Blueberry Turnovers – a pre-cooked blueberry pie filling and a forgiving sweet butter pastry recipe make these turnovers practically foolproof.
Blueberry turnovers can be a real pain to make using fresh berries. Generally, the berries will release all of their juice and soak the pastry before the filling can bubble and thicken.
Then there’s the issue of the baking time, which when using fresh berries in there natural state, can be too long for the pastry, which then gets too dark.
My solution to these problem is to pre-cook a blueberry pie filling and use that instead. The pastry here is a more forgiving type which is sweetened with a little sugar and contains egg yolks to keep it tender.
This dough is a bit more forgiving than a standard pie crust, and is a bit more friendly to having the scrap ends re-rolled to make additional turnovers. It’s the same dough that I often blind bake for tarts like my Classic Lemon Tart recipe.
These are fantastic to make in late summer when wild blueberries are readily available here in Newfoundland but since the filling is pre-cooked, they can very easily be made with frozen berries at any time of year.
They are especially good when served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert.
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For a quick and easy larger strudel version, use the same filling as this recipe to replace the apples in this recipe:
- 4 cups blueberries fresh or frozen
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup water approximately
- 2 tablespoons rounded corn starch
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- pinch salt
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 1 cup cold butter cut in small cubes
- 2 large egg yolk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup ice water
Bring the berries and sugar to a gentle boil for about 15 minutes. You want some of the juice to steam off and concentrate the blueberry flavour.
Mix the corn starch with the water and add slowly to the boiling berry mixture stirring constantly.
Boil gently for 1 additional minutes stirring constantly. Allow to cool completely to room temperature, stirring occasionally before chilling completely in the fridge.
Mix together the flour, salt and sugar. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles a coarse meal and small pea sized pieces of butter still remain in the mixture. You can also use a food processor to pulse the butter into the flour mixture if you prefer.
Whisk together the water, vanilla and egg yolks. Pour over the dry ingredients and toss together gently with a wooden spoon only until a soft dough forms. Form the dough into 2 rounds, wrap in plastic wrap and let the dough rest in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. Roll it out to about a 10x15 inch rectangular shape or to about a thickness a little greater than 1/8 of an inch (about 4 mm).
Use a 5 inch round cutter to cut the pastry into circles. Alternatively you can cut the pastry into squares and make rectangular or triangular turnovers.
Lay the pastry circles onto parchment lined cookie sheets. Brush the edges of the tops of the pastry with an egg wash made from whisking together 1 egg with 1 tbsp cold water.
Scoop a heaping tablespoon of the blueberry compote in the centre and fold the pastry over the top.
Press down with your fingertips at the edges of the dough to seal in the filling.
When all of the turnovers are completed, egg wash the tops and put three small slits in the top of each one with the tip of a sharp knife.
Chill the turnovers for 20 minutes in the fridge before hoping them into a preheated 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375 and bake for about another 15 minutes or until the tops are evenly golden brown.
Cool on a wire rack and serve.
Improvise to cut the circles of dough out if you don't have a large circular cutter. Just find an empty can or plastic container about 5-6 inches across and use that. I actually used an empty sour cream container to cut out the pastry for the turnovers in the photos.
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