The Winesap is an old apple that became beloved throughout the South. The Winesap apple tree gets its name from its spicy, wine-like flavor and aroma. The apple is a deep cherry red fruit of medium size with crisp, yellow flesh. It is a popular eating apple, but also frequently used for cider, apple butter, and pies. The tree is a heavy producer that accommodates a wide range of soils and climates. It is thought to have originated in New Jersey during the early Colonial period. The first documented mention of the apple was in 1804 when it was included in a domestic encyclopedia of the period, Willich and Mease.
The website Epicurus.com has a wonderful Winesap Apple Turnover recipe from the cookbook Apples by Robert Berkley. The site describes the pastry as “ Positively simple, without sugars, Winesap Apple Turnovers are delightful treats that may be served for breakfast and are naturally sweetened by the apples alone.” There are only four ingredients: Three tablespoons of butter; two Winesap apples, (peeled, cored, diced); Four 6-inch circles of thawed frozen puff pastry; and one beaten egg with a little water. Then just follow the instructions:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Melt 2 Tablespoons butter in skillet and sauté apples for a minute, just until softened. Cool.
- Grease a cookie sheet with remaining butter. Arrange the apples in the center of the 4 puff pastry circles.
- Fold the circles in half and pinch the edges closed with your fingertips or a fork.
- Brush on the egg sparingly on the tops of the turnovers. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes until the pastry has risen and is golden brown.
- Serve warm.