Austrians call these traditional turnovers “Polsterzipf,” which translates as pillow corners. Cute, right? They are often made with store-bought puff pastry or are fried in hot oil.
These, however, are made with homemade topfen dough, which is flaky and buttery like puff pastry but so easy to make at home! There is even a no-knead option for making the dough.
The dough recipe is exactly the same as for my Topfen Apple Squares. Simple and delicious, with just a slight tang from the topfen.
Topfen is the Austrian word for quark or farmer’s cheese. Topfen is a dairy product that is like cottage cheese and cream cheese had a baby and it has the texture of ricotta. It’s my favorite Austrian ingredient to bake with. It’s super versatile and I have lots of topfen recipes here on the blog.
You can fill these turnovers with any kind of jam you like, but the authentic Austrian Polsterzipf are almost always filled red currant or apricot jam.
I decided to go with a blueberry filling for my Polsterzipf and used homemade blueberry jam. I make my jam with reduced sugar and add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to keep the flavor light and fruity.
The dough is much easier to work with when it’s chilled. You shouldn’t have any problems rolling it out as long as you use plenty of flour to dust your work surface. Don’t worry if your turnovers don’t look beautiful – they were never destined to win any beauty contests. Try to make sure the edges are well-sealed.
You can see in the photos that I made an effort to cut perfect squares, carefully folded them into perfect triangles and sealed the edges well, only to have the jam run out the other side during baking. It happens! At least they taste good!
Turnovers taste best freshly made. I have to warn you though, that if you eat them warm from the oven, you have to let the jam inside cool a bit first or you will burn yourself. Cut the turnovers in half so the jam inside can cool quicker.
Austrian Polsterzipf with Topfen Dough
- 1 ¾ cup (250 g) flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 8 ¾ ounces (250 g) butter cold, cut into small cubes
- 8 ¾ ounces (250 g) topfen quark or farmer’s cheese
- About 8 tablespoons of jam whichever you like, homemade is best
- 1 beaten egg for egg wash
- Powdered sugar for dusting
Stir flour and salt together. Cut or rub in butter with your fingers until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the topfen and quickly knead it all together into a dough. With a mixer: using dough hooks or paddle attachment, mix flour, salt and butter on low speed until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in the topfen.
Halve the dough, wrap each disk of dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 60 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) and line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
On a well-floured surface, roll first disk of dough into a large rectangle, about 2 mm thick. Don’t make it too thin! Cut the dough into 2 ½ inch (10 x 10 cm) squares and lay the squares on the baking sheet.
Brush the edges of the squares with beaten egg and place about a teaspoon of jam into the center of each square. Fold the squares diagonally into triangles and press the seams together firmly. You can press the edges with the tines of a fork as well if you wish.
Brush triangles with egg wash and bake for about 18 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and dust with powdered sugar.
Repeat with the remaining dough.
Store cooled turnovers in an airtight container for up to three days.