Sunday, December 19, 2010

handmade holidays #8: tasty treats - chestnut and rosehip turnovers

and now for something completely different, eh?

I make these with frozen puff pastry (rolled out, cut into squares) filled with a little squeeze of chestnut paste that I brought back from Paris (Clement Faugier's chestnut paste, which is also available at DeLaurenti's in the Market now), and a dab of rosehip jelly that I made from the wild nootka rosehips we foraged in the mountains last winter. You simply swipe the edges of the little square of puff pastry with water and fold it over the paste and jam, pressing with fork tines to seal it together. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cut a little vent in the top (I like to make two small diagonal cuts). Beat an egg with about a tablespoon of cold water. Brush the mixture over the tops of the turnovers and sprinkle sugar over them. The egg will give them a nice gloss, and the sugar gives a tiny bit of crunch. It's that extra pzazz that makes it seem like you really know baking ;)

Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes, or until pastries are golden. Let cool at least 10 minutes before eating - really. The jam becomes molten and Cass and I seriously burned ourselves (both mouths and hands) the first time I made these because we did not stop eating them!

A note on rosehip jelly: a Serbian friend of mine, upon learning what I'd been making this summer, informed me that rosehip jelly is a winter tradition back home, so I gave him a jar. He was able to confirm that the flavour of our native wild nootka roses is very different from the roses used in European jam recipes - which I think favour rosa rugosa and other large-fruiting varieties of shrub rose. So my rosehip jelly is tannic, like sweet black tea, but I think these would be just as good if you were able to source a more traditional European rosehip jam at an import foods shop.

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