Ryan James Thompson was born November 14, 1990 … 21 years ago. It feels
more like 10, maybe 12. For me, time is like a dangling carrot, you chase it
frantically, but you just never quite reach it … there just never seems to be
quite enough time. Despite our long days and short nights here on the farm,
the years seem to roll along at a breakneck pace and as much as we try to cram
in every last detail of work and play, the days just get away on us. 21 years
ago Ryan came into the world and thrust his dad and I on an
amazing adventure of raising an awesome and inspiring son, so today is a
Since I bake a lot of birthday cakes you would think I would have had an
amazing cake in honour of Ryan’s 21st birthday but with other orders to fill,
cake just wasn’t on the menu. So, with little time, I needed to come up with a
desert that would be special and delicious. This ended up being a perfect
finish to a perfect day.
Served warm with a drizzle of balsamic reduction and a scoop of vanilla bean
ice cream, this is the kind of food I live for. The cranberries are slightly tart
and the orange offers a beautiful subtle, citrus flavour. The apples are
scrumptiously sweet because of the carmelly brown sugar and heavenly
vanilla. In fact, Ryan would have been quite happy to have sat down with just
the bowl of apples and called it a day. In fact, I had to keep slapping his hand
to get it out of the bowl.
Served warm, (not hot, because you want people to really enjoy the flavours)
these turnovers ooze fruity goodness that contrasts beautifully with the crisp,
flaky phyllo. The balsamic drizzle enhances the sweet, tart and citrus flavours
and the vanilla bean ice cream adds a delicious creaminess and more vanilla
All in all, this dessert is awesome and really does not take a great deal of
time. Peel and chop your apples while the cranberries are simmering and you
can be serving these up in an hour. This recipe makes 16 turnovers. You
could make double that amount if you were to reduce the size for a dessert
Cranberry Orange Jam
1 pkg. fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup (250 ml) water
1 cup (250 ml) sugar
1 orange, peeled
Put all ingredients together in a pot to simmer, stirring frequently.
Simmer until the mixture starts to bubble and thicken. Remember that the
mixture will thicken once it cools so you don’t want to let it get too thick. Set
aside to cool. Once it’s cool you’ll want to puree it just enough to grind up the
orange. You can use a blender, food processor, or a hand-held blender, giving
it just a few bursts of power so that you still have the odd whole cranberry in
there. A hand-held blender is perfect for this because you don’t have to
transfer the mixture back and forth. Just pop the blender in the saucepan, give
it a couple bursts of power and wham, bam, you’re done.
6-7 apples, MacIntosh, or whatever you like
1/2 (125 ml) fresh lemon
1/2 cup (125 ml) brown sugar
1 tsp (25 ml) pure vanilla
Wash, peel and chop 6-7 apples. I like to use MacIntosh because they have a
delicious sweetness. I didn’t have quite enough so I used a couple of delicious
off of the tree in the front yard. Use whatever you like best, you can even use
a variety, it’s up to you. Cut the apples up into bite-size pieces. Squeeze 1/2 a
lemon into the apple pieces to prevent browning and add a splash of flavour.
Add 1/2 cup (125 ml) brown sugar and 1 tsp (25 ml) pure vanilla. Stir and set aside.
Frozen phyllo dough
1 cup (250 ml) butter, melted
16 teaspoons coarse brown sugar
Use a package of store bought frozen phyllo pastry found in the freezer section
of most grocery stores. Allow the phyllo to thaw in the package in the
refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for about 5 hours. Do not open
the package until all of your filling is prepared and ready to use. Unwrap the
phyllo and lay out flat. Take one sheet of phyllo and place in down on a baking
sheet or cutting board. Brush the phyllo sheet with melted butter using a
pastry brush. Brush the phyllo gently making sure to get the edges. The
phyllo does not have to be completely covered in butter just lightly make
broad strokes across the surface.
Repeat this 7 more times until you have a pile of phyllo sheets, 8 sheets high.
With a sharp knife, cut your phyllo into 8 sections.
Add 1/4 cup of the chopped apple mixture followed by a 1/8 cup of cranberry
orange jam. (Don’t mind me … as you can clearly see, I couldn’t figure out
what I was doing. I do have moments like that … even whole days actually).
Brush around the edge of the phyllo section with melted butter and fold over.
Press to seal the edges as much as possible.
Brush the top of the turnover with more melted butter and sprinkle with 1
teaspoon of coarse brown sugar. Cut 3 slits into the top for the steam to escape
while it bakes.
Place onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake in a 325 °oven for 20-25
minutes or until lightly brown and crispy.
Repeat the process, building another 8 sheets of phyllo, cut, fill and fold.
If you want to get fancy, you could make triangles.
Serve with a balsamic reduction that you can get from most grocery stores or
make it yourself by simmering a 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar until it thickens.
Add a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and enjoy. Heavenly!!!
This Sweet Wife ♥ (Ryan’s mom)