This summer we have been blessed with fresh local berries despite the rather mild summer we have been experiencing. It was really a short summer this year, not only because time seemed to pass by too quickly, but also since we only experienced about 2 weeks of very warm weather. Cherry blossoms used to be in full bloom during the first two weeks of April; they are so beautiful but so transient. This year they didn’t bloom until June, and even then it was still accompanied by a rainy season. So too were the berries late in becoming juicy and plump as an indication that summer has finally arrived.
When the berries are at their peak season, I always like to keep little basketfuls of fresh local berries in the fridge to enjoy at breakfast and to make summery desserts. Blueberries are the most plentiful this time of year, and over the weekend Hubby and I decided to pick them ourselves at the local blueberry farm. It was our first time picking blueberries together, and we actively experienced gathering 6 pounds of berries by navigating through rows of bushes with the hot sun beating down on our heads and the dry branches scratching our ankles. As we carried our bucket to the cashier’s booth, we passed all the boxes of ready-picked blueberries and paid for our U-pick berries by weight. We certainly appreciated our haul of blueberries more than if we had simply bought them from the market!
Now we have a large bucket full of blueberries instead of a little basketful. So this week and perhaps the next, I feel like dedicating my next few blog posts to various fresh blueberry recipes as a celebration of summer’s (late) arrival! These blueberry turnovers turned out absolutely amazing, and best served hot or at least warm in my opinion. They would be just as delicious if you wanted to try mixing strawberries or apple slices with the blueberry filling. My husband loves blueberries and apple turnovers, so I made an executive decision to attempt these blueberry turnovers. You know they’re ready when you see the turnover bursting at the seams!
— Makes 4 turnovers
1 cup all-purpose flour
7 tbsp chilled unsalted butter, cut into 7 pieces
1 large egg
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp chilled heavy cream
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
For the filling
3 tsp sugar
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and air dried
1 tbsp milk
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, butter, egg, sugar, cream, lemon juice and salt. Beat on medium-low speed with the paddle attachment until dough starts gathering together in big clumps. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and gather it together.
Cut the pastry in half and shape into squares using your fingers to about 1 inch thick. Wrap each square in plastic wrap separately and chill for at least 20 minutes and up to 2 hours.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Roll out one of the pastry squares using a floured rolling pin onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll it into a rectangle that is about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Repeat with the other pastry square. If the dough is too sticky, dust with a little flour one teaspoon at a time. Cut the dough into 4 rounds, each 4 to 5 inches in diameter. You can use an inverted bowl as a stencil. Remove the excess dough around the dough rounds and gather it for another use. Run a metal spatula under each dough round to separate it from the work surface.
Combine the sugar with the flour and cinnamon in a medium bowl, stirring to combine. Add the blueberries and gently toss to coat well.
Put a heaping tablespoon of blueberries in a single layer on one half of the dough round. Dampen the pastry edges with a little water and carefully fold the other side of the pastry dough over the berries to make a half moon. Press the edges of the dough together with your fingers followed by the tines of a fork. Use a spatula to transfer the prepared turnovers onto the baking sheet. Repeat the process with the remaining pastry dough.
When all the turnovers are assembled, refrigerate for at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 400oF with a rack in the middle.
Brush the tops of the turnovers with the milk using a pastry brush. Sprinkle with granulated sugar or coarse sugar. Bake until golden brown (about 20 minutes). Remove from the oven and cool in the pan on a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature, with ice cream if desired!