Whether you eat them for dessert or breakfast is up to you, but you need to try this adorable, portable Apple Turnover recipe.
Store-bought puff pastry serves as a secret and completely acceptable shortcut to make these easy hand pies.
Buttery and flaky on the outside, and irresistibly caramely and apple-pie like on the inside, the apple turnover is a fun, old-fashioned pastry to make and serve.
Turnovers have had endless variants around the world for centuries, both sweet and savory, from empanadas in Spain, to calzones in Italy, to samosas in India.
Their versatility and portability makes them so appealing.
I am partial to apple variety of turnovers myself, probably engrained in me since our McDonald’s visits as kids when I always ordered the apple turnover for dessert. (Over a soft serve cone?! I know!)
Apple Turnover Origins
The origin of the apple turnover is said to be from a French town known as Saint-Calais in the 17th century during an epidemic. Legend has it that the lady of the town, or the Chatelaine, gave the townspeople apples and flour in effort to relieve their suffering, and the resulting dish that “cured” the town was the apple turnover. To this day, the people in Saint-Calais have an apple turnover festival to celebrate the pastry that saved them.
There can be a fine line (or no line) between dessert and breakfast. I think these turnovers can really go either way.
If you want to go full out dessert with your apples, scoop on some vanilla ice cream, and check out Hasselback Apples, or any of these apple crisps:
How to Make Easy Apple Turnover
An apple turnover from scratch is made of puff pastry dough cut into squares, filled with spiced, sautéed apples, and then folded into triangles.
Crimped edges (a-la Pop Tart) seal the package before baking, and a simple glaze makes for a sweet finishing touch.
- Frozen Puff Pastry. Feel no shame using store bought Pillsbury or Pepperidge Farm here! While puff pastry can be made from scratch, I have never felt the need as it’s honestly more work than it’s worth. Frozen puff pastry is sold in sheets in the frozen section of the grocery store, and will give you a flaky crust and buttery crunch that’ll make you swoon.
- Defrost your puff pastry in the refrigerator the day before as you cannot work with the dough frozen.
- Work with it as cold as possible right out of the fridge.
- I do not recommend defrosting in the microwave, as the dough did not evenly thaw.
- Apples. The best apples for this are Granny smith in my opinion, but other sweet-crisp apples such as Gala apples or Honeycrisp work well.
- Butter. Sautéing the apples in a bit of butter cooks down the apples to make them caramel-like and irresistible, like apple pie filling.
- Spices. An autumnal combo of cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg, with a pinch of salt to balance the sweet, make the filling warm and cozy.
- Booze. This is an optional but fun add in to give some more complex flavors. Rum, bourbon, brandy, or apple liqueur would all complement the apple filling. The alcohol will cook out as you sauté it with the butter, so don’t worry about this being a 21+ age pastry.
- Eggwash. One large egg beaten with water gets brushed over the top to create a beautiful, golden finish.
- Powdered Sugar Glaze. The puff pastry itself is not sweet, so adding a drizzle of glaze is the right amount of sweetness for a finishing touch. I make a simple glaze with powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla.
We are going for a pourable consistency for the glaze. Add a splash of milk if it needs to be thinned, or a touch more powdered sugar to thicken.
- Cook apples in melted butter with sugar and spices.
- Roll out puff pastry dough with rolling pin on lightly floured surface.
- Slice into squares.
- Scoop apple mixture onto puff pastry squares. Brush edges with eggwash.
- Fold over. Press edges together with a fork. Transfer to baking sheet, and then refrigerate to keep juices from leaking while baking.
- Brush the turnovers with eggwash, then cut small slits on tops. Bake the apple turnovers at 400 degrees F for 20 to 22 minutes, until golden brown.
- Prepare the glaze. Drizzle glaze over warm turnovers. ENJOY!
- To Store. An apple turnover will last 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator stored in an airtight container.
- To Reheat. Rewarm apple turnover leftovers in the oven or toaster oven at 350 degrees F for 5 to 8 minutes until warmed through and golden. Watch for over crisping or burning. Do not shortcut with the microwave here, as they will not be crispy.
- To Freeze. Baked apple turnovers can be frozen for up to 2 months. Freeze completely cooled leftover turnovers before glazing. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and then place together in freezer Ziplock bag. Follow reheating instructions above, adding time as needed until warmed through.
Meal Prep Tip
- You can have freshly baked apple turnover from the freezer by prepping and then freezing the turnovers before baking.
- After the apple turnovers are fully assembled but before baking, flash freeze them on a lined baking sheet, then transfer to a freezer-safe, airtight container (Ziplock bags work great).
- Bake apple turnover from frozen (no need to thaw) at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes, after brushing on eggwash.
Recommended Tools to Make Apple Turnover
- Pizza Cutter. The easiest way to slice up the puff pastry dough.
- Silpat Mats. I use these in place of parchment paper to line my cookie sheets when baking. They wash easily and are reusable.
- Baking Sheets. From turnovers, to cookies, to sheet pan suppers, these are just the best.
These cooling racks are oven and dishwasher safe. Not only can they be used for cooling cookies, but also placed on top of a baking pan for crisping, such as with Baked Bacon in the Oven.
Get your apple pie fix without the fuss of making pie crust and peeling your life away.
This is the best apple turnover recipe!
Frequently Asked Questions
Fresh-from-the-oven turnovers are the most delightful, but they can also be enjoyed at room temperature.
While both apple pie and apple turnovers utilize a sweet apple filling and crust, a pie is made in a pie dish and sliced to serve, while a turnover is a folded, pocket-like dessert. Additionally, turnovers are typically made with puff pastry dough rather than pie crust.
You do not need to peel your apples for apple turnovers! So treat yourself to the taste of apple pie with a lot less apple prep work.
- 1 package frozen puff pastry 2 sheets, thawed overnight in the refrigerator
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 cups small-diced Granny smith apples about 3 medium or 1 1/4 pounds, or a sweet-crisp apple such as gala or Honeycrisp
- 3 to 4 tablespoons granulated sugar use the larger amount if using very tart apples, the lesser if using sweeter apples
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg optional
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon rum bourbon, brandy, or apple liqueur (optional)
- 1 large egg beaten with 2 teaspoons water, to create an eggwash
For the Glaze:
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the apple and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the sugar, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and salt. Continue to cook, stirring often, until the apples are softened and caramelized. Let cool to room temperature before proceeding with the recipe (transfer to a bowl and place in the refrigerator to speed this process along).
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the first sheet of puff pastry from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured work surface, roll it into an 11-inch square. With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, slice it into quarters so you have 4 equal squares.
Scoop one-eighth of the apple filling onto one diagonal half of each square (place it in one of the four corners of each square and leave the other half uncovered), leaving a 1/2-inch border at the edges. Brush egg wash lightly on the pastry edges that are nearest to the apples, then fold the uncovered side over the apples, creating a triangle packet. With the tines of a fork, press the two edges where the pastries meat together to seal. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, leaving 1 inch between each. Repeat with the remaining filling and puff pastry. Transfer to the refrigerator while the oven preheats (or ideally for 20 minutes; refrigerating reduces the risk of the filling leaking out). Keep the eggwash handy.
Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Brush the top of each pastry with eggwash, then with a sharp knife, cut two small vents in the top of each to allow steam to escape. Bake the apple turnovers until the pastry is puffed and golden, about 20 to 22 minutes.
While the turnovers bake, prepare the glaze: in a medium bowl, stir together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. Adjust the consistency as needed by adding more powdered sugar 1 tablespoon at a time (for a thicker glaze) or more milk 1 teaspoon at a time (for thinner). The glaze should be thick but easy to drizzle. Drizzle over the warm turnovers. Let cool a few minutes, then serve.
- TO STORE: An apple turnover will last 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator stored in an airtight container.
- TO REHEAT: Rewarm apple turnover leftovers in the oven or toaster oven at 350 degrees F for 5 to 8 minutes until warmed through and golden. Watch for over crisping or burning. Do not shortcut with the microwave here, as they will not be crispy.
- TO FREEZE: Baked apple turnovers can be frozen for up to 2 months. Freeze completely cooled leftover turnovers before glazing. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and then place together in freezer Ziplock bag. Follow reheating instructions above, adding time as needed until warmed through.
Serving: 1 of 8Calories: 277kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 3gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 31mgPotassium: 83mgFiber: 2gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 151IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 14mgIron: 1mg
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