My Apple Turnovers recipe is made completely from scratch with a sweet apple filling folded inside my homemade flaky, buttery pie crust! They take less than an hour to make and taste SO much better than store-bought. Recipe includes a how-to video!
Apple Turnovers From Scratch
I’m re-sharing my homemade apple turnovers recipe just in time for the fall baking season. My version is made completely from scratch with my flaky (super easy) pie crust recipe and a homemade apple pie filling inside.
These are very similar to my hand pies and a great way to use up leftover apples from apple picking. With their buttery, flaky crust and sweet caramelized apple filling in every bite, what’s not to love?!
While I typically top my turnovers with an easy vanilla glaze, I also like to sprinkle them with coarse sugar for some added crunch and sparkle. If you’re less of a sugar fiend, you can just use the sugar or the glaze–but I highly recommend both!
Why you’ll love my recipe:
- Can be made with pie dough or my easy puff pastry.
- Takes less than an hour to make.
- Two topping options: coarse sugar or vanilla glaze (or both!).
- 100% from-scratch!
Just a few ingredients come together to make this easy apple turnover recipe. Most importantly, you’ll need:
- Apples. I recommend using a firm, fairly tart apple like Fuji, Gala (my favorites for apple butter or applesauce), or Granny Smith (a more tart option!). Be sure to peel & core the apples before cutting them into small pieces (less than ½″).
- Pie crust. You could use pre-made (store-bought) pie dough, but I really recommend making my homemade pie dough (linked in the recipe below). It’s very easy to make and produces perfectly flaky, flavorful results that I think makes my apple turnover recipe really special.
- Brown sugar. I like using light brown sugar for the apple filling. Dark brown sugar can be substituted, but it will make your turnovers richer and sweeter.
- Cornstarch. This helps to thicken our apple filling.
- Coarse sugar. This is optional, but I love sprinkling it on the turnovers before they go in the oven. It gives them a crisp, sparkly exterior!
SAM’S TIP: It will seem like a lot of (maybe even too many) apples when you first add them to your pan, but they’ll cook down to be just enough to fill your crust. Make sure to let the filling cool before adding it to your dough, otherwise you run the risk of melting your pastry dough.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Apple Turnovers
- Combine apple filling ingredients in a saucepan and cook, stirring frequently.
- Once the butter melts, increase the heat and let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes. The apples will become tender and the sauce will thicken.
- Remove apple mixture from heat and stir in vanilla, then set aside to cool while you roll out your pie dough.
- Cut the dough into squares (I like to use a ruler to make mine even, but maybe you’re better at eyeballing this than I am!).
- Transfer the pastry squares to a parchment paper lined baking sheet and brush lightly with egg wash. Now scoop the cooled apple turnover filling onto prepared squares, placing them just off center.
- Fold the squares over the apple filling and use a fork to crimp the edges.
- Brush the tops of the turnovers with egg wash and vent with a sharp knife before sprinkling with sugar (if using, which you should!).
- Bake for 25 minutes and let cool completely before drizzling with glaze.
SAM’S TIP: If you do find that your dough becomes too soft to manage, just return it to the refrigerator for a few minutes and it should quickly become firm enough to manage. You can also do this with the assembled turnovers if they seem too soft or melty before you pop them in the oven (this can easily happen on a warm day!).
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! These can be frozen before or after baking. If freezing before, I’d recommend freezing on a baking sheet first to firm up the exteriors before wrapping and storing in a ziploc bag or airtight container. When you’re ready to bake, you can do so from frozen; they’ll just need a few minutes longer in the oven.
Yes! You’ll need one batch of my homemade puff pastry or two sheets of store-bought puff pastry.
If you want to make them last longer, yes. They will keep for 2 days at room temperature (I recommend covering them) but will keep for 5 days if refrigerated. They are best when fresh though!
If you like this apple turnovers recipe, give my cherry turnovers and chocolate turnovers a try!
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
Apple Turnovers Recipe
- 2 batches pie crust dough I recommend using my easy pie crust linked here, it doubles well!
- 4 apples peeled and diced into pieces no larger than ½” (about 1.75lbs (795g) before peeling/coring/dicing)
- ⅔ cup light brown sugar firmly packed
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter (42g)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg + 1 teaspoon water for egg wash
- 2 Tablespoons coarse sugar for sprinkling, optional
- 1 cup powdered sugar (125g)
- 1-2 Tablespoons milk
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 400F (205C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Begin preparing apple filling by combining chopped apples, brown sugar, butter, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat.4 apples, ⅔ cup light brown sugar, 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Cook, stirring frequently, until butter is melted. Increase heat to medium and continue to cook, bringing mixture to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mixture should thicken slightly.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Allow mixture to cool before filling pie dough.½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Prepare turnover dough: Divide pie crust in half and roll out one half onto a clean, lightly floured surface. Roll into a rectangle between ⅛”-¼” thick.2 batches pie crust dough
- Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, neatly cut dough into 4 ½” squares and transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining half of dough (note: you will need to gather the scraps and re-roll them out to make all 10 turnovers).
- Prepare egg wash by whisking together egg and water. Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the surface of each pastry square with egg wash.1 large egg + 1 teaspoon water
- Portion about 1½ Tablespoons of filling just off center of each square. Gently fold over one corner to touch the other to envelope the apple filling. Use the tines of a fork to press and seal the turnovers. Repeat with remaining turnovers.
- Brush the outside of each turnover lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar (or regular granulated sugar), if desired. Use a sharp knife to cut 2-3 small slits to vent.2 Tablespoons coarse sugar
- Transfer to center rack of 400F (205C) oven and bake for 25 minutes, until pastry is beginning to turn golden brown.
- Allow to cool before topping with icing (if desired).
- Whisk together powdered sugar, 1 Tablespoon of milk, and vanilla extract. If mixture is too dry, add additional milk, a splash at a time, until mixture ribbons off the spoon.1 cup powdered sugar, 1-2 Tablespoons milk, ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Drizzle glaze over cooled turnovers, and enjoy.
ApplesI recommend using a tart, firm apple like Gala, Fuji, or Granny Smith, but just about any apple will work here!
StoringStore in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or tightly wrap and freeze for up to several months.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
This recipe was originally published October of 2017. I’ve made small edits to the flow of the recipe to make it easier to follow and have added new photos, a new video, and new text that I hope is helpful!
Hello! Wondering if you recommend pie crust or the puff pastry dough!? Thank you!
Pie crust. 🙂
Thank you! I’m so nervous to use a pie dough with sour cream (my dad hates sour cream) though I know you said you can’t taste it. My o to pie dough is just flour, butter and water. Please give me the confidence to try your dough recommendation 🙂
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
We promise you won’t taste it in the finished product! You’ll all love it 😊
Absolutely a great recipe. Came across it as I was getting ready to peel and freeze some green apples some friends gave to me. What a delightful treat! Quick and easy. I also used your “easy Pie crust” recipe! Thank you so much for sharing!
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
We’re so happy you gave it a try, Veronica! Thanks for coming back to leave a review 🥰
Just an assembly suggestion: roll the dough on the parchment and cut it there, then move the whole thing to the pan: if you fold the turnovers the same direction they will have all the space they need.
Can a canned pie filling be used also?
Hi Valerie! Canned filling will work, but it may leak out and it’s definitely not going to taste as good. 🙂
Hi I was just wondering if you use salted or unsalted butter in your filling?
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Hi Jeannine! Since it’s such a small amount, you’d be fine to use either 😊
I made these gluten free and they were awesome. Definitely make them again, may try cherry pie filling as well. 🥟
best apple turnovers I ever had!!
definitely going to share recipe with family
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Wow, we’re so happy you loved them, Maureen! Thanks so much for commenting and leaving such a nice review. Enjoy 😊
There is way too much sauce on the apples in this recipe. I had to pour half if it off and then still had to drain it as I measured out the apples. Otherwise the sauce just leaked out while I tried to fold and seal the pastry. I am sure I lost a lot of flavor from the cinnamon and brown sugar by having to drain off most of the sauce. These might have been better just mixing the apples with a lot less sugar.
I’m so sorry this happened, Jackie! This could potentially be caused my a mis-measurement in an ingredient or the apples not simmering quite long enough. The simmering process really helps to thicken up the sauce so this doesn’t happen. 🙁
So I’ve made this recipe before and knew it was a winner, but I took on a new challenge today: making it vegan. I had some vegan friends coming into town and I really wanted them to be able to enjoy the same treats as everyone else. Well, the turnovers just came out of the oven, and they look and smell great! My vegan friends haven’t arrived to weigh in yet, but I’ll leave another comment with their verdict when they do. For anyone else looking to substitute in, or if you have a dairy allergy and are wondering how to get around the butter and sour cream, I used Earth Balance vegan butter sticks as my butter substitute (because these sticks are already salted, I eliminated all the salt in the recipe), Sugar in the Raw for all sugar in the recipe (including the pie crust), substituted oat milk for the egg wash (both for sealing and brushing down the outside of the turnovers), and I made my own vegan sour cream for the pie crust (the sour cream recipe I followed was from Vegan Huggs). The pie dough was both slightly wetter and a little more delicate than the non-vegan version, and it required more flour and more care when rolling out and transferring to the baking sheet. I would actually recommend rolling out on top of a floured piece of parchment paper or wax paper so that you can more easily transfer the squares to your baking sheet without ripping them or distorting their shape; the rolled out dough is VERY prone to tearing once you get it to 1/8” and coaxing it up off the counter was stressful. Fortunately, it also patched very well, so I was able to easily seal up any holes or cracks with extra scraps. I made sure to re-chill my squares as instructed, but I found you have to be careful not to go too far with chilling after rolling, as they become very brittle and are impossible to fold over once they hit a certain temp. I had to let mine warm back up for some time before I could fill them. When filling them, I only used just over a tablespoon of filling; any more and the dough would have fallen apart when I folded it over. It sealed well with oat milk as the egg substitute, though I had to be a little careful cutting the steam vents, again in order to avoid cracking. I brushed them down with oat milk and sprinkled them with sugar before they went in, and they got some very nice light browning (though obviously not as much as they would have with egg). I will note I did chill them for about 15 minutes before I baked them, as I had my non-vegan turnovers in the oven at the time, just in case that contributed to my success. They did need to bake slightly less than the normal ones; I had to take them out 2-3 minutes early because the edges were in danger of burning. Overall, though, this was a very successful recipe when made vegan! If anyone else is looking to do so, do so confidently!
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Wow, thank you so much for letting us know how your vegan adaptation worked out, Erica! What a lovely thing to do for your friends. We hope everyone loves the finished product. Enjoy!! ❤️
They went over very well! Both my vegan friends gave them two enthusiastic thumbs up!
I prepared the filling the night before and refrigerated it. It gelled up nicely and was much easier to work with when putting it all together. Much less leaking and oozing.
can I use puff pastry?
That will work just fine. 🙂
I made these with puff pastry for day of giving and they were a hit! Thank you!!
I was wondering if I can prepare the turnovers and cook them the next morning?
Or would the dough get to soggy?
Hi Kelly! I have not tried it myself. Another commenter recently did this and said they turned out, but a little bit of the filling oozed out while they sat.
I made these this morning using foil instead of parchment paper that I did not have. It didn’t work. Hubby suggested just spraying the cooking sheet instead.I’ll try that next. They tasted wonderful even though my foiled idea did not work. I have wax paper, would that work?
Hi Rhonda! You can bake these directly on an ungreased baking sheet. I use the parchment paper for super easy clean up. Don’t use wax paper as it is not good for the oven. 🙂
Thinking of making these for the weekend. Can I make and refridgerate until next morning to save time? Thank you, Cindi
Hi Cindi! I haven’t tried it but I think it should work just fine here. 🙂
I will let you know, made them today and will bake in the morning. They are in the refrigerator ready to go in the oven.
They were wonderful! I did the egg wash in the morning and then backed them pere the instructions. There was a little oozing of the apple syrup overnight but it didn’t change the taste. They were golden and delicious.
I’m so glad they turned out! Thank you for your feedback. 🙂
Amazing! Just right amount of sweetness for the filling. I will make this again in the future!
I’m so glad you enjoyed, Suzanne! Thank you for trying my recipe! 🙂
Can I pre make these without cooking and freeze them? If so how long will they last in the freezer? Thanks
Hi Michelle! I haven’t tried freezing them myself, but I think it will work just fine and will keep for a couple of months. 🙂
Loved and enjoyed the apple turnovers. I called them cow flops as I used a bottom and top layer of crust. My hubby laughed when I offered him one. We shared them with our two neighbors and they enjoyed them too. We lived in the country and thus my comment. We will be celebrating 65 years of wedded bliss on January 28, 2021.. with a few ups and downs but what would life be without them? Thank you so much for a recipe I will be using again.
I am so glad everyone enjoys them so much, Janet! That is a really funny name for them. Congratulations on your upcoming anniversary. That’s a long time and very impressive. 🙂