Puff Pastry Spiced Apple Turnovers

Puff Pastry Spiced Apple Turnovers

Spiced puff pastry apple turnovers are just the ticket for a weekend treat.

They bake up crispy and flaky on the outside, and the filling is soft, intensely apple-y, and warmly spiced.

I will show you how to make these sweet pastry treats, give you some variation ideas, and generally have fun talking turnovers with you.

For more sweet puff pastry goodness, you can check out my palmiers post (coming soon).

For ease of browsing, you can find all my pie and tart recipes in one place. Thanks so much for visiting.

A black cooling rack with five puff pastry apple turnovers on it. They have just been glazed, and glaze is dripping off onto parchment below the rack. The white bowl of glaze with a whisk in it is in the background.

Watch my best apple turnovers web story here.

Why You Need to Make These Apple Turnovers

When you think apple turnovers, you may think of the fast food version.

Those certainly have a nostalgic feel to them.

But just because a food is mass-produced, there is no reason you cannot make your own with all the care and nuance you’d afford to a fancy baking project.

What you’ll find in this recipe:

  • homemade puff pastry (but you can certainly use storebought)
  • four types of apples for well-rounded apple flavor and a range of cooked apple texture
  • a warmly-spiced, buttery sauce that perfectly coats each piece of apple and isn’t runny to keep the turnovers from getting soggy
  • A simple glaze with a touch of butter and the same warm spices as in the turnovers

If all of that sounds like something you’d enjoy, these puff pastry apple turnovers are definitely for you

Homemade Puff Pastry Vs Storebought Puff

An overhead shot of folded puff pastry on a flour-dusted black surface.

Even just a few years ago, it was difficult if not impossible to find a store-bought puff pastry made with butter.

So using homemade puff pastry had the edge over storebought, at least flavor-wise.

These days, you can get all-butter puff pastry in stores.

Dufour is a great brand that is widely available in the US, especially around the holidays.

I don’t know what’s available in your area, so hop online and see what you can find.

All-butter puff pastry is definitely a bit more expensive than the kind made with shortening, but the flavor is truly far superior.

Of course, if you make your own, you’ll end up with a lot more puff pastry than what you would get in one box.

You can then cut it into sheets and store it in the freezer, making it more economical as well as convenient.

My recipe makes about 2 1/4 pounds of puff pastry, more than what comes in 2 boxes of Pepperidge Farm.

How To Make Puff Pastry Apple Turnovers

In this section, I’ll show you what you’ll need to make these guys as well as some substitutes should you not have everything you need, share my step-by-step photographs, and offer some filling variations.

Let’s get to it.

Ingredients and Substitutions

All the ingredients needed to make apple turnovers, labeled and on a white background.
  • butter: I use unsalted butter, but feel free to use either. Starting with butter gives you enough fat to carry all the flavor, helps to cook the apples, and provides nice body for the eventual sauce
  • mixed apples: I used 4 apples for the filling, one each of 4 varieties. There’s no hard and fast rule here. You could certainly use all Granny Smith if you want. I like a variety to get a really well-rounded apple flavor. I peeled my apples, but if you want a more rustic filling, feel free to leave your apples unpeeled. Or just peel 2 of them. They’re your turnovers. If you want to use the exact mix of apples I did, I went with Granny Smith, MacIntosh, Pink Lady, and Golden Delicious
  • brown sugar: You can use granulated sugar or any other sugar or sweetener that you’d like.
  • Baking Spice: This is a specific spice blend I get at Savory Spice Shop. Feel free to use apple pie spice, pumpkin pie spice, all cinnamon, or a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice
  • salt: I use Morton’s kosher salt. Read why using salt in desserts is so important
  • cornstarch: thickens the sauce. You can substitute flour if you don’t have cornstarch. If you use a different starch such as arrowroot or potato starch, you may need more or less than what the recipe calls for
  • apple cider vinegar: You can also use lemon juice. Either works to brighten the flavors and balance the sweetness of the sugar and fruit
  • water: Just a little to mix with apple cider vinegar and cornstarch. You can use apple juice if you happen to have some. It’s basically just there to stir into the cornstarch. Don’t use additional vinegar or lemon juice though, as you’ll throw off the balance. Unless you like things on the tart side, in which case, carry on
  • vanilla extract: Rounds out all the flavors and provides some nice floral and woody notes
  • puff pastry: homemade or store-bought. If you have neither, you can also make turnovers with pie crust. My pate brisee already has some layers built in for a nice and flaky result
  • egg wash: Egg wash gives some shine to the crust and assists in browning. I make my egg wash with 1 egg, a tiny bit of water, and a pinch of salt. That’s a more-than-sufficient amount to egg wash all your turnovers with some egg wash left over
  • coarse sugar: For sprinkling onto the egg wash before baking. Adds a little sparkle and crunch as well as a bit of extra sweetness. Optionally, you can make a powdered sugar glaze which is in the recipe card

Procedure

There are three broad steps to making these turnovers:

  1. Making the apple compote (filling)
  2. Filling and sealing the turnovers
  3. Egg washing and baking

None of these procedures are difficult, but as with any individual dessert or pastry, there are a lot of steps. Here’s what to expect in each broad step.

Making the Apple Compote

A collage of 4 images. One shows finely diced apples in a bowl. The second shows the apples topped with sugar and spices. The third is a small white bowl with liquid in it (a mixture of cornstarch, apple cider vinegar, water, and vanilla), adn the fourth are the diced and spiced apples cooking in a large shiny metal pan.
  1. Dice the apples fairly finely and evenly. Taking the time to do this allows for even cooking, consistent texture, and a refined look to your final turnovers. Here’s how I dice my apples:
    • Peel the apples
    • Slice each apple into 4 sections around the core (NOTE: the first section will be the largest and the last will be the smallest)
    • Cut each section into slices about 1/4″ apart.
    • Make 2 sets of cuts perpendicular to each other to cut each slice into 1/4″ cubes
  2. Add sugar, salt, and spices.
  3. Mix thickener (cornstarch or flour) with vinegar or lemon juice, water, and vanilla. It will be ugly, but that’s okay.
  4. Cook apples in butter until tender, and then add thickener. Boil for 2 minutes. (NOTE: With fine dice, total cooking time is 10 minutes. If you cut your apples larger, your filling will take longer to cook)

Here is what the finished compote should look like–nice and thick, spice-flecked sauce coating perfectly cooked little pieces of apple. Lovely.

An overhead shot of a wooden spoonful with apple compote on it showing small diced apples coated in spice-flecked sauce.

Filling and Sealing the Turnovers

Jenni Says: You get to decide how big or how small you make your turnovers. I made 9 big guys. You can make 16 smaller ones if you want. Just cut your puff into 16 squares rather than 9.

A collage of 4 images. The first is a large piece of puff pastry cut into 9 squares, 3 x 3. The second shows a pile of apple compote in each square. The third shows the same with egg wash added to 2 adjoining sides of each square of pastry, and the fourth shows the pastries folded into triangles enclosing the compote.
  1. Trim any folded edges off your puff pastry (for homemade only. Storebought comes precut). I use a pizza wheel for this. Then cut your large square into smaller squares for your turnovers.
  2. Mound on a generous amount of compote onto each square. (NOTE: Make sure your compote is cold or at least room temperature. You don’t want hot compote to melt your puff pastry)
  3. Egg wash two adjacent sides of each proto-turnover. This is the glue that will stick your edges together.
  4. Fold the un-eggwashed part of the pastry over to meet the egg-washed edges and press down firmly.

Jenni Says: Dip the back of a fork into flour and then seal the edges with a fork all the way around to ensure the edges stick together.

Egg Washing and Baking

A collage of 4 images. The first is 5 unbaked turnovers on a parchment-lined sheet. The second shows the sheet in the freezer. The third shows each turnover brushed with yellow egg wash with slits cut into the pastry, and the fourth shows the baked apple turnovers.

1-2. Once you have the edges sealed cut small slits into the top of each pastry so steam can escape. If you forget, you can always do it after egg-washing later. Freeze your pastries for a good 45 minutes or even overnight.

3. Brush an even coating of eggwash onto each pastry–don’t forget the vents, and you may want to redo them anyway, just to make sure. (Not pictured: sprinkle some coarse sugar evenly onto each pastry before baking)

Jenni Says: Either sprinkle the turnovers with coarse sugar or wait until they cool and then glaze them. I think doing both is overkill, but they’re your turnovers!

4. Bake for 20-30 minutes, depending on your oven. They should be deeply golden brown and crisp on the outside. Remove to a rack to cool so the bottoms don’t get soggy.

Equipment You May Need

Did you know? Pan size can make a difference. A wider, shallower pan allows for more evaporation and therefore a more concentrated, thicker filling.

Obviously, you don’t have to go out and buy every single size of pan there is, because that’s kind of crazy.

But having a good, wide saute pan can be really helpful in making a nice concentrated apple filling (among other things).

Here’s my choice of saute pan:

Best Saute Pan
Cuisinart 5.5-Quart Stainless Steel Sauté Pan w/Lid
$64.95
  • All-metal construction is oven-safe
  • Aluminum disc in the bottom conducts heat quickly and minimizes hot spots
  • Helper handle is...helpful! Makes it easier to pick up and move
  • Dishwasher-safe and reasonably priced
This is an affiliate link which means I earn from qualifying purchases. Your price is unaffected.
02/23/2023 07:27 pm GMT

You’ll also need a couple of half-sheet pans and a spatula.

Ingredient-wise, for spicing I highly recommend the Baking Spice from Savory Spice Shop. It’s a really great blend.

Perfect for Pies
Baking Spice from Savory Spice Shop
  • The perfect blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice
  • No one spice outshines the others
  • Brings added dimension to fruit pies, gingerbread, fruitcake, and more
This is an affiliate link which means I earn from qualifying purchases. Your price is unaffected.

Variations

  • Switch up your spicing. For example, add minced crystallized ginger and add extra ginger to the mix.
  • Add finely chopped and toasted nuts to the filling.

Jenni Says: Add toasted nuts right before filling your turnovers so they don’t get super soggy. Unless you like soggy nuts. Your call.

  • Add some dried fruits along with the apples. Consider golden raising, snipped dried apricots, dried peaches, or even add some dried apple for even more apple flavor along with a more interesting texture.

Tips for Success

Since the filling is pre-cooked, the main indicator of doneness is the color of the puff. Baking times will vary depending on your oven and whether you have convection or not, so this is one recipe where your eyes can be your guide.

If one or two turnovers bust open, either at the seams or in the back, worry not. It happens. This filling is thick so it won’t make a super mess.

A close up of an apple turnover fresh from the oven. Some of the filling has broken through the crust in the back of the turnover.
See? It happens. Give yourself some grace and enjoy the turnovers. Blowouts do NOT affect the flavor!

Spiced Apple Turnover Q & A

Can you freeze these?

Yes, you can freeze turnovers either before or after baking. Once they’re frozen, put them in a zip-top freezer bag and store for a month or up to two. The longer you store them, the less fresh they will taste, so use good judgment here. If freezing before baking, when you’re ready to bake, allow them to sit out at room temperature while the oven heats, brush with eggwash, cut in some vents, and bake straight from frozen. It may take 2-3 minutes longer to bake them than when baking fresh.

How long do these keep?

Puff pastry turnovers are at their crispy, flaky best the day you bake them. You can refresh them in your oven or toaster oven, but if you need to keep them longer than a couple of days, freeze them.

Can I heat them in the microwave?

I don’t recommend it because it will make the pastry unpleasantly soft and sad. Reheat in a convection or conventional oven or toaster oven. Or in your air fryer, if you have one.

Serving Suggestions

A vertical image of apple turnovers with lines of glaze on them. One is cut open to reveal little chunks of apple.

Puff pastry spiced apple turnovers are delicious as-is, straight from the oven. Well, let them cool to warm so you don’t burn yourself.

If you need a little extra something for serving as a dessert rather than an indulgent breakfast, place a hot turnover in an appropriately fancy bowl and top with stabilized whipped cream, regular hand-whipped cream, a poof of Reddi-Wip, or a scoop of ice cream.

Questions

If you have questions about this post or recipe, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can leave a comment on the post and I will get back to you within about 24 hours.

If your question is more urgent, please shoot me an email, and I will respond within 4 hours, unless I’m asleep.

A Note About Measurements

NOTE: Most of my recipes are written by weight and not volume, even the liquids.

Even though I try to provide you with volume measurements as well, I encourage you to buy a kitchen scale for ease of measuring, accuracy, and consistency.

This is the scale I use, love, and recommend. If you’re unsure, please read my post about how to use a food scale.

Best for Home Use
Escali Primo Digital Food Scale
$26.95

Don't let its small price and small size fool you. The Escali Primo is an accurate and easy-to-use food scale that I have used for years. It's easy to store, easy to use, has a tare function, and easily switches between grams and ounces/pounds for accurate measurements.

This is an affiliate link which means I earn from qualifying purchases. Your price is unaffected.
02/23/2023 04:13 pm GMT

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A close up of a triangular turnover with zigzags of glaze on it on a round, black, metal cooling rack.

Spiced Puff Pastry Apple Turnovers

Yield: 9 5-6" turnovers
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

These spiced apple turnovers are made with homemade puff pastry, but storebought will work just as well. Lightly sweetened and deeply spiced with a "baking spice" mix, these guys bake up flaky and crispy on the outside and full of soft, sweet apple-y goodness on the inside. NOTE: Cook time is for the apple mixture and the turnovers combined.

Ingredients

For the Apples

  • 56 grams (2 ounces or 1/2 stick_ unsalted butter
  • 560-680 grams (1 1/4-1 1/2 pounds) mixed peeled and finely diced apples (about 4 apples)* (See Notes)
  • 85 grams (3 oz or a scant 1/2 cup) brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Spice** (See Notes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon cold water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

To Assemble and Bake

  • 1/2 my recipe for puff pastry or 2 sheets of frozen puff, thawed in the refrigerator overnight
  • 1 egg + 1 teaspoon water + 1 pinch of salt for egg wash
  • coarse sugar, for sprinkling (omit if making glaze)

Optional Glaze

  • 14 grams (1/2 oz or 1 Tablespoon) butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking spice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 85 grams (3 oz or about 3/4 cup) confectioners sugar
  • milk to thin to glaze consistency

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch, apple cider vinegar, water, and vanilla.
  3. Add the sugar, salt, and baking spice (or your preferred spicing) to the apples and then tip everyone into the melted butter.
  4. Bring to a high simmer or low boil and cook for about 8 minutes, until the apples are soft.
  5. Add the cornstarch mixture and boil for 2 additional minutes, stirring frequently.
  6. Allow to cool to room temperature or chill before filling your turnovers.
  7. On a lightly-floured surface, roll the sheet/s of puff pastry to about 1/8" thick.
  8. Trim off the folded edges (if using homemade) and then cut into desired-sized squares. Mine were about 6" square, so the turnovers are pretty big.
  9. Pile an equal amount of apple filling onto each square, slightly off-center.
  10. Egg wash the 2 edges of each square nearest the apples.
  11. Carefully fold over the other two edges to align with the egg-washed edges, pressing down firmly and then going back over the seam with a fork dipped in flour just to be sure.
  12. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets and freeze for about 45 minutes.
  13. Set two oven racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375F with convection or 400F for a conventional oven.
  14. Once your turnovers are nice and cold, brush each with a thin glaze of eggwash, and sprinkle with some coarse sugar (unless you're making the optional glaze)
  15. Bake until deeply golden brown and bubbly, between 20-30 minutes. Rotate and switch the pans halfway through baking.
  16. Allow to cool on the pans for a couple of minutes and then transfer to cooling racks to cool to warm.
  17. Glaze or don't. They're good either way.

For the Glaze

  1. Melt the butter in a small bowl.
  2. Add spice, salt, vanilla, and confectioners sugar.
  3. Whisk together as well as you can just to start incorporating the butter.
  4. Whisk in about 1 Tablespoon of milk and check for a good drizzling consistency. If it's not quite there, add more, a teaspoon at a time, until you like the consistency.
  5. Drizzle over your apple turnovers. Use more or less, depending on how sweet you like things.
  6. Enjoy!

Notes

VARIATIONS

  • Switch up your spicing. For example, add minced crystallized ginger and add extra ginger to the mix.
  • Add finely chopped and toasted nuts to the filling.

Jenni Says: Add toasted nuts right before filling your turnovers so they don’t get super soggy. Unless you like soggy nuts.

  • Add some dried fruits along with the apples. Consider golden raising, snipped dried apricots, dried peaches, or even add some dried apple for even more apple flavor along with a more interesting texture.

SPICED APPLE TURNOVER Q & A

Can you freeze these? Yes, you can freeze turnovers either before or after baking. Once they’re frozen, put them in a zip-top freezer bag and store for a month or up to two. The longer you store them, the less fresh they will taste, so use good judgment here. If freezing before baking, when you’re ready to bake, allow them to sit out at room temperature while the oven heats, brush with eggwash, cut in some vents, and bake straight from frozen. It may take 2-3 minutes longer to bake them than when baking fresh.
How long do these keep? Puff pastry turnovers are at their crispy, flaky best the day you bake them. You can refresh them in your oven or toaster oven, but if you need to keep them longer than a couple of days, freeze them.
Can I heat them in the microwave? I don’t recommend it because it will make the pastry unpleasantly soft and sad. Reheat in a convention oven or toaster oven. Or in your air fryer, if you have one.

Nutrition Information
Yield 9 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 383Total Fat 23.6gSaturated Fat 7.9gCholesterol 32mgSodium 327mgCarbohydrates 39.4gFiber 1.9gSugar 16gProtein 4.2g
© Jenni Field
Cuisine: American / Category: Pies and Tarts
A close up of a triangular turnover with zigzags of glaze on it on a round, black, metal cooling rack.

Thanks for spending some time with me today.

I’m pretty sure you’re going to love these spiced apple turnovers, friends.

Take care, and have a lovely day.

Head shot of Jenni in white shirt and multi-colored jacket.



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