Maybe you’ve noticed – I’m a fan of the simple. Of the stress-free. I’ve had enough of baking in high-pressure situations. It took a long time to for me not to associate baking with an immense amount of sweat and anxiety and then the disappointment when it just didn’t go quite right. Wee things like this helped me enjoy baking again. And if you are, like me, now tired of the stress of cooking around the festive period, maybe this one wee thing can rejuvenate your baking joy. Or if you’re a baking beginner yet to discover its wonders, there’s not a better place to start than here.
First, preheat your oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas 4. Line a baking tray with a sheet of baking paper (non-stick greaseproof) – there’s no need to grease it.
Peel and core your apples, then chop them into rough chunks like you might find in an apple pie. Place these in a pan with your plums – there’s no need to peel or de-stone these as the stones will rise to the top during the stewing.
Add 3 tbsp. of your caster sugar to the pan with a splash of water, before placing over a medium heat. Keep an eye on it over the next 5-10 minutes, stirring regularly. The plums and apples should begin to break down into a mush.
Fish out your stones and taste the mixture – you might need to add a big more sugar. Add a bit of dried ginger to taste: start at a small pinch and work your way up, depending on taste. Set aside your mush to cool a wee bit whilst you prepare the pastry.
Roll out your block of puff pastry on a floured surface until it is the thickness of a £1 coin. Please actually use a coin for reference and check all the way around, for no-one’s pastry rolling is perfect. Cut out squares approximately 15×15 centimetres, re-rolling if necessary.
Whisk your egg in a cup with a fork to break it down – adding a little salt will make it easier to brush on. Brush the edges of one of your squares, then dollop some of your fruity mixture into the middle in a big lump. Fold your pastry over to seal in your fruit. Place this on your baking paper and repeat.
Make two small holes in the top of each turnover to let any steam out during baking. Brush with a little more egg wash or milk to glaze them, and if you like you can drizzle with a bit of optional caster sugar, but I usually don’t. Place them in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a deep golden brown. Don’t eat them straight out the oven or your mouth won’t forgive you!
If you want a healthy alternative to this bake, that really is healthy, replace the puff pastry squares with a few sheets of filo pastry. Brush each with a little melted butter so they stick together, but you don’t need much at all.