Tomato Jam Turnovers

My oh my....totally inspired by a new cookbook, My Sweet Mexico
by Fany Gerson. I picked up a lovely copy recently at the High Museum.
We were there to see the Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera exhibit (it rocked, btw). And there it was, in the museum store, amongst the Frida posters, chunky jewelry, and Mexican toys. I think it almost stood up and jumped off the table into my arms.
And it was on SALE (wheeeeee!). It had to be mine.

Turning the pages, I noticed some familiar flavors....masa, almonds, pumpkin seeds, mango, queso fresco, limes, hibiscus. And some less familiar (and very exciting) ingredients.....quinces, piloncillo, zapote, mamey fruit, mezcal, amaranth. 
Then I saw it....Tomato Jam Turnovers. Let's just call it a bit of tomato destiny.

By now, you are well aware.....I pretty much adore anything sweet. Throw in a butter pastry crust and I'm in.
This jam is surprising. Tomatoes + sugar. Muy facil and muy delicioso.

The dough.

A side note....I can't wait to make a ton more recipes from this cookbook. Mango Sherry Trifle, Milk Fudge, Strawberry Tamales, Amaranth "Happiness" Candy, Guava Caramel Pecan Rolls, Napolean with Mango and Coconut, & Upside Down Plantain Cake. The list goes on. Hmmm....maybe it's time to plan a Dessert Fiesta at my place?

The end result.Well....let's just say Frida would be proud.

Tomato Jam Turnovers (Empanadas de Jitomate)

Makes about 15

from Fany Gerson’s My Sweet Mexico

Jam filling:
4 cups cherry tomatoes
1 1/4 cups sugar
Pinch of salt

2 cups all-purpose flour {I used 1/3 whole wheat pastry flour and the rest all-purpose)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup crema or heavy cream, plus extra for topping {I used heavy cream}
Egg yolk and sugar for topping

Filling: Cut clean, dry tomatoes in half and put them in a small, heavy pot with the sugar and salt.  Bring it all to a boil and then adjust the heat to keep it at a constant simmer.  Cook, stirring every few minutes, until the bottom of the pot is visible (about 50-60 minutes). Let cool before assembling turnovers.

Dough: In a food processor, fitted with blade, blend together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt with a few pulses.  Add the cold butter and pulse into the flour until it looks like coarse meal.  Add the cream and pulse just until just combined.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough until it is smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Flatten the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface, with a rolling-pin, until 1/8 inch thick.  Use a round cookie cutter to cut out 4 to 5 inch circles.  Gather the scraps and re-roll until all the dough is used.

To form turnovers:  Line up circles of dough on the floured surface and place a scant tablespoon of jam in the middle of each one.  Fold the dough in half, lightly pressing on the edges to seal (or you can use the back of a fork for this step).  Cut two small slits in the tops of the turnovers.  Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
While the pastries are in the refrigerator, pre-heat the oven to 350F, and whisk an egg yolk and some cream in a small bowl.  Brush the turnovers with the egg mixture and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake until golden brown (about 30 minutes in my oven, but keep an eye out as oven temperature varies).
Let cool on a rack and serve warm or room temperature.

{Happily Edible Tip}: I had 2 extra circles of dough and ran out of jam. 
I just happened to have a block of guava paste in my fridge. I put a tablespoon of paste inside them. They were pretty heavenly.


  1. We are trying out almond flour recipes, looking for dessert-type goodies to satisfy our "sweet tooths" (teeth?) that are fruit-free and sugarfree. Almond flour pie crust doesn't work for recipes that require handling and folding. But I am going to try this idea as filled cookies: pat out a cookie shape, top with a spoonful of tomato filling (w. stevia), then - carefully - place another patted-out cookie on top, and seal the edges. If they are small and baked long enough, they may be firm enough to pick up and eat. I'll let you know if this works or if we end up eating it from a bowl with spoons! Maybe some sweetened fage on top ?

    1. Love it that you are here Admiring MIL!!!
      The almond flour cookie idea sounds interesting....let me know how that works out. You might also consider doing mini-tomato cobblers, with the filling on the bottom and just an almond cookie dough base on the top. Like the sweetened fage idea.


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