Whole Lemon Turnovers with Black Pepper & Thyme Glaze
Using whole lemons makes for a super-sour-sweet filling or spread with more texture than your standard lemon curd. I used Dufour Puff Pastry made with real butter (expensive AF and totally worth it when it’s your birthday!).
A standard sweet glaze would not do the sharp curd justice, so I added black pepper and infused the half-and-half with fresh thyme for a more complex treat. This sweet-salty-spicy-earthy icing plays very well with the sour inside.
Warning: this curd is not the answer to your craving for a smooth, fluffy, inclusion-free spread. It's made with whole lemons, and I think rustic is the best way to describe the texture. But once it's in the turnover, that texture works really well with the pastry. Leftovers work well on toast!
- 2 tablespoons half-and-half or milk
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, bruised
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5-10 turns of freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 lemons (I use a standard and a Meyer)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- For the Pastry
- ¼ cup water
- 1 egg, beaten
Slice lemons, remove all seeds and throw into blender. Blend for a minute, or as long as it takes to pulverize the lemons into a smooth, chunk-less slurry.
Add sugar and blend on high for about 10 seconds, until the sugar is well blended with the lemon puree. Let sit for at least 10 minutes so the sugar can break down the lemon. Blend again for about 20 seconds.
Add eggs; blend until and the mixture is smooth.
Using a double boiler, cook lemon mixture, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. Depending on the size of your pan, this could take anywhere from 10-20 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in butter before chilling.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Thaw puff pastry according to package instructions.
Roll dough onto a flat surface, stretching it as thin as you can without the dough becoming translucent.
Trim the edges around the perimeter of the dough, then cut into squares. Keep in mind your turnovers will be half the size of your square, so cut your dough accordingly.
Using a spoon, add the curd to the middle of the dough square (aim for a ratio of 20% curd to 80% dough). Wet the tip of your finger with water and pat the water around the edge of the dough. Fold the dough to form a triangle, then press with a fork to seal.
If the filling spills out from the dough seal, you have overfilled your turnover! Expect to your little pockets to ooze in the oven, and plan on letting them cool and stuffing the filling back in after they are baked. (Or! You could use less filling to avoid that latent step at the end of your baking journey.)
Once turnovers are filled and sealed, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with egg wash and place in the 400F oven.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until your pockets are a nice golden-brown.
For the glaze, heat half-and-half, salt, pepper and thyme in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until the edges begin to bubble.
Remove from heat and let sit for as long as you can wait (I prefer overnight but 30 minutes will still make a thyme-scented infusion).
Strain the mixture to remove the thyme.
Add a few more turns of black pepper to the liquid, then slowly whisk in your powdered sugar. Add more liquid or sugar to get the consistency you like. Using a spoon, drizzle over your turnovers.