This week's Sweet Melissa recipe was chosen by Tracey of the AMAZING blog, Tracey's Culinary Adventures. You should check out her awesome kitchen adventures and can get this week's recipe for Caramel Apple Turnovers with Sweet Ricotta Filling here.
I was looking forward to this recipe (even though I couldn't try it because as far as I know there is no non-dairy ricotta substitute) because I have never made turnovers before and never worked with puff pastry (I know where have I been?!). I enjoyed making these, but did think it was a bit of work for only 4 turnovers. Since I did quite a lot of baking this weekend, I only baked one of the turnovers to give to my trusty taster and froze the rest before baking as the recipe suggested.
I didn't have time to let the ricotta drain overnight, and since some of my great fellow SMS bakers (you can - and should - check out the blogroll here) did the overnight drill but didn't actually extract any liquid from the ricotta I thought it was OK to skip. What I did instead was put the ricotta in the cheese cloth and then squeezed the liquid out of it - and got a fair amount out. That's about all I did differently (oh and I did not chill the turnover before baking).
I had a little trouble the caramel apples, when I put the apples into the amber sugar and water mixture, the caramel turned to a hard lump. It eventually melted, but it took awhile. I also had a little trouble with the puff pastry, which turned from easy to work with to very elastic and sticky rather quickly. I think next time, I will keep some of the pieces in the freezer while I assemble the others to avoid that problem. So of course, the last turnover (an most "melted" puff pastry square) was the one I ended up baking (and photographing for this post). I am convinced the ones sitting in the freezer would have turned out better photographs!!!
I also just realized while reading Tracey's post about these turnovers that I forgot to cut the steam slits - oh well, they didn't explode! Hubby loved these and gave them an enthusiastic two thumbs up. He didn't really taste the ricotta and was surprised when I told him there was cheese in them - he said the caramel apple was the strongest flavors. Humf! Well, there you have it. Thanks Tracey for picking this recipe and giving me a chance to try out some new skills.