5 Ingredients or Fewer

Apple Turnovers With an All-Cheddar Crust

September 10, 2018
12 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Prep time 1 hour
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Makes 4 turnovers
Author Notes

This rule-breaking pastry ditches butter and uses sharp cheddar instead. Think part flaky pie crust, part cheese straw. Permission to turn it into your new go-to dough: granted. But first, try these apple turnovers that happily live between savory and sweet. —Emma Laperruque

Test Kitchen Notes

This is one of our Big Little Recipes. Read more here: 4-Ingredient Apple Turnovers With an All-Cheddar (All! Cheddar!) Crust. —The Editors

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Apple Turnovers With an All-Cheddar Crust
  • All-cheddar pastry
  • 1 1/4 cups (160 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 ounces (142 grams) sharp white cheddar, grated (about 1 3/4 cups)
  • 6 tablespoons cold water
  • Apple filling
  • 3 (small, ~5-ounce) pink lady apples, peeled and sliced (figure 1/4-inch thick)
  • 1/4 cup (53 grams) light brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  1. Make the all-cheddar pastry dough. Combine the flour and salt in a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add the grated cheddar and pulse 3 or so times to just incorporate. Evenly pour the water on top. Continue to pulse—in short bursts—until the dough is evenly curdy and crumbly. If you grab some with your hands and squeeze, it should hold together easily.
  2. Lay a big piece of plastic wrap on a clean surface. Dump the dough onto it, then form into a square. Wrap with the plastic wrap, then press down gently so it tightly fills the plastic wrap.
  3. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days.
  4. When you’re ready to make the turnovers, heat the oven to 375° F. Line a sheet pan with parchment or a silicone mat.
  5. Combine the prepped apples, brown sugar, and salt in a bowl. Hold off on the flour for now, so the sugar has a chance to draw out those appley juices.
  6. Remove the dough from the fridge and cut into 4 even pieces. If you want to be perfectly even, you can weigh them to confirm evenness—each should be about 86 grams.
  7. Dust a clean work surface with flour. Roll each dough square into a 6- by 6-inch square.
  8. Now add the flour to the apples and toss.
  9. Divide the apple mixture evenly among the dough squares. (Again, you can eyeball this, or measure—about 100 grams or heaping 1/2 cup each.) The apples should be focused in the center, but forming a diagonal line of sorts instead of a big mound.
  10. Close each turnover from corner to corner. You might need to gingerly stretch the dough over the apples. If it tears in any place, don’t worry; you can pull a little dough from the edge to patch it up or just leave alone. Crimp the edges of each with a fork. Use a small, sharp knife to cut 2 or 3 slits in the top of each.
  11. Transfer to the prepared baking pan. Bake for 28 to 32 minutes, until the tops and bottoms are deeply browned.
  12. Eat warm or at room temperature, but hopefully the day-of. If you have any leftovers the next day, you can refresh them in a 375° F oven.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Zozo
  • Smaug
  • Michelle Pham
    Michelle Pham
  • Rebecca Harbick
    Rebecca Harbick
  • Kevin Wong
    Kevin Wong
Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

33 Reviews

Zozo May 3, 2020
Made these with a friend and they are delicious! The pastry was a dream to work with using a rich and sharp crumbly cheddar - can't wait to use it again. We had about half the apple left over though so I'm making another giant pie tomorrow :D
Misfitwife October 18, 2019
Thinking this dough would make a great top for pot pie!
Emma L. October 18, 2019
100% yes!
Smaug February 10, 2019
This (the crust) didn't work awfully well for me, but I did like the idea of a cheese crust, more for savory pies, and have been playing around with it. This is what I'd come up with by the time I got sick of quiche for lunch;
160g. AP flour
1 tsp. baking powder
spices(I've been using mostly salt, pepper, thyme, paprika, oregano but it would depend on what you're using it for, and the whim of the moment)
3Tb. olive oil
1 oz. shredded semi-soft cheese (once again, depends what you're using it for. A ribbon grater is good for this)
Approx. 4 Tb. white wine, 1 tsp. vinegar

Construction and baking are straightforward. The olive oil is intended to shorten the crust and should be thoroughly rubbed into the flour before the cheese is added. The cheese shouldn't requite much cutting in. The dough should be on the wet side for a pie dough- it's not the easiest to handle, but shouldn't give experienced pie people any great problem. A short rest for hydration is helpful; it doesn't really need refrigeration unless your kitchen is hot.
Smaug February 10, 2019
Sorry, that should be 2 oz. cheese; I've been doing a half recipe for a 6" quiche.
Andrea November 10, 2018
I made these lovely turnovers today, I followed the recipe to a tee with the one exception, I added some cinnamon (because apples without cinnamon just doesn’t make sense to me), and they turned out perfectly! So delicious!
6 Tbsp of water is all you need, but what I would advise is to make the dough the night before. It allows the flour to fully hydrate and therefore more workable.
I’m definitely going to be making these as a new addition to Thanksgiving this year!
Emma L. November 11, 2018
Thanks, Andrea! So honored that you're making them for Thanksgiving!
Barb November 10, 2018
I love, love, love apple pie with a cheddar crust and don't like overly sweet things, so I will be trying this. I've never tried a whole-cheese crust so far, so I'm looking forward to it. Since I will be the only one who enjoys these and have no intention of eating all 4 in one or even two days, can I assemble and freeze some before baking? I assume this would work as well as any other flaky dough.
Emma L. November 11, 2018
Hi Barb! I don't like overly sweet things either. Glad you're excited about the recipe :) I would actually bake all of them, then freeze the extras that way. Thaw at room temp, then re-toast in the oven. (My concern with freezing them filled but not baked is that the sugar will compromise the dough.) Another option: Make the full batch of dough and freeze the extra three squares, well-wrapped; thaw each one in the fridge whenever you want to use and bake it. Here's the scaled-down apple filling for one turnover: 3/4 apple, 1 T brown sugar, salt to taste, and 1 1/2 teaspoons flour.
Barb November 11, 2018
Thank you! I'll bake one extra and freeze it, then keep two and wrap them, and see how it works out. I'll let you know.
SPark0101 November 2, 2018
I made these today and while the flavor was good, the crust didn't work out for me. It requires a good deal more water than called for in the recipe and resulted in an overworked and tough dough. Will try it again and try to make it tender and flaky, but I may resort to adding butter!
Michelle P. October 28, 2018
I subbed pepperjack for the cheddar so mine weren't as yellow in color. The apple filling wasn't very sweet but I don't know if that was intentional. I know cheese and apple is a common combination in the Midwest but I found it strange.

I would absolutely make these again and play around with the filling. Don't expect the dough to feel like pie dough. I found it to be almost rubbery. The cheese stays intact in the dough as you roll it out, unlike butter in pie dough which will soften the more you work with it.

They don't bake up flaky. The crust is more like a cheesy bread, similar to a Hotpocket. I agree with the user below that they taste like cheez-its. The corners of the turnovers were the best part!
Joan -. November 10, 2018
I hope you try the recipe again with cheddar. Jack cheese with or without peppers is an odd match with apples. Also bear in mind that not all cheddars are the same. Some are aged longer and have a dryer finish. Seems like the more crumbly (more aged) cheddars would require a bit of butter. The creamier supermarket cheddars may be a better match than fine aged versions.
Michelle P. November 11, 2018
That's a good point. I'll be sure to use cheddar next time.
judy October 28, 2018
Well, I am going to try this. I think though that I will roll it out into one crust and make a rustic one crust pie.. Or make it like a calzone: fill half the crust and file it over on itself into one large turnover. The individual turnovers are nice, but too fiddly for me. We love apples and cheese. Thanks for the recipe.
Emma L. October 28, 2018
Hope you enjoy!
Chelsea W. October 31, 2018
The fiddliness is exactly why I haven't made making this more of a priority before now...totally making it as a calzone tonight! Thanks for the reminder of other pie crusty possibilities!
Joan -. November 10, 2018
I had the idea of rolling out one large square and cutting it into quarters for filling and folding, but I like your idea of something like a galette. Thanks for that hint.
Donna H. October 20, 2018
I'm very excited about trying this recipe, thank you for sharing it! Have you tried using this crust for savory turnovers? Thank you.
Emma L. October 21, 2018
Thanks, Donna! I haven't tried this crust for savory turnovers...yet! But it would be perfect for that. If you give it a whirl, would love to hear how it goes.
Samantha September 23, 2018
I tried this recipe today and I wasn’t able to roll out the dough without it breaking. I following the recipe and chilled the dough for a few hours. It might have needed more water? Anyway I didn’t want to throw it out so I ended up dumping the apples in a pie dish and topping it with pieces of about 3/5 of the rolled out dough. The other 1/4 I used to make crackers and they really tasted like homemade cheez-it! Had those with soup for dinner. So thanks for the recipe even though it didn’t go as planned :)
Emma L. September 30, 2018
Hi Samantha! Sorry to hear you had trouble rolling out the dough (sounds like it did need a bit more water)—but totally love how you turned lemons into lemonade!
Rebecca H. September 14, 2018
What adjustments would I need to make if I were to convert this recipe to use a pie plate instead?
Emma L. September 16, 2018
Hey Rebecca! I didn't test this recipe in a pie plate, but here are my hunches: This dough would yield about a single crust, so if you want a double crust, double the dough ingredient quantities. Depending on how high you like your apple pies, you'll probably want to double the filling ingredient quantities as well. You can keep the oven at the same temperature, but it'll probably be in there at least twice as long. Hope this helps—and let us know how it goes if you try!
bunten October 8, 2018
I did this very thing instead of making turnovers. Bake for 1 hr. @ 350° degrees. 375° will result in over-browning.
Emma L. October 10, 2018
Thanks for reporting back, bunten!
alien September 14, 2018
Would you freeze the extras baked or pre-baked?
Kevin W. September 14, 2018
I think I would freeze them baked. Then throw in a hot ice. To re-crisp them. I think the Apple would lose too much water during freezing
Emma L. September 14, 2018
I would freeze them baked, as well!
Sharon R. November 9, 2018
Kevin W, I know “ hot ice” is a typo. Did you mean hot oven or something more intriguing?
Kevin W. September 14, 2018
I made these a few days ago. I used a 12 month aged white cheddar from Wisconsin. The dough remained crumbly but intact. Like the author said, if this was butter, it would have “melted” all over. But after baking the edges got crispy and it had an almost “cheezit” flavor. Very satisfying with the Apple filling. I followed the recipe to the letter (by weight) and was happy with the results. The dough was slightly tough, so next time I’ll process less knowing it won’t wilt like a traditional butter pie crust.
Emma L. September 14, 2018
Cheez-It flavor is quite the compliment—thank you, Kevin!
Kevin W. September 14, 2018