Monday, March 9, 2015

Pear, Leek & Gruyere Turnovers

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Pear, Leek & Gruyere Turnovers
Makes 8 Turnovers
Difficulty: Moderate
Pear, Leek & Gruyere Turnovers
This appetizer is sure to wow your family and guests. It can also be served as a light lunch with a salad of greens tossed in simple vinaigrette. In either case – it is fabulous and can be made earlier in the day if you like. It can also be frozen after it is baked and reheated for later use. How versatile!
Pears for the turnovers
Leek ready for cleaning and trimming
  • 2 Tb butter
  • 1½ C thoroughly cleaned chopped leeks
  • Two 6 oz. peeled cored and chopped ripe pears of your choice
  • 1½ tsp sugar
  • Salt & pepper
  • ¾ C packed grated Gruyere cheese (about 4 oz.)
  • 1½ Tb chopped fresh chives
  • 2 frozen puff pastry sheets
  • Flour
  • 1 egg
Leeks are a wonderfully delicious vegetable but they’re grown in sandy soil, so they need a good and thorough cleaning before use. Trim the root end and remove the dark tops, which are bitter.  Then make one long slice vertically, hold them together together, and chop horizontally in ¼- ½ inch sections. Put all into a large bowl, fill with cold water and agitate the chopped leeks with your hands, checking layers for any hidden dirt. The leeks will float and the dirt falls to the bottom. Lift cleaned leeks out of water to drain on paper towels. Chop drained cleaned leeks.
The cut leeks

Wash the chopped leek, the dirt will fall to the bottom
Melt 2 Tb butter in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add 1½ C cleaned leeks to skillet, stir 1 minute. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook until leeks begin to lightly brown, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Stir in chopped pears and sugar. Increase heat to medium; sauté uncovered until any liquid evaporates, about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl; cool. Stir in Gruyere cheese and chives.

Sauté the leek and pears together

....and then add the cheese separately
Thaw 2 puff pastry sheets following package recommendations. Place one sheet on a work surface – sprinkle lightly with flour so it does not stick and roll gently just to take out the fold lines. Using a 4 – 4½ inch diameter ring, bowl or tartlet pan rim, cut out 4 rounds from each pastry sheet. 
Rolled pastry
Then roll out each cut pastry round to a 5” circle. Place about 3 Tb of leek mixture on half of each pastry round, dividing equally. Brush pastry edges as a glaze with 1 beaten egg.  Fold pastry over filling, pressing to adhere. Press edges with fork to seal. Brush turnovers with egg glaze. Pierce pastry in several places with toothpick. Place on baking sheet. Chill 20 minutes in the refrigerator.
Add the stuffing....
Close and then add the glaze
Preheat oven to 400 degree F. Bake turnovers until puffed and golden, about 18 minutes. Serve warm. They can be baked ahead of time and reheated briefly before serving. If you choose to freeze them, bake first, cool and put into a freezer-safe container. It will keep frozen for several weeks. Reheat from the frozen state before serving.
The final product!
I absolutely love these with champagne…of course, EVERYTHING is better with champagne!

Bon Appetit!


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