This Apple Turnover Recipe doesn’t get any easier, made with store-bought puff pastry and quick and easy sweet caramelized apple filling!
These Apple Turnovers are bursting with sweet, tender, brown sugar, cinnamon apples cocooned in buttery, light, flaky puff pastry, made from start to finish in just over an hour! They’re all the deliciousness of apple pie, without all of the work! These turnovers come together quickly by using easy-to-find and easy-to-use store-bought puff pastry that bakes up magically airy, flaky, and puffy. The caramel apple filling is sautéed on the stovetop in 10 minutes, then it’s just a fold, brush and bake to apple-filled pastry heaven. Drizzle the Apple Turnovers with vanilla glaze and/or buttery, silky caramel sauce for the perfect fall dessert!
The fall screams apple dessert recipes! Don’t miss apple dump cake, apple oatmeal cookies, mini apple pies, apple dumplings, apple crisp, apple cheesecake bars and of course this new Apple Turnovers recipe!
HOW TO MAKE Apple Turnovers VIDEo
Ingredients for Apple Turnovers
Tart Granny smith apples are sweetened with brown sugar and flavored with warming spices like cinnamon and nutmeg before being enveloped in puff pastry squares – your guests will never believe these semi-homemade turnovers were ready in less than an hour! Here’s what you’ll need to make this Apple Turnovers recipe (full measurements in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post):
TURNOVER GLAZE (OPTIONAL)
how to make apple turnvoers
Puff Pastry Apple Turnovers are as simple as whipping up a quick pie filling and then stuffing it into puff pastry squares. The prep time takes all of 30 minutes (plus a little chilling time), and then you’ll be enjoying warm cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger laced apple pastries straight from the oven! Here’s an overview of how to make this Apple Turnover recipe with step-by-step photos (see printable recipe card at the bottom of the post for full recipe):
Step 1: Make the Apple Turnover Filling
- Add all the apple filling ingredients except the vanilla to some melted butter in a saucepan.
- Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and cook an additional 5 minutes. Lastly, stir in the vanilla extract.
- Transfer to a bowl, then refrigerate to chill for about 20 minutes.
Step 2: Prep the Puff Pastry
- Be sure to work with one puff pastry sheet at a time (two usually come in a pack). The puff pastry needs to stay as cold as possible!
- Dust a parchment lined counter with flour. Roll one puff pastry out into approximately an 11-inch square. Depending on the length and shape of your puff pastry, you may need to slice some off of the width to add to the length/height.
- Cut the now squared puff pastry into 4 equal squares.
Step 3: Assemble the Turnovers
- Add apples: Spoon some of the apple filling into each puff pastry square using a slotted spoon. You’ll want to pretend like there’s a diagonal line running across each square. Fill only half of each square, on the diagonal. Be sure to leave a border so the turnovers can easily seal.
- Fold and crimp: Fold the pastry across diagonally to form triangles. Crimp the edges with a fork to seal.
- Egg wash: Transfer the turnovers to a silicone baking mat or parchment paper-lined baking tray, leaving at least an inch between each one. Beat an egg and some heavy cream together to prepare an egg wash. Brush the top of each turnover with egg wash.
- Sprinkle and slit: Sprinkle the apple turnovers with turbinado sugar and cinnamon, then cut 2 to 3 small slits in the top of each turnover so it can vent while baking.
Step 4: Bake the Turnovers
- Bake until golden and puffed.
Step 5: Make the Glaze
- While the apple turnovers bake, whisk together the powdered sugar glaze or make the caramel sauce.
- Drizzle the warm turnovers with glaze or caramel and dig in!
Tips for MAking the Best Apple Turnovers Recipe
This recipe is very simple to make, but there are a few tips to pay attention to:
Apple Turnover FAQs
Turnovers are much like an individual hand pie, made of flaky pastry, usually puff pastry, that is filled with a sweet or savory filling and baked or fried. They get their name because the pastry is folded over in half or “turned over” the filling and sealed shut by crimping the edges closed before baking.
Examples of savory turnovers include the empanada from South and Central America that may be filled with chopped meats, vegetables, olives, etc. or the Russian pirozhki that may be filled with meat, fish, cabbage, mushrooms, or cheese. Examples of sweet turnovers include apple turnovers filled with apple pie filling or berry turnovers filled with mixed berries such as blueberries, blackberries and strawberries. Sweet turnovers are often drizzled with a simple glaze made of powdered sugar, vanilla and milk.
Thaw the puff pastry in the refrigerator for 2 hours, or pop it in the fridge overnight so it’s ready to use the next morning.
You should not have any leaking filling if you follow this recipe. To prevent a leaky filling make sure to:
1. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the apple filling to the pastry – we don’t want those extra juices!
2. Crimp all along the edges of the pastry where the two sides meet with a fork.
3. Don’t skip the egg wash as it helps seal the pastry.
4. Refrigerate turnovers for 20 minutes before baking.
Yes, you are welcome to use my homemade pie crust instead which is buttery, flaky and tender, but it won’t get as puffy. Be prepared for the turnovers to bake closer to 25 to 30 minutes or until golden.
Yes, absolutely. Make the filling up to 2 days in advance and refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use.
Granny Smith apples are a sturdy baking apple that will bake up beautifully tender and not turn to applesauce. More importantly, Granny Smith apples are slightly tart which perfectly offsets the sweetness in the filling and glaze.
While many apples will work in Apple Turnovers (although Granny Smith are easily the best choice!), some will NOT. Avoid these: McIntosh, Gala, Fuji or Red Delicious. These apples are a little too soft or just too bland. Golden delicious also can break down too much.
Yes, please do! If you don’t peel your apples first, you’re left with an unpleasant tough texture as the skin doesn’t break down enough when baked.
Yes, you will need to cook the apple filling first because the Puff Pastry Apple Turnovers bake quickly and there is not enough time for uncooked apples to become tender. Cooking the apples first also releases their moisture and prevents soggy or leaky turnovers.
Apple Turnovers are best enjoyed the first day they are made to prevent them from becoming soggy. Also, be sure to use a slotted spoon to add the apple filling and bake them either 20 minutes after chilling or immediately after being assembled.
Yes, you can make gluten free Apple Turnover recipe by using gluten gluten free puff pastry or pie crust, and dusting your work surface with gluten free flour. The rest of the ingredients are gluten free.
Apple Turnovers do not need to be refrigerated and can be stored in an airtight container on the counter for up to two days. If you want them to last longer, then refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
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- 2 sheets puff pastry, thawed according to package instructions (13-17 ounces, weight differs between brands)
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, for dusting
- 1 egg + 1 Tbsp heavy cream or milk for egg wash
- turbinado or regular sugar for sprinkling
- cinnamon for sprinkling
- 1 1/4 lbs. (20 ounces) Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped into 1/3" thick pieces
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (or salted and omit salt below)
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional or add more apples)
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp EACH ground ginger, ground nutmeg, salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Glaze AND/OR Use Homemade Caramel (see below)
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
FOR SERVING (Optional)
- 1 recipe Caramel Sauce <<click for recipe
- vanilla ice cream
- Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a counter with parchment paper and lightly dust with flour. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats (these are the exact ones I use); set aside.
- Whisk the cornstarch with the lemon juice; set aside.
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add all the apple filling ingredients except the vanilla (lemon juice through salt) and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and cook an additional 5 minutes or until the apples are tender.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Transfer to a bowl, then refrigerate to chill, at least 20 minutes.
- Working with one pastry sheet at a time (keep the other sheet refrigerated), transfer the thawed pastry to the parchment lined counter. Shape into an 11" square. Depending on the length of your puff pastry, you'll likely need to slice some off of the length and to the width (discard leftovers).
- Using a pizza cutter, cut into 4 equal-sized squares.
- Imagine a diagonal line running across each square. Using a slotted spoon, fill only half of each square, on the diagonal with ¼ cup of the cooled apple mixture. Be sure to leave at least a 1/2" border. See photos or watch video for visuals.
- Fold the pastry across diagonally to form triangles. Crimp the edges with a fork to seal. Transfer the turnovers to a lined baking sheet, at least 1" apart.
- Bake at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until golden and puffed. Meanwhile, make the second batch. If you're done assembling the second batch before the first batch is out of the oven, then pop the unbaked turnovers in the refrigerator. While the second batch is in the oven, make the Caramel Sauce (click here for recipe) or the Glaze.
- To make the Glaze, whisk together the glaze ingredients, adding additional cream as needed to thin. Drizzle either Caramel or Glaze over warmed turnovers and enjoy!
- Puff pastry: You will need two sheets of puff pastry for this recipe, which usually come two sheets per package (double check packaging). Puff pastry can be found in the freezer aisle or the refrigerated section of your grocery store depending on which brand you use. I used refrigerated Jus-rol Puff Pastry which does not need to be thawed prior to using. If your puff pastry comes frozen, however, be sure to thaw in the fridge for about 2 hours before beginning the recipe.
- Turbinado sugar: This is partially refined light brown cane sugar with larger crystals. The natural molasses in the crystals produces a delicious taste, hearty texture and natural golden color.
- Keep the pastry cold. Remove the puff pastry one sheet at a time only when ready to use. You want the puff pastry to stay cold as long as possible, otherwise it won’t puff up as much.
- Make ahead: You can prepare the apple filling up to 2 days in advance and keep it chilled in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble and bake the turnovers. You may assemble the turnovers completely and freeze (see how below). Do not refrigerate unbaked turnovers longer than 20 minutes because they will become soggy.
- Storage: Apple Turnovers taste best on the same day they are made although you can store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
- To freeze unbaked: Assemble the turnovers through crimping the edges (don’t add the egg wash). Line the pastries on a baking sheet so they aren’t touching and flash freeze until the pastries are solid, about 1-2 hours. Transfer the turnovers to a freezer bag or freezer-safe container, and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, arrange them frozen on a baking sheet (do not thaw), brush with egg wash, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and bake at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes or until puffy and golden.
- To freeze leftovers: Let the turnovers cool completely to room temperature. Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer for 1-2 hours, or until the pastries are solid. Transfer the turnovers to a freezer bag or freezer-safe container, and freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw, place in the fridge overnight and reheat as desired.
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