Fany Gerson’s Tomato Jam Turnovers

February 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

Words are failing me at the moment. It’s late and it’s been a long (but good) day.  My brain feels fried, though, so I’ll be brief with what I’ve been excited about lately: Tomato Jam Turnovers.  There. I said it. Tomato jam turnovers are from Fany Gerson’s book, My Sweet Mexico (a great library loaner) and have been taking up real estate in my head for a while.  Needing all the brain space I can get (for things like remembering permission slips, helping with valentines, brushing my teeth, etc) I decided to just take action and see what they were like.  I’m so glad I did.  What a treat these are from the savory/sweet tomato jam, to the flaky, cream scented dough.  We all ate them warm out of the oven, some of us (two of my  kids and myself) loving them and others eating them happily until I told them it was tomato jam in the center (I still get the victory in getting them to taste new flavors).

I should tell you up front: this is not a quick and easy recipe.  It will take you a couple of hours even if you barrel through.  But, to me, it’s worth it to take some time to make something new and have an adventure in the kitchen.  It’s like my mini vacation from real life, but with the bonus of having, at the end of the vacation, a wonderful treat  for us to eat, in real life.  Another thing: you could make these in sessions, making the jam in the first, the dough in the second (then refrigerating) and  then rolling out and assembling in the last. Don’t let the time scare you off.  Sometimes harder (or more time-consuming) is better and I think this is one of those times.

Tomato Jam Turnovers

from Fany Gerson’s My Sweet Mexico

Jam filling

4 cups grape tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes)

1 1/4 cup sugar

Pinch of salt


2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3 tablespoons sugar

Pinch of salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

1/2 cup crema or heavy cream, plus extra for topping

egg yolk and sugar for topping

Filling: Cut clean, dry tomatoes in half and put them in a small, heavy pot with the sugar and salt.  Bring it all to a boil and then adjust the heat to keep it going at a constant simmer.  Cook, stirring every few minutes, until the bottom of the pot is visible (about 50-60 minutes).  Blend in a food processor if you like a smooth texture for the filling.  Let cool before assembling turnovers.

Dough: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl.  In a food processor, with a pastry cutter, or with your fingertips, combine the cold butter into the flour until it looks like coarse meal.  Add the cream and mix until just combined.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough until it is smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Flatten the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface, with a floured rolling-pin, until 1/8 inch thick.  Using a round cookie cutter or the rim of a drinking glass, cut out 4 to 5 inch circles.  Gather the scraps and re-roll until all the dough is used.

To form turnovers:  Line up circles of dough on the floured surface and place a scant tablespoon of jam in the middle of each one.  Fold the dough in half, lightly pressing on the edges to seal (or you can use the back of a fork for this step).  Cut two small slits in the tops of the turnovers.  Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

While the pastries are in the refrigerator, heat the oven to 350 degrees F, and whisk an egg yolk and some cream in a small bowl.  When the 30 minutes is up, brush the turnovers with the egg mixture and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake until golden brown (about 35 minutes in my oven, but keep an eye out as oven temperature varies).

Let cool on a rack and serve warm or cold.


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