Bananas Foster Pi Day Turnovers
Happy Pi Day!
Before we get to a recipe for one of my favorite days of the year, a few announcements:
You may notice some changes to the site now and in the near future. When I started this endeavor, it was an experiment of sorts. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to stick with it. But I’ve kept it up for more than a year (during an especially strange, difficult year), so I’ve decided to remove the word Resolution from the title. It’s not a resolution anymore, it’s just a thing I do now. I’m in the process of changing the name on all of the various social media accounts, and there will be some cosmetic changes to the site. Overall, I’m pretty excited about it, and I hope you are too.
I know I’ve been a little bit quiet over the last couple of months. It’s been a weird year. Stressful. My doctor opened an EDS clinic with all sorts of specialists, which is amazing, but it’s two hours away. Which means going up minimum every other week, sometimes more frequently, which has left me pretty tired. Once my body gets more used to it, it’ll get much easier. More good news is that I have a brilliant medical team, including an EDS-specialized occupational therapist, who will help me with everything going forward. The next few months are still going to be a bit rough, but after that things should be much, much better.
Starting tomorrow in the state of California, I will officially be eligible for the COVID vaccine due to my medical history. The relief from that is slightly mitigated be the fact that San Diego is opening a whole bunch of things up and making things generally less safe only two days later (just in time for people to make a whole bunch of irresponsible St. Patrick’s Day choices). But, you know what? I’ll take it. I just want to feel safe again.
So with all that out of the way…turnovers- the socially acceptable way to eat pie for breakfast! The best way to celebrate Pi Day.
This is a true 🥄-🥄🥄🥄 recipe. There is a whole lot of flexibility and room for variation. I’m including a made-from-scratch crust, but you can absolutely use remade puff pastry or pie dough. I haven’t found any good gluten free options, but leave a comment if you have! The filling is pretty easy. There’s a fair amount of cutting/chopping, but it’s made easier with the help of a rocking knife and a food processor. The filling doesn’t need to be precooked, it bakes up and caramelizes beautifully in the oven, and it’s not going to explode or leak out all over your oven like other fruit fillings do (which is convenient but more importantly lets you pack in a lot more filling per turnover than you might otherwise).
I just use my standard pie crust recipe for these. It comes together quickly and you can make it a few days ahead of time if you want. The hardest part for me is the rolling, measuring, and cutting.
Start by cutting two sticks of butter into small pieces and freezing them. Overnight, several nights, a month, whenever. They don’t need to be the same sized pieces.
When you’re ready to make the dough, mix together the sour cream, vinegar, water, and vanilla in a liquid measuring cup. Mix the flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor (or a bowl if your hands are stronger than mine). Then scatter the frozen butter pieces over the flour mixture, leaving a couple of pieces out, and pulse a couple of times until the butter gets broken up into smaller pieces and incorporated. Pour the wet ingredients over the others and pulse a few more times. It’ll start to clump together; pour it out when it’s still crumbly. You still want to see pieces of butter in the finished dough- that’s what gives you the flaky texture.
I put plastic wrap on the counter before doing any of this for easier cleanup. Gather the pieces of dough together with your hands, letting it hydrate as you go. Put the extra pieces of butter somewhere in the middle when you do this to let then warm up and spread just a little bit.
Form the dough into two rectangular blocks for ease of rolling out later, and wrap them in plastic to refrigerate for at least an hour. You can do this the same day or a few days ahead of time to save on spoons.
When it’s baking time, set the oven to 400°F. Take the blocks out to work with them one at a time so the one you aren’t working with doesn’t warm up too much. Again using a plastic wrap base (I use the same piece to work with the dough initially, wrap it, and roll it), cover the dough with another sheet. Roll it out into a long rectangle-ish shape. Measure and cut 4-5 in. squares of dough and put them on a parchment lined baking sheet to be filled. Repeat the rolling, measuring, cutting, and placing process until you’ve used all of the dough. You might need to put it back into the fridge if it gets too warm to work with. You might also need multiple baking sheets, in which case you should put a finished baking sheet in the fridge when working on the other.
If you’re using premade dough, you can skip those steps and move straight to filling. This filling. Y’all. It’s so good. And it’s so easy. The pecans are optional, as is chopping or toasting them, and you can also add rum for a more traditional bananas foster feel. If you want to make this the same way I did, chop pecans in a food processor. Then toast 3/4 or a cup of them in a small pan on the stove. While they’re cooling, cut bananas into small pieces. How small? Totally up to you.
Put the bananas and pecans in a big bowl, and add vanilla, cinnamon, and brown sugar (and rum, if you’re using it). Stir everything together until the bananas and nuts are well coated. That’s it. Seriously.
You’ll have some leftover after filling the turnovers, which I highly suggest storing in a jar in the fridge and putting it on ice cream. Or waffles. Or a spoon.
To fill the dough, put 2-3 tbsp in the middle of each square. Using a beaten egg or water, brush liquid onto the edge of half of a square, then fold the other half over and gently press edges together to join. Use the tines of a fork to create a better seal. Then use something sharp to cut little steam vents, maybe in the shape of the pi symbol, into the top of each turnover.
Cover with an egg wash, sprinkle with coarse sugar, and bake 25-35 minutes. And then you can enjoy tasty pi pie!
For the Dough
🥄🥄🥄; makes about 12 turnovers, 2 single pie crusts, or 1 double crust pie
2 sticks butter, frozen and cubed
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
6 tbsp water
3 tbsp sour cream
1 tbsp vinegar
2 tsp vanilla
Combine wet ingredients in a measuring cup.
Combine dry ingredients in a food processor. Sprinkle the frozen butter pieces over the flour mixture, reserving a few pieces for later.
Pulse the butter in with the flour a couple of times.
Add the wet ingredients, then pulse a few more times, until clumps of dough begin to form.
Dump the dough onto a plastic wrap covered surface and gather it together with your hands, putting the reserved pieces of butter in the middle so it can melt lightly and spread. Make sure you can still see streaks of butter in the dough so you can end up with flaky crust.
Divide the dough into two parts and form them into rectangular blocks. wrap them in plastic and refrigerate for a minimum of one hour.
For the Filling
🥄; makes about 2 cups
2-4 bananas, depending on size
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 heaping tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped, toasted pecans (optional)
1 shot rum (optional)
Chop and toast pecans the stove, if using.
Cut bananas into small pieces and combine them in a bowl with pecans.
Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until everything is coated.
Store in a jar in the fridge.
For the Turnovers
🥄🥄; makes about 12 turnovers
1 pie crust dough recipe
1 cup filling
Set oven to 400°F.
Taking out only one dough block at a time, roll into a long rectangle-ish shape. Measure and cut dough into 4-5 in. squares. Place cut squares onto a parchment lines baking sheet. Repeat the rolling, measuring, and cutting process until you’ve made it through the entire dough block, recooling dough as necessary. If you need multiple baking sheets, make sure the finished sheet is in the fridge while you’re working on the other one.
Place 2-3 tsp of filling in the center of each square. Don’t worry about overfilling, as these won’t leak nearly as much as other fruit fillings. Brush a beaten egg on the edge of one half of the square and fold the other side over, gently pressing together. Use the tines of a fork to create a stronger seal.
Slice steam vents into the top of each pastry. Brush the tops with an egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake 25-35 minutes, until the tops are dark golden brown.