These easy apple turnovers are made with puff pastry and a delicious apple filling. They are flaky, delicious, and perfect for apple season!
I’ve been baking with apples a lot lately, including delicious apple turnovers. These puff pastry apple turnovers are flaky, tender, and so easy to make.
I love that the crust is ultra flaky thanks to the puff pastry. I also love that I can control the sweetness and texture of the apple filling because it’s pre-cooked. Serve it for breakfast or as a late afternoon snack!
Made with Puff Pastry for Flaky Layers
I love baking with puff pastry. Puff pastry is a laminated dough, meaning that it’s been folded many times over to create layers of dough and cold butter. When it bakes, the steam pushes out the layers, creating that flaky and buttery texture that I absolutely adore.
I always buy frozen puff pastry, but you can make your own at home if you want. Try this puff pastry recipe I found online.
Each bite of these apple turnovers is tender but slightly crunchy at the same time, and filled with delicious cooked apples with cinnamon and other spices. So so so good!
THE one to keep in mind when baking with puff pastry: it has to stay COLD! This is important so that the butter doesn’t incorporate with the flour, and instead create pockets of steam within the layers that will result in that amazing flaky texture.
Here are a few ways to ensure the puff pastry stays cold:
- Proper thawing: Puff pastry comes frozen. Thaw in the fridge for 3-4 hours OR at room temperature for a max of 35-40 minutes.
- Assemble the apple turnovers quickly.
- After cutting each puff pastry square, refrigerate them as you assemble each turnover so they stay cold. Return the assembled ones to the fridge as you work on the next ones.
- You can also refrigerate all the assembled turnovers for 30 minutes prior to baking.
The Apple Filling
For the apple filling, you only need about 3 large Honeycrisp apples and 1 Granny Smith apple. I like to use both for a mix of sweetness and tartness. It’s the same apple pie filling I use in my apple pie recipe.
Make sure that the filling is cooled down before assembling the apple turnovers. The easiest thing to do is to make the filling and refrigerate it overnight or for a few hours.
Let’s Make Apple Turnovers!
Detailed instructions and quantities can be found in the recipe card below, but to give you a top-level idea of the process:
- Make the apple filling: Pre-cooking the apples will ensure the flavors are on point, as well as even cooking. These bake for 20-22 minutes only, which is not enough to fully cook the apples.
- Thaw and prep the puff pastry: Roll it out and cut 8 squares from 2 dough sheets.
- Assemble: Add filling, brush the edges with egg wash, and fold it over to form a triangle. Brush the top with egg wash and cut a few slits.
- Bake! At 400 degrees F for about 20-22 minutes.
That’s it, so easy! The great thing about these is that they can be prepared ahead, and also frozen. More below!
Prepare the apple filling up to 3 days in advance. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use.
Do not assemble the apple turnovers ahead of time (unless freezing, see below), or they will turn out soggy.
Can I Freeze Them?
To freeze unbaked apple turnovers: Assemble them (do not brush with egg wash yet). Then, arrange them in a single layer on a sheet pan, and freeze. Once frozen, transfer them to freezer-friendly resealable bags, and freeze for up to 1 month. When ready to make (do not thaw), brush with egg wash and bake frozen at 400 degrees F per the recipe card instructions. They may take an extra 3-5 minutes to bake.
To freeze baked apple turnovers: After baking, let them cool completely and wrap them with aluminum foil. Freeze freeze for up to 1 month. Bake frozen per instructions in recipe card. They may take an extra 3-5 minutes to bake. Note: They may not turn out as flaky as when freshly baked.
Variations and Customizations
What if I don’t have puff pastry? You can certainly make apple turnovers with regular pie crust! A lot of people also ask if these can be made with phyllo dough – you certainly can, but they will turn out very very flaky. Totally up to you!
- When assembling, drizzle some caramel over the filling. Or add a few raisins to the filling.
- Sprinkle the top with sanding sugar before baking.
- After they come out of the oven, drizzle with a simple icing (dissolve 1/2 cup powdered sugar with 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream). You can also drizzle some caramel over the top. Yum!
I hope you like these as much as I do! They are tender, flaky, and so delicious. Happy fall baking!
Tips for Success
- Make sure the puff pastry dough stays COLD. That’s the secret to flaky layers. If they start to melt or soften too much while assembling, simply refrigerate the assembled turnovers for 30-40 minutes before baking.
- Use firm apples. I like to use Honeycrisp and Granny Smith apples. Do not use Red Delicious apples since they disintegrate easily.
- Taste the filling prior to assembling! It should be sweet and thickened enough to your liking. Also, let it cool down completely before assembling. You can also make the filling up to 3 days in advance.
Puff Pastry Apple Turnovers
- 1 pound frozen puff pastry (2 sheets) - (thawed according to package instructions)
- 3 honeycrisp apples, peeled and diced
- 1 granny smith apple, peeled and diced
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- A pinch of nutmeg
- A pinch of allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Zest of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
Make the apple filling
- In a medium pot, melt 1 tablespoon unsalted butter over medium heat. Add the diced apples, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt, lemon juice and lemon zest. Cook, stirring for about 10-12 minutes until apples have slightly softened.
- Sift and sprinkle 1 tablespoon cornstarch and mix. Bring to a simmer and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes or until juices thicken. If not thick enough, add more cornstarch little by little, stirring. Note: sifting the cornstarch prevents clumps from forming.
- Transfer the filling to a large shallow bowl and let cool completely.
Assemble the apple turnovers
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
- Roll out the puff pastry dough sheets on a lightly floured surface. With a rolling pin, stretch it out a bit to even it out to about 10-11 inches on each side. Cut each sheet into 4 equal-sized squares. You should have 8. Return the cut out squares to the fridge to keep them cold.
- Make the egg wash: Whisk the egg and heavy cream until evenly combined. Set aside.
- Assemble: Per square, spoon about 2-3 tablespoons of the filling, leaving a 1/2 inch border. Lightly brush the borders with egg wash so they seal properly. Fold it over from one corner to the other to form a triangle. Seal the edges with a fork. Transfer the assembled turnover to the sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining ones. I used 2 sheet pans with 4 turnovers on each. Tip: Refrigerate the turnovers as you assemble them in order to keep them cold.
- Make sure the turnovers are arranged at least 2 inches apart. Cut a few slits on top of each turnover for venting. Lightly brush the top with the remaining egg wash.
- Bake for about 20-22 minutes at 400 degrees F, or until golden brown and puffed up. Some juices may leak, that’s fine. Remove from oven and let them cool for a few minutes. Enjoy!
- Special equipment: rolling pin, sifter, brush, sheet pans, parchment paper.
- Choice of apples: Use firm apples, such as Honeycrisp or Braeburn. For a bit of tartness, mix it up with Granny Smith. Do not use Red Delicious apples – they disintegrate.
- Storing: In an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temp. Don’t refrigerate, as the added moisture will turn them soggy.
- To freeze unbaked apple turnovers: Assemble the turnovers. Do not brush with egg wash yet. Arrange in a single layer on a sheet pan and freeze completely. Transfer to a Ziploc bag, and freeze for up to 1 month. When ready to bake (do not thaw), brush with egg wash and bake frozen at 400 degrees F. They may take an extra 3-5 minutes to bake fully.
- To freeze baked apple turnovers: After baking, let them cool completely and wrap them with aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 1 month. Bake frozen, do not thaw. They may take an extra 3-5 minutes to bake. Note: They may not turn out as flaky.