These Pie Crust Jam Turnovers are an easy-to-make dessert when you have a sweet tooth. The pie crust dough is rolled out, cut into small round shapes, and filled with your favorite jam. Delicious and easy to make!
What are these cookies?
These cookies are very special to me. An old family little treasure, coming from my paternal German grandmother who lived in Transylvania, this recipe is reminiscent of the German pastry style.
It is a type of filled cookie or pastry that is often known as a "turnover" in English-speaking countries. However, there isn't really a direct equivalent in traditional German baking, which might be why I was struggling to find a name for it.
I have only a few recipes from Herta, my grandmother, but plenty of warm memories of her baking. These Oma's jam turnovers are some of my favorite cookies she used to make.
They are easy to put together, delicious, and versatile. The best part is that you can use the dough to make a pie crust.
My pie crust is made with vinegar
I recently saw some American articles saying that adding vinegar or lemon juice to a dough doesn't do anything to it. As much as I respect these opinions, I wonder why people have used vinegar in their pie crusts for hundreds of years.
Interesting fact: My research showed me that most Romanian pie crust recipes are made with vinegar and water or wine, probably because the acidity from the vinegar inhibits the gluten from developing; therefore, the crust ends up being more tender.
In my opinion, it is a reliable recipe for producing a good pie crust. It uses two tablespoons of vinegar and four tablespoons of water, and it is just enough to make a difference in the finished crust.
I know that the vinegar added to the recipes was and still is very popular in many Eastern European countries; therefore, if you have a good explanation for why vinegar is used, I am open to the conversation.
You can make this dough by hand or in a food processor. Both methods will give you good results.
Also, you can use either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar in this recipe. You won't be able to smell or taste the vinegar in the finished crust.
If you make the dough from scratch, you will need:
All-purpose flour: You can substitute it with a gluten-free all-purpose flour mix for a gluten-free version. For a healthier version, you could use whole wheat flour, but it might alter the texture and taste of the cookies.
Unsalted butter: I always use unsalted butter, as I like to control the salt in the baking goods. However, if you have only salted butter, do not add the salt required in the recipe.
If you want to make a vegan version, you could use a vegan butter substitute or coconut oil. Note that using coconut oil may give a slight coconut flavor to your cookies.
White wine vinegar: I like this vinegar because it doesn't have much flavor. It can be replaced with apple cider vinegar or lemon juice if you don't have it on hand.
Cold water: it is used to bring the dough together. And yes, it has to be cold water, not warm.
Salt: Enhances the other flavors in the cookies. You could use either table salt or sea salt. Remember, if you use salted butter, skip the salt.
Powdered sugar: This sugar is also called confectioner's sugar. It's used for dusting on top of the cookies. If you don't have it, you can make your own by grinding granulated sugar in a blender or food processor.
You could also use a dusting of granulated sugar for a crunchier topping or leave it off entirely.
Fruit jam: You can use any kind you like. Plums, apples, strawberries, and raspberries are all good. If you want a lower-sugar version, you could use a reduced-sugar or sugar-free jam.
If you buy the pie crust or you already have it, then just use the jam of your choice.
How to make these jam turnovers
See the recipe card for instructions on how to make the dough from scratch.
After the dough is rolled, cut it with a water glass or a round cookie cutter, then place a dollop of jam in the middle.
My grandmother used to fold the cookie in half and seal it with a fork, then bake them.
Relatively easy to make, the cookies are a delicious snack or dessert to have around.
Dust these babies with some powdered sugar and serve. They are great with coffee, fantastic for holidays, or just lazy Sundays with your family.
The cookie's sweetness comes only from the jam inside and the powdered sugar on top because the dough has no sugar at all.
How to store the cookies
Room temperature and refrigerator:
Allow them to cool completely. Storing warm cookies can lead to condensation, which can make them soggy. Place the cookies in an airtight container.
If you need to stack the cookies, place a piece of parchment paper or wax paper between each layer to prevent them from sticking to each other.
This is especially important for these cookies because they have jam and are dusted with powdered sugar. Store in a cool, dark place, like a pantry. They will keep well for up to a week.
If you deal with very warm weather, keep them refrigerated. Let them come to room temperature before serving.
These cookies should freeze well if you want to make them in advance. Store them in a freezer-safe container, separated by parchment or wax paper, and they should last for up to 3 months.
Defrost them in the refrigerator or at room temperature when you're ready to eat them.
Enjoy, and let me know if you like them!
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Pie Crust Jam Turnovers
- Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
- Prepare the baking sheet: Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
- You can make the dough by hand or in a food processor:
- By hand: Sift the flour in a bowl and add the cold chopped butter. Use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour until you obtain pea-size crumbles. Over the crumbles, add water, salt, and vinegar, and mix with your hands until you get a smooth dough.
- Food processor: Add the butter to the flour and pulse 3-4 times until the dough looks like pea-size crumbles. Add water, salt, and vinegar and pulse until you obtain a smooth dough.
- Shape the cookies: Roll the dough on a floured surface to about ¼ inch thickness and cut circles with a water glass or a round cookie cutter.
- Add jam: Place a dollop of jam in the middle and fold the dough in half.
- Close the cookies: Use a fork to press the edges of the cookie together and place the cookie on the baking sheet.
- Bake: When all cookies are formed, bake them at 350F/180C for about 17-20 mins.
- Cool: Remove from the oven and let them cool on a metal rack.
- Serve: Dust powdered sugar over each cookie and serve.