Victorian Mixed Berry Turnover

We had an unpleasant surprise in the kitchen this morning. Our fridge/freezer had been accidently turned off at the plug (not pointing a finger at anyone in particular…) and overnight everything inside had been slowly defrosting. Realising we had a surplus of food to use up, I quickly tried to think of something speedy and simple I could make. Flicking through my trusty collection of Mrs Beeton’s recipes (from her 1861 Book of Household Management), I came across one entitled “Fruit Turnovers (Suitable for Picnics)”. Perfect to use up the thawed puff pastry and mixed berries! I adapted the recipe slightly to create my own modern version of this simple, but tasty, pastry.

Three (2)


  • 1 sheet puff pastry (homemade or bought)
  • Any kind of fruit (I used mixed berries). If using a hard fruit (such as apples) I would recommend slicing and softening it first in a saucepan over a low heat


  • Pre-heat oven to 220c/425f/gas mark 7 and grease a baking tray.
  • Divide the pastry into four or six pieces.
  • Roll each piece into rectangles of about 10x15cm (although you could make them smaller or larger). You could also form them into circles, as Mrs Beeton does.
  • Place about a tablespoon of fruit on half of the pastry (being careful not to go too close to the edges) and wet the edges lightly with water.
  • Fold the pastry over and press down on the edges to seal them.
  • Snip or cut the tops of the pastry to allow steam to escape when cooking.
  • Place on the baking tray and bake in the oven for about 20-30 minutes, depending on size. They will be done when the pastry has turned a golden brown colour.
  • When cooked, remove from the tray and leave to cool on a cooling rack.
  • If desired, sprinkle some sifted icing sugar over the top.

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Instead of fruit, you could use jam, either homemade or bought. To make a quick jam, boil down fruit in a saucepan with a little sugar.

These fruit turnovers are quick to make, easily adaptable to fit a variety of fruit and taste pretty great. As Mrs Beeton states, they are perfect for picnics!


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