Kneads and Cravings: You don't need to be a pastry chef to whip up strawberry turnovers

There’s something about a strawberry that makes it the perfect treat for bright sunny days. With strawberry-picking season beginning in June, I couldn’t help but purchase a few cartons of strawberries to kick off my berry-baking season.

For the next few weeks, my house will radiate a sugary-sweet strawberry perfume, as I go about my annual jam-making adventures. Not to store in my pantry in a Laura Ingalls Wilder-kind of way, but to distribute around to my relatives who have already begun submitting their jam requests via text. (A few years ago, I experimented with making some jam for my grandmother, and now it’s led to me becoming a one-woman jam machine for the whole family.)

But here’s a fun fact for you: I’m not a jam or jelly person, so of the 30 jars, I’ll keep maybe one to use as a filling for various cookies or treats.

However, I will be keeping my own stash of strawberry goodness through my Strawberry Cream Turnovers. While rewatching an episode of “The Great British Baking Show,” I saw contestants battle it out to make pastry dough under the watchful eye of Paul Hollywood and felt compelled to bake a batch of turnovers. Admittedly, I am a mere mortal and not a pastry chef (given that my baking training came from watching cooking shows and the oh-so helpful Google), so for my turnovers, I prefer to use a pre-made puff pastry dough from the freezer aisle at the grocery store. (To quote Ina Garten: “store bought is fine.” If it’s good enough for the Barefoot Contessa, then it’s good enough for me.)

What’s wonderful about this turnover recipe is that it is incredibly simple... which is my preferred type of baking. The hardest part of creating these turnovers is making sure you properly pinch them shut so they don’t pop open in the oven. (Don’t worry if they do pop open: they’ll still taste great they just will look a little funky.) Enjoy!

Strawberry Cream Turnovers

Makes 8

Turnovers:

1 package (2 sheets) puff pastry thawed

1 1/2 cups chopped strawberries

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

8 ounces cream cheese (softened)

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg white (lightly beaten)

Glaze:

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment. Unroll the thawed puff pastry and use a rolling pin to smooth the seams where the dough was folded. Cut each of the two sheets into four squares and put them to the side. Combine granulated sugar, cornstarch and chopped strawberries in a bowl. Taste and add additional sugar if desired. Once fully mixed, grab a second bowl and whip the cream cheese with a beater. Once smooth, add vanilla and powdered sugar to the bowl and combine. Spread an even layer of the cream cheese mixture on each pastry square, leaving a border of plain pastry along the edges to make it easier to seal them later. After all the squares have a layer of cream cheese, evenly distribute the strawberry mixture onto each square. Place the filling off center so the mix won’t shift too much when you close the pastry. Once each square has been filled, fold the pastry in half to make a triangle and pinch the edges shut. Lightly whip one egg white and brush over each pastry, and then use the tines of a fork to crimp the edges shut.

Place each turnover on the lined baking sheet and bake for 18-20 minutes. Once the tops are lightly golden brown, remove from the oven. Let the turnovers cool for ten minutes. While those are cooling, combine the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla for the glaze in a small bowl. Once the turnovers are cool, drizzle the glaze over the tops of each turnover using a spoon — or pour the glaze into a sandwich bag and cut a tiny hole in one corner for a makeshift piping bag — and drizzle it over the turnovers and serve.

tinamarie.craven@hearstmediact.com