from the sauce that accompanies it — a thick, creamy cheddar sauce — a play on the Southern classic of apple pie with cheddar cheese.
Often on my days off I know that I want to cook something but have little inspiration beyond a vague desire to be in the kitchen all day. That’s where resident food-lover and besty Jonny D comes in. By gently suggesting beef pies to my dear mother on facebook (what is the world coming to?) Jon ensured that I would have the inspiration I lacked and that he would have the beef patties he craved. Everyone wins. Having never eaten or made authentic beef patties before and being only familiar with them as the frozen aisle staple that I never cared to try, I wasn’t sure how to begin. But after a quick stop at the world wide internet and a generous donation of allspice and cloves from mother’s pantry, I was well on my way to beef pie. Turns out these little buggers are way easy to make. Check it:
Jamaican Beef Patties
2 c. flour
2 tsp. curry powder
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. shortening
1/3 c. water
Sift together dry ingredients. Cut in butter and shortening. Add water a little at a time until dough comes together. Roll into a ball and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about an hour.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling:
1 lb. ground beef
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 bunch scallions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 scotch bonnet pepper, seeds removed, minced (ideally, wear gloves, wash your hands, and by no means pick your nose after this step; trust me.)
2 tsp. curry powder
2 tsp. turmeric
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground thyme
2 c. stock (I used vegetable because I had it on hand, but beef or chicken would work fine)
1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. turmeric
Saute onions, garlic, pepper, and half of the scallions on medium high heat. Add ground beef and raise heat to high. Add dried spices and stir, continuing to cook until ground beef is almost entirely cooked. Add stock and allow to simmer for approximately 10 minutes, until most of the liquid is gone. Add the remainder of the scallions and remove from heat, allowing the residual heat to “cook” the scallions slightly. Preheat oven to 400.
Remove the dough from the fridge to a floured surface. If your work surface is on the small side (as mine most certainly is,) cut the dough in two pieces, and work with one at a time. Dust dough ball with flour and begin rolling out until you have a large dough circle no more than 1/4 in. thick. Using a large biscuit cutter or, say, a mug from mug night at the Green Leafe, cut dough into circles. Repeat with remaining dough ball.
Place a small scoop of filling in the middle of each dough disc, keeping a 1-inch border of dough all the way around. Fold the dough over, and crimp with a fork. Line up patties on a baking sheet. Whisk together the egg wash ingredients and brush each patty. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until GBD.
And speaking of GBD (golden brown & delicious,) these apple turnovers are crazy easy thanks to the use of puff pastry.
Apple Walnut Turnovers with Cheddar Creme Anglaise
1 sheet puff pastry, cut into 8 squares (there will be a little trim if the squares are perfectly square)
3 apples, peeled, cored, and diced in 1/4 in. dice
1 c. walnuts, chopped
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 Tbs. cornstarch
1 Tbs. cinnamon
2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. coriander
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. milk
1 packet (or 1 Tbs.) turbinado sugar
Preheat oven to 425. Combine apples, walnuts, and dry ingredients. Place a spoonful of apple filling on each dough square, allowing a 1-inch dough border to remain. Dot each square with butter. Fold squares into triangles and crimp with a fork. Brush each triangle with eggwash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake turnovers for 20 minutes or until GBD.
Cheddar Creme Anglaise:
2 c. heavy cream
6 egg yolks
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. white cheddar cheese
Bring heavy cream to a boil. Whisk together egg yolks and sugar. Once cream has reached a boil, slowly temper it into the egg yolks. Strain and return to the stove. Slowly whisk in cheddar until totally incorporated. Season with a pinch of salt if necessary (if you use a sharper cheddar, you may not need any salt.)
Serve turnovers with a generous ladle-ful of sauce and some chopped walnuts.