Every year, I look forward to the appearance of rhubarb in the shops; I absolutely love baking with it and experimenting with new recipes.
When I was growing up, there was always an abundance of rhubarb at home, as we had plenty in the garden. We started making turnovers with my mother as an alternative to rhubarb tart.
Initially we were using shortcrust pastry, and making them into large triangles. I have evolved the recipe over time to the current, more indulgent version, but you can easily sustitute the puff pastry for shortcrust, and vary the size and shape of the turnovers.
You will need (for 40-45 turnovers):
For the rough puff pastry:
500 g plain flour
500 g cold butter, diced
2 tsp salt
250 ml very cold water
For the filling:
40 g butter
500 g rhubarb, peeled and diced
1 apple, peeled, cored and cut into small cubes
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp golden caster sugar
1 egg yolk, beaten
Make the pastry:
Put the flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the middle where you will put the butter.
With your fingertips, lightly rub the flour into the butter until you end up with very small pieces of butter and a sandy consistency.
Gradually add some of the water, mixing as you go, until you have an elastic, coherent dough (you probably won’t need all of the water). Wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for 30 min.
On a well-floured board or worktop, roll the pastry out to a 40 cm x 20 cm rectangle. Fold it in 3, then give it a 1/4 turn. Roll it out again to a rectangle, fold as before, then wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 20 min.
Repeat the last step in full, then rest the pastry in the fridge for another 20 min. It is now ready to use.
Meanwhile, make the filling:
In a large frying pan or sauté pan with a lid, melt the butter on a medium heat. Add the apple and the rhubarb and cook for about a minute. Add the vanilla and sugar, stir, then turn the heat down and cover.
Cook for about 15 min, or until soft and the rhubarb starts falling apart. Leave to cool.
Assemble the turnovers:
Preheat the oven to 200ºC/ 180ºC fan/ Gas 6.
Cut the pastry in half, leave 1 half in the fridge until needed and roll the other one out on a well-floured surface to a thickness of about 4 mm.
Stamp out as many circles as you can with a 10 cm fluted cutter. Spoon a little bit of filling in the middle of each circle, about 2 tsp should do.
Brush the edge of each circle with a bit of water, fold the circle in half and press down along the edge with your fingers to seal.
Re-roll the trimmings and repeat, then roll out the other half of the pastry. Keep going until you run out of filling.
Transfer to a floured, non-stick baking sheet. Brush some egg yolk over the top, and bake for about 12 min or until well-risen and golden brown.