Apple Turnovers from Scratch

by Shayla Ebsen

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What I love the most about apple turnovers is you can experience the deliciousness of pie without the mess. Hold these apple turnovers from scratch in your hand, feeling their freshly baked warmth and bite into their sweet, warming aroma.


  • Dough:
    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 8 tablespoons unsalted extra-cold butter, cut into small chunks
    • 2 tablespoons extra-cold vegetable shortening
    • 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water
  • Filling:
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 3 Honey Crisp Apples – peeled, cored and cut into thin, small pieces
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
    • zest from lemon
    • zest from orange
    • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon orange juice
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1 tablespoon water
  • Optional Glaze:
    • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
    • 1/2 tablespoon milk
    • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla



Combine the flour, sugar, and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter and shortening, ensuring each is sufficiently chilled. Combine the butter and shortening with the dry ingredients using your fingers until the mixture blends into pea-size pieces (smaller crumbs will still remain as well). Mix in the ice water, one tablespoon at a time, only until the dough comes together. You may not need all 3 tablespoons of water and be careful not to over-mix the dough.

When the dough is mixed and smooth, form it into a ball and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for no less than 30 minutes.

When the dough is chilled, use a rolling pinto roll it into a 1/8-inch thick circle. Cut the dough into 6 to 7, 6-inch rounds using a knife or a properly sized bowl. Place the rounds onto wax paper and put back into the refrigerator to re-chill.


Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter is melted, place the sliced apples into the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, orange zest and lemon zest and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Make a slurry by combining the lemon and orange juices with the cornstarch in a small cup and mix thoroughly. Add the slurry to the apple mixture and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and allow to cool.

To make the turnovers, remove the dough rounds from the refrigerator. Spoon the apples along with a small amount of the filling liquid onto one-half of each round. After placing the filling, fold the other half of the dough over the filling-covered half and pinch the edges together until they are firmly formed. Using a knife, make a small slit in the top of each turnover.

Whisk the egg yolk and water together and brush each turnover with the egg wash. Place the turnovers onto a cookie sheet and put them in the refrigerator to cool while the oven is preheating to 400 degrees F.

Bake the turnovers on the center oven rack for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Check the turnovers frequently to avoid overcooking.

Optional Glaze:

If you prefer glazed turnovers, prepare the glazing ingredients by mixing together the confectioner’s sugar, milk and vanilla. Mix until smooth and drizzle over the cooked and cooled turnovers.

Tips for Success

  • By using Honey Crisp or similar apples, you’ll get a sweeter turnover. If you prefer a tarter taste, substitute with Granny Smith apples.
  • Roll out your dough properly with a rolling pin to achieve an even thickness that will securely hold in the filling.
  • When the cooking time is approaching the end, check the turnovers frequently to avoid overcooking.
  • To achieve the best turnover crust, use extra-cold butter, water and shortening. The colder, the better.

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