Thursday, December 27, 2012

Flaky Apple Turnovers

Yummy flaky apple turnovers
When I was growing up, my dad liked to have some sort of dessert every night. It could be just about anything, as long as it was sweet: frozen snack-size Snickers candy bars, orange sherbet, ice cream, Drumsticks, cookies, whatever. My dad never has been super picky with his desserts. There was one period of time, around the 80s, that my mom would buy Pepperidge Farms Apple Turnovers to bake for my dad for dessert. (I think I've already mentioned this in my Puff Pastry post.) I loved that puff pastry and I still marvel at its magic, puffing up to at least 3 times its original thickness, all thanks to sneaky little layers of butter. Ah-mazing.
Well, I've been making a lot of Jaarsma's Dutch letters as of late, and although the pastry for that is not a classic puff pastry, it works just as well, and it's way easier to make. Of course, I thought about those amazing apple turnovers, and now that I'm on Christmas break, I decided to make them, and here they are. They don't look exactly like Pepperidge Farms, but they're just as delicious and I made them all by myself. I like that I can freeze these unbaked so I don't have to worry about overeating or throwing away stale leftovers. 
These are super good, so if you're willing to put in the time to make the pastry, they will be well worth it. Trust me.

Flaky Apple Turnovers

  • 4 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (1 pound) cold butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup ice water
  • 1 batch of apple filling (recipe below)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar mixed with 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream & 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, for icing, if desired
In a large bowl, stir together the flour and the salt. Cut cold butter into half-inch slices and add to the flour mixture. Toss until butter pieces are coated with flour and separated from each other.
Stir egg and ice water together and then pour all at once into the flour/butter mixture. Using a spoon quickly mix until you see no obvious wet spots. Butter will still be in large pieces and "dough" will be in shaggy bits and there will still be lots of flour that's not mixed in yet.
Turn the dough out onto a large sheet of parchment paper (or a lightly floured pastry cloth if you have one). Knead the dough ten times or so by pressing and pushing dough together, using the parchment between your hands and the dough, to form a rough square shape. Using a little extra flour for the rolling pin, roll dough into a 15x10 inch rectangle. Fold 2 short sides to meet in the center. Bring the top edge down to meet the bottom edge to form 4 layers. You will now have a long rectangle about 7 1/2 by 5 inches.
Repeat rolling and folding process once more. Wrap dough in the parchment paper you're using, and then wrap that in plastic wrap. Chill dough for 20-30 minutes. Repeat rolling and folding process two more times, and then chill the dough another 20 minutes before forming turnovers.
Once dough is chilled, and the filling is cooled, preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut dough into 4 equal pieces. Refrigerate remaining pieces while you work with one piece at a time.
Roll the fourth of dough out into a 11x11 inch square. Trim the sides with a pizza cutter to "square it up" and made the edges clean.* Cut the large square into four equal squares. Moisten two adjacent sides of one of the squares and scoop about 1/3 cup of apple filling into the middle. Fold the square into a triangle and press edges slightly to create an initial seal. Then take a fork and go around the seams and press firmly to seal. Then take a sharp knife and poke 2 or 3 vents in the top of the triangle. Repeat with remaining squares.
Place turnovers onto the parchment-lined, leaving about 2 inches between turnovers. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20-22 minutes, or until puffed and deep golden brown on the tops and bottoms. 
Remove to a wire rack to cool. When turnovers have cooled about 10-15 minutes, you can drizzle them lightly with icing, or eat them as is.

NOTE: Unbaked turnovers can be frozen on a parchment or wax paper lined baking sheet. When frozen solid, place turnovers in a large zip-top bag for later baking. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, place on parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 22-25 minutes, or until puffed and deep golden brown on tops and bottoms.

*You can bake the scraps up just for fun and snacking...or you can freeze them for the next time you make Chicken Pot Pie Soup and you can eat that with the soup instead of the pie crust. YUM!

Makes 16 turnovers

Unbaked Apple Turnover

Apple Filling

  • 4 medium granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 cups water (or 1 cup water + 1 cup apple juice)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar 
  • 3 T cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)

In a large bowl, toss diced apple with lemon juice and set aside.  Pour water (or water + apple juice) into a high-rimmed saute pan over medium heat.  Combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, & nutmeg.  Add to liquid in pan, stir well, and bring to a boil.  Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add apples and return to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer until apples are tender, about 10-12 minutes.  Stir in raisins. Transfer to a heat-proof bowl and cool completely before using.


  1. Apple juice is mentioned in the directions but not listed in the ingredients, so how much do you need?

    1. I'm sorry about that. The ingredients are supposed to say "2 cups water or 1 cup water and 1 cup apple juice". I don't know what I was thinking. I will fix it when I'm back home at my computer. :/


Hello! If your comment is more of a question about something you are cooking RIGHT NOW, please email me the question in addition to posting it here. I check my email more frequently than I check my blog comments. :)