Is it worth it to travel all the way to Jackson Heights Queens for an apple turnover? That was the question I was trying to answer when I recently paid a visit to Canelle Patisserie.
If you've never visited Cannelle before but have read their rave reviews over the years, you might be surprised when you arrive for the first time. The shop is located in a nondescript shopping mall next to a Waldbaums. However, even at nine a.m. on a random weekday morning there's a long line of local neighborhood people. This is your first clue that this place is special.
After a brief survey of the display case, the Apple Turnover ($3)—the pastry that brought me here—stood out as particularly beautiful.
Cannelle chose a somewhat uncommon shape for their turnover. It's best described as a long, oversized cigar. This is in contrast to the more typical square or calzone-style shapes that one usually sees. It also has a shiny, egg-washed exterior. But what really distinguishes this pastry is the perfectly light interior crust. It's just flaky enough to offer a satisfying crunch, but none of layers show even a hint of dryness. A small amount of plain apple filing—Cannelle doesn't bother with fancy spices—is only mildly sweet. And small pieces of apple are all nice and soft.
This is easily the best apple turnover I've had in New York since sampling an equally impressive version from Runner and Stone at Smorgasburg last summer.
So should you make the effort (subway to Jackson Heights followed by a walk or bus ride) to visit this bakery? Yes you should, and not just for the turnover.