In the world of desserts, turnovers don’t always come top of mind. And yet, as soon as you bite into that fruit-filled flaky pastry, you wonder how you ever forgot about them in the first place. It’s time to put down the recipe for Dutch apple pie and apple crisp, and use up your apple haul in these delightful apple turnovers.
The best part of turnovers is that there’s never a wrong time to enjoy them. Enjoy one (or two) as an on-the-go breakfast, munch on them as a midday snack, or serve them dusted with confectioners’ sugar for dessert.
What is a turnover?
A turnover is a handheld pastry made using a single square of dough. The square is topped with a filling, folded over, and pressed closed. Turnovers are typically made in the shape of a triangle, and they can be sweet (like these blueberry turnovers) or savory (like these chicken turnovers). They’re very similar to hand pies and homemade pop-tarts. Hand pies, however, are usually round and pinched closed at one point, while pop-tarts are often made from two sheets of dough that are filled, layered and pinched closed at the four edges.
Ingredients for Apple Turnovers
- Sugar: Because apple turnovers are meant to be soft pastries, you’ll need sugar to draw out the moisture from the chopped apples. This will break down the crispness of the apple flesh and yield the soft texture you’re used to in recipes like apple pie.
- Apples: As the main ingredient in these turnovers, the apples should be super fresh and the right variety, too. The best apples for apple pies will also be the best apples in the turnovers. Granny Smith and Honeycrisp are probably the two most common ones you’ll find at the grocery store.
- Puff pastry: Keeping things easy, this recipe calls for thawed frozen puff pastry. Read up on our tips for working with puff pastry so the delicate dough doesn’t turn your turnovers into soggy messes.
Step 1: Prepare the apple filling
Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour and cinnamon. Add the apples, and toss to coat.
Editor’s Tip: Set the bowl aside, and let the sugar draw out the moisture in the apples for a few minutes.
Step 2: Cut the dough into squares
On a lightly floured surface, roll out each pastry sheet into a 12-inch square. Cut each into four squares.<
Step 3: Fill the turnovers
Give the apple mixture a good stir to bring up all the juices that dripped to the bottom of the bowl. Spoon 1/2 cup of the apple mixture onto the center of each pastry square. Fold the dough of each diagonally in half, and press the edges to seal. Arrange the turnovers on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Editor’s Tip: You can use a fork to help press and seal the pastry edges, like crimping the crust of an apple pie.
Step 4: Bake the turnovers
In a small bowl, stir together the melted butter, sugar and cinnamon. Brush evenly over the turnovers. Bake until the turnovers are golden brown, 12 to 16 minutes. If desired, serve warm with ice cream.
Apple Turnovers Variations
- Make your own puff pastry: It might seem time-consuming or difficult, but making your own puff pastry from scratch can take these turnovers from semi store-bought tasting to fully homemade.
- Drizzle with a topping: You can top the turnovers with warm caramel sauce, a sweet homemade glaze, or simply confectioners’ sugar.
- Add to the filling: Add chopped walnuts to the homemade apple filling, or mix in another complementary fruit like pears, rhubarb, cherries or cranberries.
How to Store Apple Turnovers
If you don’t like biting into cold baked desserts, you’re in luck! Apple turnovers can be left at room temperature for about two days when wrapped in an airtight container. To enjoy them longer than two days, place them in the fridge for up to five days.
Can you freeze apple turnovers?
Yes. To freeze baked turnovers, allow them to cool completely. Tightly wrap, and freeze for up to one month. Do not thaw the turnovers before reheating, as this may result in a soggy crust and watery filling.
Apple Turnovers Tips
Can you use fruit filling instead of real apples?
You can use store-bought apple fruit filling to save time. Or switch up the flavor with blueberry, cherry, strawberry, peach or any other fruit filling of your choice.
How do you keep apple turnovers from being soggy?
There are a couple reasons why your apple turnovers could be soggy. The first could be from the baking itself. If the puff pastry is warm when you work with it, it can cause the butter to melt between the layers too quickly, and if melted butter mixes with the moisture of the apples, that can prevent the dough from crisping properly.
Another reason could be in the post-baking stage. If you store warm turnovers before they cool completely, they can turn soggy from being trapped in their own moisture in the containers. To prevent this, allow the apple turnovers to cool completely at room temperature before storing.