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Recipes & Entertaining Ideas

Filtering by Tag: Apples

Apple Turnover with Brie

Marc J. Sievers

When I was little and would watch my Nan bake, she would always give me left-over scraps of pie dough to play with.  I would wrap them around apple slices and sprinkle them with cinnamon and sugar, and little did I realize then that I effectively had an instant apple turnover!  Now, 35 years later, I am still doing just that, except I have a little more culinary knowledge under by belt.

I love taking simple ingredients and injecting some new life into an old favorite, like a classic apple turnover.  My Apple Turnover with Brie has been given a Marc Sievers-twist with store-bought puff pastry, creamy Brie, lemon zest, and two different types of ground peppers:  Pink Pepper and White Pepper.  The pink peppercorns have a slightly sweeter and more floral flavor with a lemony undertone, while the white peppercorns have a much more distinctive peppery heat.  Each lends unique aromatics to help make a classic apple turnover more flavorful and complex!


Apple Turnover with Brie

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • Frozen Puff Pastry - 1 sheet, thawed in the refrigerator

  • Apples – 2 Pink Lady, cored and ½-inch chopped

  • Butter – 1 tablespoon

  • Sea Salt – ½ teaspoon

  • Pink Peppercorns – ¼ teaspoon, freshly cracked (mortar and pestle works perfectly)

  • White Pepper – ¼ teaspoon

  • Sugar – 2 tablespoons, granulated

  • Lemon Zest – ¾ teaspoon

  • Brie – 4 ounces, divided

  • *Egg Wash – 1 egg lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon of water

Direction

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.

  2. Begin by laying out the thawed sheet of puff pastry on a floured surface. Lightly roll into a 10-inch by 14-inch square.

  3. Cut 4 equal-sized rectangles, place onto the prepared sheet pan then place into the refrigerator.

  4. Next, in a medium sized sauce pan set over medium heat, cook the apples, sugar, salt, lemon zest, butter and both ground peppers for 15-20 minutes, or until tender but not mushy.

  5. Remove the sheet pan from the refrigerator.

  6. Spoon equal amounts of the apple mixture onto one-third of each rectangle, leaving a ½-inch border around the edges.

  7. Then, top the apple mixture with one ounce of Brie per pastry.

  8. Brush all edges with *egg wash and fold the remaining two-thirds of the dough over the filling. Gently press the edges to seal completely using a fluted pastry cutter or fork. Repeat until all turn-overs have been assembled.

  9. Place into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill.

  10. Remove from the refrigerator, brush the top of each pastry with the egg wash and then cut three small slits through the top layer of each pastry for steam to escape.

  11. Place into the pre-heated oven and bake for 17-20 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown.

  12. Serve slightly warm or room temperature.

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Apple Salad with Croutons

Marc J. Sievers

One of my favorite things about writing recipes is surprising readers and my guests with complex flavors by using everyday ingredients!  My Apple Salad with Croutons made its television debut on WGN TV Midday News: Lunchbreak and the star of the dish was my simple and incredibly flavorful homemade vinaigrette!

I made the vinaigrette with cinnamon, honey, and apple cider vinegar as my secret ingredients.  All of those flavors are classic combinations with apple, and the addition of tart cranberries, intense Blue Cheese, nuts, and crunchy croutons creates a layered and complex salad with wonderfully everyday ingredients. A match made in food-flavor heaven!  In fact, I served this same salad on Thanksgiving Day, and the entire platter was devoured with guests actually asking for seconds – of salad!  


Apple Salad with Croutons

Ingredients for Salad (serves 8)

  • Granny Smith Apple – cored, and thinly sliced

  • Honey Crisp Apple – cored, and thinly sliced

  • Lemon - juice of 1 lemon

  • Apple Cider Vinegar – 1/3 cup

  • Honey – 1/3 cup

  • Cinnamon – 1 teaspoon

  • Sea Salt – ½ teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – ¼ teaspoon, freshly cracked

  • Olive Oil – ¼ cup

  • Dried Cranberries – ½ cup

  • Pistachios – ½ cup

  • Candied Pecans – ½ cup

  • Blue Cheese – 4 ounces, crumbled

  • Arugula or Spring Mix – 8 ounces

Directions for Salad

  1. Start by placing the cut apples in a large bowl of cold water. Add the lemon juice, and allow to sit until ready to serve.

  2. Meanwhile, mix vinegar, honey, cinnamon, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking vigorously. Set aside.

  3. Drain the apples.

  4. Arrange the greens down the center of a big platter. Add the apples, dried cranberries, pistachios, pecans, and blue cheese on top. Drizzle evenly with the vinaigrette.

  5. Serve immediately.

Ingredients for Croutons

  • Demi Baguette – cut into ½-inch cubes

  • Butter – 3 tablespoons, unsalted

Directions

  1. In a medium sauté pan set over medium heat, add the butter. Once melted, add the bread cubes.

  2. Toast for 5-7 minutes, tossing occasionally, until lightly brown.

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Pumpkin & Apple Spread

Marc J. Sievers

I love filling my refrigerator with lots of fabulous preserves, tapenades, and spreads so I can be ready for a last-minute aperitif and nibble with a friend, neighbor, or even Ryan when I least expect it!  In this case, the newest addition to my refrigerator line-up is my Pumpkin & Apple Spread—an absolutely divine combination of savory and sweet flavors. 

Instead of going through the hassle of using fresh pumpkin, I used canned pumpkin purée instead.  Baking it for a few minutes helps to draw out some of the moisture, leaving you with a thick, luxurious, and spreadable base.  Once the warm purée is mixed with apples that have been sautéed in butter, brown sugar, and other autumn-inspired ingredients, the spread can then be used in so many ways.

My Pumpkin & Apple Spread is perfect for serving alongside cheeses or just piled high onto a cracker with some crème fraîche and fresh thyme leaves.  This brightly-colored spread is also wonderful in the morning on toasted brioche with butter, as a topping for pancakes, or stirred into a hot bowl of oatmeal (trust me, every one of those combinations is fabulous!).  Oh, and don’t forget to warm it up and serve it over your favorite ice cream!


Pumpkin & Apple Spread

Ingredients (makes 2 cups)

  • Pumpkin Purée – 1 can, 15 ounces (not pie filling)

  • Gala Apple – 1 medium, peeled, ½-inch diced

  • Golden Raisins – 1/3 cup

  • Butter – 2 tablespoons, unsalted

  • Light Brown Sugar – 2 tablespoons

  • Cinnamon – ¼ teaspoon

  • Sea Salt – ¼ teaspoon

  • White Pepper – ¼ teaspoon

  • Nutmeg – ⅛ teaspoon

  • Pure Maple Syrup – 1 tablespoon

  • Honey – 1 tablespoon

  • Vanilla – ½ teaspoon, pure extract

  • Black Pepper Water Crackers

  • Crème Fraîche – for garnish

  • Thyme Leaves – fresh, for garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

  2. Spread the pumpkin purée in an even layer (about 9 x 13) onto the parchment-lined sheet pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Set aside.

  3. Meanwhile, in a 12-inch sauté pan set over medium heat, add the butter. Once hot add the apples, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, white pepper, and salt. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. Transfer the apple mixture into a heat-proof bowl and add the cooked pumpkin, raisins, maple syrup, honey, and vanilla. Stir to combine.

  5. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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