As the gilded foliage gently blows from the safety of its boughs, so does the peaceful lull of autumn as we quickly approach the flurry of the holiday season. Midafternoon strolls turn into hurried shopping trips, quiet nights at home are transformed into long evenings at holiday get-togethers, and there is an endless supply of homemade candies that have staked claim in my teeny tiny fridge.
So, I wanted to take a moment before the holidays are in full swing to spend time in the kitchen, peeling, slicing, chopping and stewing these lovely honey-scented pears. Their season is quickly fading with the serenity of autumn days. These turnovers are packaged with love and perfectly puffed pastry, which crunches like leaves under foot as golden flakes of pastry fall onto my wooly plaid shirt. These pear turnovers fill my heart with warmth and craft a beautiful calm before the sensation of the season. I take another bite as I say goodbye to lazy afternoons and say hello to this wonderful holiday season.
Recipe: Spiced Pear Turnovers
Note: Make sure you allow time for the pear filling to completely cool before placing it into the puff pastry. If you add the filling to the pastry when it is still warm, the pastry will become impossible to work with, and it will become the bane of your existence and you will most likely curse my name! So pretty please, allow the filling to cool!
4 large, firm pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1”cubes
Juice from ½ lemon
1 tablespoon of flour
½ teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
1 ½ teaspoons of cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of honey
1 package of puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon of sugar, for sprinkling
Toss the pears with the lemon juice. Add flour, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon to the pears and lemon juice. Toss to combine, making sure all of the pears are coated with the spices and flour.
Place a large sauté pan on medium to medium-low heat and add the butter to the pan. Once the butter has melted, add the honey and the spiced pears. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring every few minutes. The pears are finished cooking whenever they are soft, not mushy (think of the texture of a perfectly ripe pear.) While cooking the pears, you should notice a thick, dark syrup forming. The longer you cook the pears, the darker and thicker the syrup will be! This adds wonderful flavor to the dish. Once the pears have finished cooking, take them off the heat and allow them to cool. If you need to speed up the cooling process, just spread the pears out onto a roasting tray and pop it in the fridge until completely cooled.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Turn out 1 sheet of the puff pastry onto a cutting board. Cut into thirds lengthwise. Cut again down the center across crosswise, creating 6 equal rectangles. Repeat with the second piece of puff pastry.
Place 6 of the cut rectangles on the parchment-lined cookie sheet, leaving about 1 ½-2 inches of room in between each piece of pastry. Brush the edges of the rectangles with the egg wash. Using a tablespoon, fill the centers of the rectangles with the cooled pear filling. Place the remaining 6 pieces of pastry onto the filled pieces, lining up the corners as best as you can. Using a fork, gently seal up all of the edges of the turnovers with the tines of the fork. Using a paring knife, score the tops of the turnovers and brush the egg wash over the entire pastry. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.