Coming up with a pareve dessert can be taxing, to say the least. Since I was making a chicken curry for the guests on mother’s day, I needed a sweet that was dairy-less, but didn’t want to go with the Maneschewitz brownie mix left over from Passover and fruit. I remembered I had some puff pastry squares purchased a while ago with grand plans of a savory pot-pie-type of creation that never came to fruition (and all the better that it didn’t, really). Coupled with some fresh strawberries, jam, and a tossed-together lemon-honey sauce, these turnovers turned out awesomely. The other great thing about then is that while they may be carbalicious, they’re relatively low in calories (in comparison to many other desserts that are caloricful).
What you’ll need for the turnovers:
1 Pint ripe strawberries
2 Tbsp good-quality strawberry preserves (or jam – I like Bonne Mamman)
1 Package Indo-European (or similar) puff pastry squares (I like Indo-European because they’re pareve)
½ C sugar
1 tsp Vanilla extract
For the sauce:
1½ C Good-quality honey
2 large lemons’ juice
What to do:
Wash, de-stem, and coarsely chop 10 strawberries. Put these in a bowl and add the jam – mix it together well.
In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and the vanilla extract well. It should be slightly sticky, but mostly dry. Stir the mixture occasionally to help it dry out a bit while going through the rest of the steps.
Cover a large baking sheet in parchment paper, then carefully separate 5 squares of the dough from the rest of the block. Wrap the rest in plastic wrap and put back into the freezer until you’re ready for the next batch. Or, if you’re lucky enough to have room enough for 2 full sheets of pastries in your oven, you can do this all at once (I somehow ended up with only 1 rack in my oven). The rest of the steps must be done pretty quickly, so make sure you have your setup all good to go (like the photo below). Beat the egg with some water in a small cup for the glaze. Have a small cup of plain water ready to use to seal the pockets.
For each turnover, wet the top and right edges of the pastry square with water, then place a tablespoon of the strawberry filling in the middle of the pastry. Make sure to get mostly fruit in the tablespoon – let some of the juice spill out while scooping so the pastry won’t leak (good luck on this). Seal the edges very very well.
Lightly brush the tops of the packets with the egg mixture and liberally sprinkle or spread the vanilla’d sugar atop the eggwash.
Toss those puppies into an oven preheated to 370°F. If you don’t know the exact temperature of your oven at this point (via an oven thermometer, etc), keep a close watch on the packets. The first batch I made when the oven was definitely too hot. I had to turn mine down to 350°F for the second batch, and those turned out lovely. If the seams split and a bit of the strawberry mixture seeps out, just make sure it doesn’t burn too badly, or get under the turnovers themselves. Start checking every couple of minutes around the 20 minute mark. The turnovers should be a dark golden brown on top and puffed up nicely. Mine came out of the oven around 23 minutes perfectly.
Cool the turnovers on a cooling rack. In the meantime, put the honey and the lemon juice into a small nonstick pan (such as a butter warmer) and place on the stove on medium heat with a lid on. It should come to a fast simmer rather quickly. Don’t worry about stirring it… Once it reaches a hearty simmer, take the pan off of the heat and let cool a bit. If the turnovers are to be served later in the day, they will keep well in a tupperware-type container. Before serving, warm the turnovers in the oven on low. Spoon the lemon-honey sauce onto a plate and place the warm turnover on top. Garnish with a fresh strawberry. If this to be served with a dairy meal (or you don’t keep kosher), add some fresh whipped cream or creme fraiche to the side of the turnover.
These are wow-amazing. The honey-lemon sauce adds a bit more sweetness to the turnover, which itself (despite the sugar inside and out) isn’t overly sweet. The lemon and strawberry flavors work incredibly well together – I would almost just dip fresh strawberries into the lemon-honey sauce itself.
Have you tried this out?? If so, comment below!