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easy apple turnovers from scratch

easy apple turnovers from scratch


I used to think that making pastry from scratch was hard, until I discovered rough puff. In my opinion, it’s easier to make than a pie crust, and it’s almost as easy as working with store-bought puff pastry, but has a better flavor. Using rough puff pastry, it is unbelievably easy to make these Apple Turnovers from Scratch.


Ingredients for Apple Turnovers from Scratch

Flour – I used all-purpose flour in this recipe, but strong flour (or bread flour) is often recommended when making puff pastry, because it will help the laminated dough maintain its structure.

Sugar – I added sugar to the puff pastry for these turnovers because I felt they needed the extra sweetness. If you want to use this rough puff recipe for something savory, leave out the sugar.

Butter – It’s very important to use cold butter when making puff pastry, so leave the butter in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it immediately. The butter needs to be in thick cubes (about 1/2 inch cubed.) If you are baking in a warm environment, you might want to try cutting the butter into cubes before starting. Then you can chill it in the refrigerator again until you’re ready to use it.

Cold Water – Make sure the water is very cold so that it doesn’t melt the butter.

Apples – Use a baking apple for this recipe, such as a Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Fuji, or Jonathan. I used a mix of Gala and Honeycrisp. 

1/2 Cup and 1/4 Cup Water – Make sure to keep the water divided. The 1/2 cup is for cooking the apples, while the 1/4 cup is for the cornstarch slurry you will add later.

Spices – I used the mix of spices that I like best with apples. If you prefer different spices,  add an equal total amount of your preferred apple pie spice blend.

How to make the Rough Puff Pastry for Apple Turnovers from Scratch

Rough puff is a quicker and easier homemade alternative to full puff pastry. While full puff requires a beurre de tourage (a butter block) and several turns, this rough puff recipe requires only butter cut into cubes and three turns. It will not give you quite the same amount of poof as full puff, homemade or store-bought, but it will give you an easier alternative that has a much fuller flavor than store-bought puff pastry.

  1. First, stir together the flour, sugar, and salt. You want these ingredients to be fully combined before you mix the dough. 
  2. Quickly cut the cold butter into cubes that are about 1/2 inch cubed. Or, you can cube the butter beforehand and chill it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. Stir the butter cubes in with a spoon, and don’t cut them any further. 
  3. Add the cold water and mix until the dough comes together in a large mass. Some of the butter chunks will fall out, so just press them back in. Divide the dough into equal halves and press each half into a rectangle. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. After the 30 minutes have passed, take one half of the dough out to laminate. Lightly flour your work surface and roll the pastry into a 10 x 12 inch rectangle. Next, fold the pastry as you would a letter: fold the top 1/3 down, then fold the bottom 1/3 up over it.
  5. Flip the dough over and roll it back into an 10 x 12 inch rectangle. Repeat the folds. Then flip over again, roll out and fold. This should give you three turns in total. Return to the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour and repeat with the second half. After the dough has chilled, your rough puff pastry will be ready for baking!

how to make rough puff pastryhow to make rough puff pastry














Notes on Technique

  • Make sure the butter for the pastry is very cold. It helps to cut the butter into cubes, then chill them before starting. 
  • As you mix the dough, chunks of the butter will likely fall out. You can just press them back in.
  • During mixing and the first fold, you should still be able to see large stripes of butter in the pastry. Any time that the butter seems to be melting, return it to the refrigerator for about 20 minutes before resuming work. It helps to keep your room temperature a little low.
  • When cooking the filling, mix the 1/4 cup water and 4 teaspoons cornstarch to make a slurry. If you leave it to sit, the cornstarch will settle to the bottom. When you add this in toward the end of cooking, make sure that it stirred up well. This will help prevent lumps from forming.
  • The thickness of the filling will vary depending on how much juice is in the apples and how much water is lost during cooking. Cooking the apples with a lid on will help prevent water loss. If your filling is too wet, stir a little more cornstarch into a tablespoon of water and add it in.
  • After you have cut half the dough into 4 squares, return them to the refrigerator while you cut the next 4 squares. When filling and shaping the turnovers, it helps to work with only 4 at a time as well. Keep the ones you aren’t currently working with in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake them all.


easy apple turnovers from scratch

Apple Turnovers from Scratch

Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 18 mins
Resting Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 48 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Servings 8 Turnovers


For the Rough Puff Pastry:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (250 g)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup cold butter (340 g) cut in 1/2 inch cubes
  • 5-6 tablespoons ice water

For the Apple Filling:

  • 350 grams apples, peeled and chopped (about 3 cups) (about 4 small, 3 medium, or 2 large apples)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (100 g)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter (29 g)
  • 1 large pinch salt (about 1/16 teaspoon)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 cup water (60 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cornstarch

For the Egg Wash:

  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • coarse sugar

For the Vanilla Glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar (120 g)
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste


Make the Rough Puff Pastry:

  • In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, and salt, and stir with a large spoon until fully combined. Stir in the butter cubes, then the ice water, stirring until the dough comes together into a large mass. Work quickly so that the butter doesn't melt, but be careful not to overwork the dough. Divide the dough into equal halves. Shape each half roughly into a rectangle, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Sprinkle your rolling surface or wax paper lightly with flour. Take out one rectangle of dough and roll it until you have a 10x8 inch (25x20 cm) rectangle. Fold the pastry into thirds as you would a letter: along the short side, fold the upper third down, then fold the bottom third up on top of it. Flip the dough over and roll into the 10x8 inch rectangle again, and repeat the folding process. Finally, flip the dough over, roll out and fold again, for the 3rd and final turn. Rewrap the pastry in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Repeat the process with the second half of the pastry dough.

Make the Apple Filling:

  • In a 2 qt saucepan, add the chopped apples, brown sugar, water, vanilla, butter, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, and cloves. Bring to a boil on medium-low heat, then reduce to low and cook, covered, for about 8-10 minutes, checking every now and then to make sure the apples aren't burning.
  • Add the 1/4 cup of water to a liquid measuring cup and stir in the cornstarch. The cornstarch will settle if left to sit, so make sure the solution is well mixed right before adding. Add the cornstarch solution to the apples and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches the desired thickness. Transfer the filling to a wide bowl and allow it to cool at room temperature or in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the turnovers.

Assemble the Turnovers:

  • First, make the egg wash by whisking the egg with the water. Preheat the oven to 400° F (200° C.) Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
  • Sprinkle your rolling surface moderately with flour and take out one half of the dough. Roll it into a 10x10 inch (20x20 cm) square. Use a pastry scraper to cut the pastry into 4 5x5 inch (10x10 cm) squares. Transfer the squares to a baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator while you repeat with the second half of the dough.
  • Take the first set of pastry squares out of the refrigerator, keeping them on the baking sheet. Brush two adjacent sides of each pastry with the egg wash. Place about 2 tablespoons of filling in the middle of each square, leaving room to fold the turnover into a triangle.
  • Fold each square into a triangle with the egg-washed sides on the bottom. Press the edges with a fork to seal. Chill the turnovers in the refrigerator while you shape the other 4 turnovers.
  • Once all the turnovers have been shaped, brush them with the remaining egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake the turnovers at 400° F (200° C) for about 18-20 minutes, or until the pastry is a golden brown. You can store the turnovers at room temperature for about 2 days, or in the refrigerator for about 5 days.
Keyword apples, fall, pastries, puff pastry, turnovers, winter