There’s something so comforting about sharing a fresh-baked plate of turnovers with family. This extra-crispy spinoff of a family favorite is perfect for seasonal parties and holiday gatherings.
Rather than using the standard puff pastry dough, this recipe utilizes the extra flaky nature of phyllo dough.
If you’re having a hard time finding pumpkin puree or don’t have time to make some from scratch, this recipe is just what you need! The simplicity of using pumpkin butter for mini turnovers makes for a nice party snack.
- 1 Pkg. Phyllo dough sheets
- 1/4 to 1/2 Jar pumpkin butter
- 1.5 tbsp. cinnamon
- 2.5 tbsp. powdered sugar
Pumpkin butter is more likely to be on hand in my cupboard than puree, so this recipe wins in my book. You also don’t need a whole jar, so keep enjoying it on your toast in the days to come.
I used the Pumpkin Butter from a local favorite of mine, Cotton & Co. Boutique. It’s been a seasonal staple in our fridge and tasted great with some cinnamon and powdered sugar sprinkled on the turnovers.
For this recipe, I used Filo dough instead of puff pastry because I wanted to see how flaky it was in comparison and if it would be more aerated.
Good news! It gets golden brown around the edges and gets flakier than puff pastry for a spinoff on a favorite Sunday morning treat.
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I was very pleased with the natural flavors of this butter and the sweetness is balanced out with the pastry. I’ll definitely be snagging a second jar before the season is over because this isn’t going to last very long!
I highly recommend you mix a bit of cinnamon into the butter before adding it to your triangles of dough. It pairs great with the pumpkin flavor and isn’t too overwhelming, even if you sprinkle more on after baking!
I hadn’t used phyllo dough in a recipe before, so this came with a learning curve. Typical turnovers are a bit thicker and made with puff pastry.
While puff pastry dough is more aerated than phyllo dough, it is less flaky and will soften sooner. The phyllo dough turnovers are crispier and crunchier for a nice seasonal handheld snack.
How do I know the dough is ready to use?
Allow your phyllo dough to thaw to the directions on the package—this will take a while in the fridge, so plan accordingly! Though the brand I used said 3 hours at room temperature to thaw and it actually took about an hour and 30 minutes.
You know the dough is ready when it is malleable and soft. Often these dough sheets will come in rolls, so make sure the center of the roll is thawed enough to unroll without breaking as the dough is fragile when chilled or dried out.
Feeling overwhelmed because you’ve never used phyllo dough before? No worries. it was my first time using this type of dough when I made these turnovers. Having never worked with it before, I found the dough a bit easier than expected. Although, I wasn’t expecting the sheets to feel so thin at first and quickly realized I would need to keep a damp cloth and water cup to work efficiently.
It’s extremely important to keep the dough hydrated. Though, you need to keep something to separate the cloth and dough as it will stick if it touches the dough directly! I used the plastic film that came with the dough sheets and laid the cloth on top to protect the dough from the dry open air.
- Preheat your oven to 350F and prep a baking sheet with an oiled piece of parchment or aluminum foil.
- Take 3-4 sheets of thawed dough sheets and set them aside.
- Line up the sheet corners and cut them into a grid of squares with a sharp knife or kitchen scissors. Each square will slide away from the others when cutting because of the layer of flour in between.
- Keep the squares in neat piles and cover if working in large batches.
- Take a pile and line the edges with water by dipping your finger in the water cup and tracing the edge. Beware of puddling where your finger first meets the dough as it can turn fragile very easily.
- Pinch the edges while damp to get the sheets to stick to one another.
- Take about a tablespoon of pumpkin butter for a medium turnover and a half tablespoon of pumpkin butter for the smaller turnovers. Plop it in the center leaving an even pinch line around the edges.
- Fold one corner diagonally to create a small pocket and pinch the edges moving toward the center point to prevent the pumpkin butter from spilling out the sides.
- Line the turnovers on the baking sheet. If the tops of the turnovers are dry by the time you get them all on the tray, brush more water over the top to get the sugar to stick.
- Take the combined cinnamon sugar mix and sprinkle it over the turnovers. If desired, add more cinnamon and tap or brush excess off after baking.
- Bake for about 8 minutes, checking 5 minutes in to make sure they aren’t browning around the corners too much. Oven temperatures are not always exact and can be tedious with small pastries, so a few check-ups are recommended!
I worked with two baking sheets at a time so I could prevent the turnovers from drying out while waiting to go in the oven. It was good to always have a spare pan to place the raw turnovers on as this saved time that would otherwise be spent transferring the pastries over. Don’t let them dry out before going in to get baked!
I transferred the turnovers to a wire rack quite quickly after baking and had no issue with them sticking or falling apart. In fact, I partially credit this quick transfer for the crispy walls of the pastry, despite being full of ooey-gooey autumn goodness.
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