This recipe can be made with just about any fruit, but when I saw persimmons and pears in my recent Local Boxes, I knew I wanted to make turnovers. The great thing about being an American is that dessert and breakfast are often the same thing. :)
If you’ve never “pear”ed pears with chocolate, you are in for a treat! These Keifer (Asian) crunchy pears are perfect for a baked fruit dessert. As you know by now, the Asian pears from Lightsey Farms are kind of like a cross between an apple and a pear. Just like an apple, they should be eaten (or baked…) when hard and crunchy!
I’m really shocked that this recipe came out flawless because if you follow my blog, you’ll notice that I RARELY bake. I’m too lazy to make desserts, and definitely too lazy to develop a NEW dessert recipe. It’s a little bit of extra work, but so so so worth it!!! All I did is add ingredients that I would normally add to apple pie (the ONE signature thing that I bake) and I added a little chocolate. The finishing hazelnuts will be a subtle touch that brings a wow factor. This is good. So good. You could propose to someone over this and they won’t even notice the ring.
Pears and Dark Chocolate Turnovers with Toasted Hazelnuts
(makes about 8 turnovers)
1-1/2 cups finely diced Asian pears (peeled and cored)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon lemon or orange zest
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1 egg, whisked well and added to 1/2 Tablespoon of water.
2 Tablespoons turbinado sugar
1. Roll out the chilled pastry dough to about 1/8″ thick. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 5-inch squares. Combine scraps and re-roll and cut. The pastry dough should always stay as cold as possible so if you need to re-chill in between steps, do so! Chill the dough squares. This can be done 1 or 2 days ahead of time.
2. In a bowl, combine pears, lemon juice, zest, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and cornstarch.
3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Arrange dough squares on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Spoon a Tablespoon of the pear filling in the center of the square. Add a few chocolate chips around it. Then slowly bring two opposite corners together and press together gently. Press the edges together, being careful to keep the filling in the pocket and not allowing the dough to tear. Using the tines of a fork, press the outer 1/4″ edge on both straight sides. Repeat for all squares. Refrigerate if needed to keep the dough cool.
4. Brush the turnovers generously with the eggwash. Then sprinkle turbinado sugar over the egg wash. Bake for 30-33 mins until edges are golden brown.
5. While the turnovers are baking, melt the remaining chocolate chips in a small microwavable bowl with a tablespoon of butter by microwaving them in 15 second increments until melted. Stir in between increments. Toast the hazelnuts in a skillet for a few minutes. Rub them between your hands in a small paper towel to remove the skins. Then chop coarsely.
6. When the turnovers are done, spoon some melted chocolate over them and sprinkle them with chopped hazelnuts. Enjoy with a cup or coffee or a glass of milk.
*I made the pastry dough in the food processor with a dough blade and it works beautifully! Ice cold water is critical to have a cold dough and to achieve buttery flakiness. Try not to add more than 3 Tablespoons of water though.