Buttery, flaky puff pastry wrapped around an irresistibly caramelly apple filling, an Apple Turnover is a like an apple pie you can hold in your hand! This classic treat is fun and easy to make, and you can enjoy it for breakfast or dessert.
Why You’ll Love This Old Fashioned Apple Turnover Recipe
- Puff Pastry Keeps It Easy. Frozen store-bought puff pastry dough makes for easy hand pies. If you want to make a 100% apple turnover from scratch, you can use Whole Wheat Pie Crust Dough, but the dough texture will be less airy and flaky. I love storebought puff pastry here!
- Turnovers Have Universal Appeal. 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 make them so appealing. Apple is the perfect sweet flavor for fall.
- Turnovers Are Great for Breakfast or Dessert. There can be a fine line (or no line) between breakfast and dessert. I think these turnovers can really go either way. Apples at breakfast time are just delightful (think Apple Coffee Cake), and apples for dessert are a stellar treat (Fresh Apple Cake). Simply put, an apple turnover with puff pastry is ready to be enjoyed whenever your craving strikes!
How to Make Easy Apple Turnover
- 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.
- Apples. Tart apples like Granny Smith work best, but other sweet-crisp apples such as Gala apples or Honeycrisp work too. Or, try a mix!
- 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 sweetness and 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.
- Cook the Apple Filling. Your kitchen will smell lke apple pie
- Roll the Puff Pastry Sheets. Use a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface.
- Slice. Cut the dough into squares.
- Add the Apple Mixture. Brush the edges with eggwash.
- Fold Over. Press edges together with a fork to crimp. Transfer to a baking sheet and refrigerate.
- Bake. Brush the turnovers with eggwash, then cut small slits on top. Bake apple turnovers at 400 degrees F for 20 to 22 minutes.
- Prepare the Glaze in a Small Bowl. 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 a freezer-safe storage bag. Follow reheating instructions above, adding time as needed until warmed through.
Meal Prep Tip
- You can have freshly baked apple turnovers 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 or ziptop bag.
- Bake apple turnover from frozen (no need to thaw) at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes, after brushing on eggwash.
What to Serve With Apple Turnovers
- Bacon. A combo everyone will love! Try my Air Fryer Bacon or Baked Bacon in the Oven.
- Eggs. For a hearty breakfast, pair turnovers with a Healthy Breakfast Casserole or Easy Quiche Recipe.
- Fruit. Fruit Salad is a delicious pairing for any time of day.
- Ice Cream. Serve this apple turnover recipe with vanilla ice cream or Oat Milk Ice Cream for a mouth-watering dessert.
Recommended Tools to Make This Recipe
- Pizza Cutter. The easiest way to slice 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.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Cold Dough, Not Frozen. 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.
- No Peeling Required. 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.
- Get the Glaze Right. 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.
- Keep Watch. These apple turnovers can quickly go from golden brown and delicious to burnt, so keep a close eye on them towards the end of baking time.
- Try Other Fruits. Instead of apples, you can use your favorite pie filling. This Cherry Pie Filling would be perfect!
- 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
- 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. If using the rum, stir it in. 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°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°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 a freezer-safe storage bag. Follow reheating instructions above, adding time as needed until warmed through.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Fresh-from-the-oven turnovers are the most delightful, but they can also be enjoyed at room temperature. You can eat apple turnovers cold, but we prefer them warmed up.
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.
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 an 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.
Apple turnovers get their name because the dough is folded over (aka turned over) the filling, securing all the apple pieces and juices inside.
I do not recommend defrosting in the microwave, as the dough is less likely to thaw evenly.