Apple Turnovers

Apple Turnovers

An apple turnover a day keeps the blues away? It’s hard to argue with that. The OG of turnovers came from, no surprise here, France. According to lore, in 1630 an epidemic had taken over in the North-West region of France, and the Chatelaine, or lady of the town, handed out flour, butter, and apples to the entire village to raise their spirits. And thus, the chausson aux pommes was born. Meaning apple slipper in French, it was named so for its resemblance to a modern-day Croc. It wasn’t until the mid-1800s that Americans started to make these flaky handheld pies in the shape of a triangle.

The apple turnover we know is usually made with puff pastry, which gives this portable pocket of gooey apple goodness its signature puffy, flaky, and buttery crust and sets it apart from plain old apple pie. Another main difference is the filling, which is almost always a compote, meaning the apples are diced and cooked in butter and sugar, then cooled before filling. These turnovers are so easy to make and can be pre-assembled and kept frozen and baked fresh for a Sunday morning treat.

Though apples make the most classic sweet turnover, feel free to make a filling using whatever local fruits you have in season.

“If you’re looking for an easy fall recipe that will impress everyone, this is the one! The combination of apples, cinnamon and puff pastry along with a cup of coffee is just heavenly. They also keep well in the fridge. Just microwave them for 20 seconds and enjoy.” —Bahareh Niati

Apple Turnovers/Tester Image A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

For the Turnovers:

  • 4 large Golden Delicious apples, about 2 pounds

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1/4 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar

  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt

  • 1 package (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, thawed in fridge the night before

For the Egg Wash:

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 2 teaspoons milk

  • 1 pinch fine salt

  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, for dusting

For the Glaze:

  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar

  • 1 tablespoon milk

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Prepare the Turnovers

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients to make apple turnovers

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  2. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 400 F. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

    baking sheet lined with parchment paper

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  3. Peel and core the apples, then cut the flesh into 1/2-inch cubes.

    chopped cubed apples on a cutting board

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  4. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once it starts to bubble, add the diced apples and cook until they start to soften, about 5 minutes.

    chopped apple cooking in a skillet

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  5. Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, and salt and stir to coat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook until most of the juices have reduced and the apples are caramelized, another 5 minutes.

    chopped apples cooking in a skillet

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  6. Remove the skillet from the heat, transfer the apples to a bowl and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, transfer to the fridge to chill, about 15 minutes.

    chopped cooked apples in a bowl

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  7. While the apples chill, use a rolling pin to roll out one sheet of puff pastry into a 12 x 12-inch square, about 1/8 inch thick.

    puffed pastry rolled out on parchment paper

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  8. Cut the puff pastry into 4 equal-sized squares (6 x 6 inches each). Place on one of the prepared baking sheets and refrigerate. Repeat with the other sheet of puff pastry.

    puffed pastry on a parchment lined baking sheet

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

Make the Egg Wash

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients to make egg wash

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  2. Make the egg wash by whisking together the whole egg, yolk, milk, and salt. Set aside.

    whisking eggs with fork

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Assemble and Bake the Turnovers

  1. Remove the first tray of puff pastry squares and the apple filling from the fridge.

    cooked apple filling next to puff pastry

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  2. Rotate each square 90 degrees so it now looks like a diamond. Brush some egg wash on the lower two edges of each diamond with a pastry brush.

    brushing egg wash on puff pastry

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  3. Place 2 to 3 tablespoons of filling into each turnover.

    apple filling in puff pastry

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  4. Fold the top of the pastry over the filling and push down to seal.

    unbaked apple turnover on baking sheet

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  5. Crimp the edges with a fork to finish. Repeat with the remaining puff pastry squares and filling.

    crimping edges of unbaked apple turn overs

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  6. Brush the tops of all the turnovers with the egg wash, then brush them with egg wash a second time.

    brushing apple turnovers with egg wash

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  7. Pierce a few holes in the tops with a fork or paring knife to allow the steam to escape.

    unbaked apple turnover with egg wash

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  8. Sprinkle each turnover with granulated sugar and bake until they are deep golden brown, about 20 minutes. While this batch is baking, prepare the second batch. Keep the second batch refrigerated until ready to bake.

    apple turnovers

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

Make the Glaze

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients to make glaze

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  2. Whisk together the confectioner's sugar and milk until thick and smooth.

    glaze in a bowl

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  3. Allow the turnovers to cool until barely warm and drizzle the glaze back and forth across each pastry with a spoon. Serve immediately.

    apple turnovers drizzled with glaze

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

Tips

  • The absolute best way to defrost store-bought puff pastry is to thaw it in the fridge overnight, but if you don't have time, you can leave it on the counter to defrost for about 30 minutes. Just make sure you check it frequently so it doesn't get too warm.
  • Brushing the turnovers twice with egg wash gives the finished pastries an appealingly deep golden color and shine.
  • After they are baked, apple turnovers are best eaten the day of. Puff pastry doesn't keep very well as it will deflate and turn soggy, so only bake as many as you intend to eat and serve.

Make Ahead

  • The turnovers can be prepped in advance and frozen flat on a parchment-lined baking sheet for at least two hours before transferring them to a freezer bag. This is so they will retain their shape and not stick together.
  • To bake them from frozen, set on baking sheets, brush with egg wash, dust with sugar, and bake as directed, adding an extra 10 minutes or until golden brown and hot all the way through.

Recipe Variations

  • I love using seasonal fruits like mixed berries, cherries, peaches, etc.
  • You can add chopped chocolate, Nutella, cookie butter, or nut butter and jam to the turnovers.
  • I like using Golden Delicious apples, but you could also use Granny Smith or Honeycrisp apples. Any sturdy apple with good flavor and tang will work; I just don't recommend Red Delicious apples.

How to Make a Chausson aux Pommes Shape

If you want to make a more traditional Chausson aux pommes shape:

  1. Trace four 5-inch circles using a plate as your guide.
  2. Place each circle on a work surface dusted with flour, and use a rolling pin to gently elongate the circle up and down so you have an oval.
  3. Brush the bottom half of the oval with egg wash, fill, and seal as usual.
  4. Brush the top of each chausson aux pommes with egg wash two times and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove them from the fridge and use a paring knife to score several lines following the curve of the pastry without cutting through the pastry and into the apple filling, then bake them as directed in the recipe above. It's important to score them after egg washing, otherwise, the lines won't show.

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