Apple Turnovers (From Scratch!)
These apple turnovers are made completely from scratch with a homemade puff pastry and a simple apple filling.
Let’s talk apple turnovers!
Truth be told, I’m not sure that I’ve ever eaten a fresh-baked apple turnover! Which is a crying shame, because now that I’ve made them, I can’t believe that I’ve only ever had store-bought turnovers. While you could totally make these with frozen puff pastry, I went all-out and did a homemade puff pastry, which isn’t nearly as intimidating or complicated as it might sound. Filled with sweetened shredded apples and topped with cinnamon sugar, these homemade apple turnovers are little pockets of fall heaven.
While there are a number of steps involved with prepping the dough, it does not take much active time, as the bulk of the time the dough is chilling in the refrigerator. The resulting pastry dough is well worth the effort – it’s light and flaky like puff pastry, but just a little bit more sturdy and tender, like pie crust.
Instead of filling the turnovers with sliced or chopped apples, the apples are shredded to create a more cohesive filling that does not fall apart when you bite into the turnovers, which is a total win in my book. There’s nothing worse than biting into a turnover or hand pie and having most of the filling come spilling out.
You can easily split this kitchen project into two days, making the dough and filling the turnovers one day, then refrigerating them and baking them the next day. Like most pastries, these are best when eaten the same day they are baked, but will keep for a couple of days.
If you have a fall baking list started, be sure to add these homemade apple turnovers – I guarantee you’ll love them!
If you’d like to try your hand at another delicious pastry recipe, head on over to my Danish pastries recipe and continue stretching those baking muscles!
Apple Turnovers From Scratch
For the Homemade Puff Pastry
- 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, cold, cut into ¼-inch cubes
- 6 tablespoons ice water
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
For the Apple Filling
- 4 Granny Smith apples, about 1 pound, peeled
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) salt
For the Cinnamon Sugar Topping
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Make the Homemade Puff Pastry: Add the flour, sugar and salt to a food processor and pulse to combine. Add one-quarter of the butter cubes and process in four 1-second pulses. Add the remaining butter to coat the cubes with flour, two 1-second pulses. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.
- Combine the ice water and lemon juice in small bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of the liquid to the flour and butter mixture and toss with a rubber spatula until just combined. Toss in the remaining water, then turn the dough out (it will be a shaggy mixture) onto a work surface and press it together with both hands.
- Use the heel of one hand against the work surface to drag a small portion of the dough forward in a short, brisk stroke. Repeat with the remaining dough portions. Gather the dough together (using a bench scraper if it’s sticking) and repeat the pressing of the dough a second time. Pat the dough into an 8 by 4-inch rectangle, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
- Unwrap the dough and place on a lightly floured large piece of parchment paper and roll into a 15 by 10-inch rectangle. Fold the dough lengthwise into thirds. Starting from a narrow end, loosely roll up the dough. Press it into a 6 by 5-inch rectangle.
- Repeat step #4, first chilling the dough for 30 minutes if it is soft and sticky. Once you have repeated step #4, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- On a large sheet of parchment paper lightly dusted with flour, roll the dough to an 18-inch square Using a pizza cutter or ravioli cutter, trim the dough to a 15-inch square. Cut the dough into nine 5-inch squares. Slide the parchment and dough onto a cookie sheet or large cutting board and refrigerate while preparing the filling.
- Grate the apples on the large holes of a box grater. Combine the grated apples, sugar, lemon juice and salt in a medium bowl. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
- Working one at a time, remove dough squares from the refrigerator and set on a clean work surface. Place 2 tablespoons of the grated apple filling (squeezed of excess liquid) in the center of the dough square. Moisten two adjoining edges of the dough square with a finger dipped in the apple liquid, then fold the top portion of dough over the bottom, making sure to overlap the bottom portion by ⅛ inch. With a fork dipped in flour, press to seal and crimp the edges. Using a wide metal spatula, transfer the turnover to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat the process with the remaining dough squares. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F and adjust oven rack to upper-middle position. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
- Brush the turnovers lightly with water and sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon sugar. Bake until golden brown, 18 to 22 minutes. Using a wide metal spatula, transfer the turnovers to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
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I’ve made these a few times now. They’re delicious. The pastry is a bit finicky on the first roll when the butter is in bigger chunks, but it comes together. Just keep pressing it back together if it starts to crumble or break. I love the filling, too. I go a bit shy on the sugar for a perfect morning pastry.
Absolutely love these recipes, it’s so easy to follow.
I bet these turnovers are delicious. I tried making them. But when it comes to me, I can’t have even baking in life come normal. I always end up in a very difficult position after finally overcoming the first obstacle. I wish I could taste them as apple turnovers. But instead they’re coming out as severaly screwed up apple dumplings look-a-likes. Knowing me, I probably screwed something up in the recipe so it’ll probably taste bad too.
I am not asking you to recommend a particular food processor, however, pleas tell me what food processor you use to make pie dough. Due to wattage difference in various processors, I think it would make a difference in how long to pulse, etc. I like your recipes and would like to make the apple turnovers which call for use of a food processor. Thank you!
Hi Linda, I have (and love) the Breville Sous Chef 16-cup food processor: https://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/breville-sous-chef-food-processor-16-cup/?pkey=cfood-processors
I made this recipe and have been getting lots of compliments on them. 🥰 Is it possible to make the dough cut it into squares and freeze it?
Yes, you definitely could!
Delicious. My husband is in love with these turnovers. The puff pastry is time consuming, but well worth the time. I made the dough the night before, and used the puff pastry and the apple mixture recipe for an Apple Pie. Yummy and less work, no coring or peeling the apples. I cut by hand cut, cutting the core out and used my food processor shredding attachment. Easy. Thanks Patty
Easy to follow and delicious!
Very yummy. I’m not a baker, and this dough worked out perfectly, I filled it with peaches, though, because that’s what I had at home and wanted to make..
These were so lovely. Despite knowing so little about pastry, it turned out so well. I made 2 changes to the recipe. I added cinnamon to the apple filling. We thought this was a great addition. Also, instead of rolling for 15 inches by 15 inches, I did 16 inches by 16 inches. Then I cut it for 4 in. X 4 in. So, they were a bit smaller but got 16 turnovers. Thanks for the great recipe.
I tried to make these but the recipe was hard for me to follow. Some directions were unclear, and some just didn’t make sense.
Can you freeze the turnovers (after assembled & !
Before baking) to pull them out as you need them?
Great recipe!! I am 12 years old and it was super fun to make! I love baking, and since my family is vegan, it worked out great. I gave it four stars because the recipe was a little difficult to understand at times and I had to do what I thought it meant but otherwise it was an easy to bake, wonderful recipe that I would recommend to everyone.
Maybe I did something wrong. While baking the pastries were in a lot of melted butter. Should I have worked the dough more.
I made these and they were delicious! The recipe is confusing, step four does not say to refrigerate. Step five says to repeat step four after refrigerating dough for 30mins. I think that at the end of step four you need to state refrigerate for 30mins. Then step five would make sense. I chilled the dough a total of three times at 30 mins. each time. My husband loved these deliciously Apple, not to sweet turnovers. I also used a egg wash before I put the cinnamon surgar on top. On egg yolk mixed with one Tablespoon of heavy cream. Same wash I put on my apple pie. I make pocket pies in the late summer and fall with blackberries that grow wild in my neighborhood. We have several apple orchards in our area that sell on the side of the road, honor system $5.00 a bag, help yourself. With a favoritey of apples including Granny Smith. Thanks for your wonderful recipe, now no apples will go unused.
So it’s been 3 years now, and I think it’s high time I left a review. Every fall starting in 2017, I have returned to this recipe for turnovers. Shockingly, I had never even made turnovers before I found this. Isn’t that a tragedy!? I was shocked not only by how easy this was but how delicious. Like, seriously, where had turnovers been my whole life?? I can’t even try other turnovers, because my brain is completely consumed by the apple-y goodness of these. I also love how forgiving the recipe is, my dough always turns out wonderful (even though I have a bad track record with pastry), and even though for time’s sake I chop the apples (shh, don’t tell anyone), these come out better every time. No need for icing here, they’re phenomenal with a touch of cinnamon sugar on top. Thank you so much for putting together this recipe, it has become one of my fall staples!!
All of my friends are OBSESSED with these turnovers. I’ve never been able to cram four apples into nine pastries so I just half the filling ingredients. I also ice them rather than top them with cinnamon sugar, but the integrity of the dough is all thanks to this recipe!
I LOVE this recipe! I’ve already made it twice and I’m making them again tonight. I’m addicted. Thanks for a great recipe!!!
I made these, and my husband and his coworker loved them! Thanks for taking the time to share this with us.
The recipe sounds yummo.but was wondering could i use philo pastry instead ?
Hi Karyn, You could, they would be much flakier and more delicate.
i attempted to make this recipe. The pastry came out so wet it was impossible to work with even after I chilled it. Even with extra flour I couldn’t really roll it out and it kept falling apart. I ended up throwing most of the pastry away and what I could salvage did not come out very puffy at all.
this may be a long shot, but do you have a video or step by step of making the dough up until stuffing it with the apple filling?
Ahhh I do not, but I will work on getting some pictures up soon!
Easy and tasty! Will make again!
What speed do I put my blender on when using the pulse button for the puff pastry. I have an oster blender. 12 speeds stir, beat, purée, chop mix whip grate blend shred grind liquefy or ice crush
Hi Amy, The instructions are actually for a food processor, not a blender. I’m not sure how well you could make this dough in a blender, unfortunately.
My daughter and I made these tonight. The only things we changed(due to anxiousness on our part) is to put the dough in the freezer for about 15 minutes instead of fridge for 30 minutes. It seemed t work out fine. It kept the butter cold and dough just right. I was also drinking a couple of glasses of wine while doing this.
I also put the apple mixture into a strainer and squeezed it before using.
So… I put them in the oven and waited 18 minutes, but that was not enough, so I waited until Ray Charles played ‘What I’d Say’ then took then out of the oven. They were excellent! Shredding the apples is a very good idea. Thanks for making the night for my daughter and I.
This is an awesome review!! I wish you were my next-door neighbour!
Loved the flavor , mine didn’t puff either. Only used half the butter as that was all I had on hand so it may have affected the results. I was also challenged with making 5 inch squares and flipping the filled dough into triangles well enough to seal the outer edges. After two pans full I used my biscuik cutter, placed the small cut circles on a plate that had been stashed in freezer while rolling a batch. Then took one round at a time And rolled into about a 4 inch circle using 1 tablespoon of filling to make minitures?. I am delighted with the outcome!
I work on a PYO apple farm and people buy hundreds of dollars of apples every day in a single trip and i always ask what they are going to make, and it has inspired me to be more adventurous when baking. I have never made dough other than a simple pizza dough, so i was hesitant about how this would go. I chose your recipe because of the grated apple, i really dislike munching into a slightly firm slightly mushy apple chunk and this eliminates that giving it a great texture. In the end mine came out amazing! the dough is light and flakey, but also thick and I really like that. I added some cinnamon to the apples because we love cinnamon. My only real critique is that you don’t specify what size apple, so i ran out for the very last tart, should have used two slightly larger apples instead of two larger and two snack size. For my first time making tarts they taste like my 20th! thanks for the recipe :)
Hi Michelle, I finally took the plung and attempted this recipe this morning. I’ve never made puff pastry before so I was a bit nervous. The scary bit for me was when I had to tip the mixture out of the bowl and work it together. It did come together to my delight. I continued with the rest of the steps and assembled the turnovers. I baked them for the allotted time. Unfortunately mine didn’t puff up like I expected them to do, I suspect that the filling might have been a bit moister and it affected the rise. It was more like a thin pie dough crust, even though they didn’t turn out as I hoped for, I’m not deterred and will keep trying. They taste amazing and my daughter loves them. If you could give me any tips that might help me succeed next time I would greatly appreciate it. ( also making your baked ziti tonight, we can’t wait to taste it!
Hi Faye, I’m so glad you like the turnovers! Mine didn’t really do a huge puff, as you can see, but I was more concerned with the texture of the resulting crust. It was wonderfully flaky, just like puff pastry.
I love apple picking season and I can’t wait to try this recipe with my apples!~Carolyn @ Cabot
can I freeze these when they are made and before they are cooked?
Hi Joan, I think that would work!
I have been making apple and apricot turnovers for many many years and I make lots at a time.Yes you can freeze un baked/ baked turnovers
The homemade puff pastry looks to die for! Yum!
I don’t think I can buy puff pastry where I live, and this recipe has encouraged me to give homemade puff pastry a try! These apple turnovers look delicious! Thanks so much! :)
Mmm these look so good! If I just buy the frozen puff pastry, will the rest of the recipe stay the same? Thanks
I love salt and sugar at once, this is an amazing dessert to start fall
Oh man, I am seriously drooling over these photos. Love that they’re completely homemade!
These look yummy! I really should make them from scratch. Thanks for sharing the recipe
I’ve made this recipe from ATK before, although I usually cheat and use puff pastry from the store. It’s such a delicious easy way to enjoy apples in pastry! Although you do need to be wary of the dough getting too warm and being difficult to fold and move. And now they’re moving back up my list of desserts to make soon!
Homemade puff pastry is such a great recipe to be able to turn to. It can be used in so many ways not the least of which is these yummy looking turnovers.
These look perfect for weekend breakfast!
These look wonderful!! I love “finger” foods and these would be perfect to take on a picnic or pack in a lunch. This is what I call a grab it and run dessert. No cutting or need for a plate :-) Thank you for sharing.
My dad would go crazy for these. I should probably make him some. They look so good! :)
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