Make Ahead

20 Minute Apple Turnovers

May 24, 2021
9 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Cook time 23 minutes
  • Makes 4 large or 8 small turnovers
Author Notes

Last-minute invite to a party, brunch at your in-laws, or a sudden hit from the midnight munchies -- whatever it is, this recipe is sure to satisfy. It's easy to make from ingredients that you probably have in your kitchen and it's always a crowd- and tummy-pleaser. This is also a great recipe to put any local, in-season fruit (or vegetable!!) to use. The recipe below is for a classic apple turnover with a vanilla glaze. —Stacy

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Stacy is a yoga instructor and world traveler.
WHAT: The most low-maintenance pastry you’ll ever meet. And it’s so much better than Toaster Strudel.
HOW: Sauté apples with spices until tender, then tuck this mixture into puff pastry dough and bake until golden brown. Drizzle the pastries with a vanilla glaze while they’re still warm.
WHY WE LOVE IT: These are the days when we crave a warm breakfast but we’re too sleepy to wake up earlier than usual and too busy to (gasp!) make puff pastry from scratch. Here, store-bought dough comes to the rescue, providing us with flaky, impressive pastries that we would happily eat by ourselves or serve to brunch guests. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • For the apple turnover:
  • 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, defrosted
  • 1 tablespoon butter, vegan butter, or coconut oil (up to 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 medium cooking apples (Honeycrisp or Granny Smith, for example), peeled and diced
  • 1/4 coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
  • 1/2 Lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (great with almond extract too)
  • 1 egg plus 1 tablespoon water (for egg wash) or almond milk
  • For the vanilla or almond glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk (or dairy-free substitute)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or almond extract)
  1. Defrost frozen puff pastry, if it's not defrosted already. It's easiest to let it sit out on your countertop for 40 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  3. Melt butter (or substitute) in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Cook the diced apples for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Juice the 1/2 lemon over the apples and add coconut sugar, arrowroot, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and lemon zest. Cook for 3 minutes, until apples are knife-tender and sauce is thickened.
  6. Remove from heat stir in the vanilla or almond extract.
  7. While filling cools, unfold the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. With a sharp knife, cut it into 4 equal squares for 4 large apple turnovers. (This can also be cut into 8 equal squares for 8 small turnovers.)
  8. To assemble, brush the egg wash or almond milk along the edges. This will be a binder for the turnovers. Add 1/4 (or 1/8 if you're making smaller turnovers) of the spiced apple mixture in the middle of each square. Fold pastry in half diagonally and lightly press together. Run a knife along the edges to seal the pastries completely and create a decorative design.
  9. Transfer to baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Make 1 or 2 small slits on the top of each turnover and sprinkle with additional sugar if desired.
  10. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until top is golden brown. Remove from oven and, this is important!!, let cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack.
  11. For the glaze: Whisk all of the ingredients together until combined. Add more milk to make the glaze thinner, or more powdered sugar for a thicker glaze. Drizzle it over warm turnovers and serve immediately.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Smaug
  • David DeJonghe
    David DeJonghe
  • Maya
  • James Matthew Sheppard
    James Matthew Sheppard
  • Jethro Bodien
    Jethro Bodien

31 Reviews

Smaug October 10, 2022
The recipe fails to mention the size of the puff pastry sheets. A 5" square will make an average size turnover; I prefer 6". Sheets are not likely to be exactly the size you want, but it is possible to roll out frozen dough a little bit more and to stretch it slightly going around the filling. I don't usually cut ventilation slits in turnovers and it's usually not a problem; it was when I made some with a frangipani filling, which grows considerably when it cooks.
David D. October 10, 2022
So, let me get this straight. 20 min apple turnovers that take basically 2 hours to go from start to eat. Come on Food52. Don’t give us catchy headlines that are click bait.
alisonia December 2, 2020
I used Pepperidge Farm phyllo dough pastry. The filling was great, but the pastry was awful. The pastry was too thick, baked on the outside, but the inside layers tasted raw and flavorless. I tried one and the rest went straight to the trash. I would not use this brand of puff pastry again. The recipe was easy, but it took a good 20-30 minutes to set up before putting the in the oven.
Smaug October 10, 2022
Were you using puff pastry or phyllo dough? Their puff pastry works very well, but it has no butter and the taste is pretty bland.
alisonia October 10, 2022
I used phyllo, but honestly, the experience turned me away from ever using it again. Idk, it’s possible I just have no idea how to use it, and I should watch a YouTube video!
bettye198 January 20, 2020
I would love to try this however most puff pastry frozen is so seriously bad for your health. I did find a non gmo brand without all the HFCS but the grocery would not carry it again. (??) I tried for months. I would order online but then again, its frozen. Anyone who has an idea, shoot it over.
robin L. January 20, 2020
My Whole Foods sells a good puff pastry that I like--Dufour is the brand.......
robin L. January 20, 2020
... it's not cheap, but it's worth it.
Smaug January 20, 2020
Trader Joe's puff pastry has a fairly straightforward ingredient list- it does include "natural flavors" and doesn't specify the origin of the wheat. You might also consider making your own pastry, but anything you do is going to be pretty fatty- Maida Heatter has a good "counterfeit puff pastry" (1 1/2c. AP flour, 1/2lb/ butter, 1/2c. sour cream) that's very easy ("Book of Great Desserts"). I'd also suggest skipping the ginger and vanilla, but maybe that's just me.
Maya September 5, 2018
This needs to be updated - it's coming up under gluten free recipes but it is decidedly not. Also not 20 minutes by a long shot.
Smaug October 4, 2016
Where does the 20 min. come in? Even with bought pastry this is going to take longer than that. Pepperidge Farms are going to take longer than that.
James M. September 1, 2016
Can you use APPLE Pie Filling that you use for Pies ??
Andrea August 12, 2016
Where can I find gluten free puff pastry??
Matti N. November 14, 2017
Hahaha! You can't.
Mimi August 9, 2016
why does this come up under gluten free?
Mas J. January 12, 2016
Stacy, live in Europe where ingredients are not presented in such a standard way as in the U.S. Would you tell me the quantity of puff pastry to purchase please, in weight? ie a pound or in oz? Thanks! My son loves apple turnovers and we can't buy them where we live!
Jethro B. June 2, 2015
Geeze. That is only like 18,000 calories or 52 miles on the treadmill.
robin L. March 20, 2015
Delicious. I used both Honeycrisp and Granny Smith.
kimiko January 25, 2015
Can I make the day before - will they keep?
Stacy January 26, 2015
I've added notes in the above recipe about storing (short and long term) :) ENJOY!
Stacy January 26, 2015
@kimiko: 1. Wrap baked apple turnovers tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature in a pantry or countertop (no more than a day)
2. Wrap baked apple turnovers in foil and place in back of fridge to store up to 5 days.
3. REHEAT: Place already baked turnovers in center of oven (preheated at 325F for 15-20 min).
4. LONG TERM STORAGE: Unbaked turnovers can be put in a Ziploc or air-tight freezer-safe container. Store in freezer for up to 4 months for optimal taste.
5. REHEAT: Thaw unbaked turnovers day before baking. Preheat oven 400F and bake in center of oven for 17-20 min. Reheat a thawed and cooked apple turnover at 325F for the same amount of time.
robin L. March 19, 2015
To make the turnovers even quicker the morning of, can I make the apple filling the night before?
Stacy March 19, 2015
Yes @robin lewis! May even be better as you do not want hot filling on cold pastry dough before putting in the oven :) Thanks for the question!
Smaug January 20, 2020
I've made several types of turnovers and found that they freeze very well. I use the cooking instructions from Pepperidge Farm turnovers (preheat to 475, turn down to 400 when you put in the turnovers and bake about 25 min.)- it's always worked quite well.
Smaug January 20, 2020
ps- they are not thawed first.
Megan R. January 3, 2015
How much coconut/brown sugar?
Stacy January 3, 2015
Hi Megan: 1/4 coconut sugar (or brown sugar). More or less depending on how sweet you like your turnovers :)
Michael W. January 11, 2015
1/4 what? Cup?
Stacy January 11, 2015
1/4 cup :)
Stacy January 11, 2015
1/4 cup :)
Stacy January 11, 2015
1/4 cup :)