Thursday, July 27, 2023

Blueberry Turnovers

I started writing this blog because of my addiction to cookbooks. I’ve been aware of this addiction, and lived with it, for many, many years now. At one time, there was a cookbook that I wanted more than any other, but it was out of print. It could be found from used book sellers, but a like-new copy was very pricey. That book was The Last Course by Claudia Fleming. I once met Melissa Clark, who co-wrote that book, when she was in Austin for the Texas Book Festival. While sitting and chatting with her, I asked if there would ever be a new edition. She didn’t think so at the time, and I was left wanting an original copy more than ever. Countless times, I allowed my mouse cursor to hover over that “buy” button, but I never clicked. Because I didn’t succumb to splurging on that book, I felt I had my addiction in check. Fast forward to 2019, and a new edition of that very book was published. I purchased that, at a normal price, with no guilt. Incidentally, now that a new edition exists, used copies of the original are much more sanely priced. And last year, to my delight, Claudia Fleming wrote another cookbook. This new book is Delectable: Sweet and Savory Baking, and I received a review copy. My addiction continues, but it’s still in check. I think. 

While the first book focused on her amazing desserts at Gramercy Tavern, this new one is about Fleming’s home baking after moving on from her restaurant North Fork Table. Delectable is a collection of favorite recipes she developed and refined in her home kitchen. So, they are all very doable. I stopped and gawked at the Blackberry Shortcake several times, and the Plum and Almond Cake is screaming to be made soon. There are cookies and brownies and tarts and custards. One of the most involved recipes in the book is also one I have marked to try: Banana Espresso Semifreddo with Butterscotch and Macadamia Nuts. I made the Oatmeal Cookies with Sour Cherries and added ruby chocolate chunks. And the Date, Nut, and Coconut Muffins became a new favorite. Then, when I received local blueberries from my CSA, I turned to the Blueberry Turnovers. 

The turnovers are made with a cornmeal dough, and you want to allow time for it to chill before you roll it out. Also, there’s a typo in the book. Rather than rolling out the dough and cutting it into 2 x 2 1/2 inch rectangles, you want 4 x 5 inch rectangles. It’s a good idea to make the filling in advance so it too can be chilled. Some of the blueberries were combined with lime zest, sugar, lime juice, cornstarch and cooked until bubbly. Off the heat, the rest of the blueberries were added, and then the filling was chilled. Just a spoon of filling was added to each piece of dough before folding the dough over and crimping to seal. I brushed the tops with egg wash and sprinkled on sanding sugar. Then, the turnovers received cuts for venting, and they were baked until golden. 

These tasty treats were almost too easy to pick up and eat with your hands. They disappeared quickly. The cornmeal dough was a great match for the blueberry filling. The Tomato Crostata and Fennel Taralli are pulling me toward a savory recipe next, but the Chocolate Caramel Tart with Peanuts has my attention too. This new book will continue to feed me and my cookbook addiction.

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