Easy Homemade Apple Turnover Recipe

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Looking for a delicious treat that you can make from scratch and without puff pastry? This easy Homemade Apple Turnover recipe is a family favorite!

Looking for a delicious treat that you can make from scratch? This easy Homemade Apple Turnover recipe is a family favorite!

Homemade Apple Turnover Recipe

There is nothing quite like a slice of hot, fresh apple pie after a hard day working on the ranch. But sometimes, we need something a little more portable, and that’s where apple turnovers come in.

Traditionally, apple turnovers are made by folding a puff pastry dough over apple pie filling and drizzling it with icing. Now, you can purchase store-bought puff pastry dough in the freezer section of your local grocery store, and I have done that more than once.

The problem is that it is relatively expensive, and for a family of our size, I would need two or three boxes for us each to have a turnover! Admittedly, I haven’t perfected a homemade puff pastry dough. It’s rather complex, and this mama of six needed a simpler option.

I’m here to tell you that I have the perfect simple solution for from-scratch apple turnovers that don’t require expensive or complex ingredients.

Pie Crust for Apple Turnovers

The Right Pie Crust

The title of this article should be “With the Right Pie Crust, You Can Rule the World.” Okay, not really, but I will say that it is possible to easily make a flaky, melt-in-your-mouth pie crust that is so similar to puff pastry your taste buds won’t know the difference! 

The trick to this recipe is twofold: you grate the butter when it is cold—very cold. And two, you have to be very gentle with the pie dough. No kneading here, folks! The resulting turnover crust is light and flaky, melts in your mouth, and holds together well, making these turnovers portable and easy to serve. 

This recipe was given to me by my “other mother” — a dear friend in the Ozarks. I still remember standing in her farmhouse kitchen, lamenting that I didn’t know how to make pie crust. Then and there, she whipped out three simple ingredients, a pastry cutter, forever changing my life. Every time I make a pie, I think of Sherry.

I’ve modified this recipe slightly for the turnovers by grating the butter while it’s still super-cold. Doing so creates puff-pastry-like layers and an incredibly tender pie crust.

Tips for adding apple to turnovers

Tips for Adding Your Apples

The filling in turnovers is quite basic: it’s essentially just an apple pie filling. Although, with the smaller size and shorter baking time, it is essential to dice the apples rather than slice them like you would for a pie.

While any apples will work for apple turnovers, my personal favorite variety is to use Granny Smith apples (those big, green ones!). They are super crisp, pleasingly tart, and adding cinnamon and sugar creates the perfect flavor explosion in your mouth. 

Other Kinds of Apples

Apple Alternatives

Other types of apples that might be available would be:

Fuji apples are one of the most popular varieties in the United States for eating raw, and rightly so. They are large, crisp, and perfectly sweet. They do well sliced or shredded into salads, as well.

Gala apples are our family’s second go-to apples for lunch boxes and take-along snacks. Lighter in color than the fuji apple and smaller, they have thin skin and nice medium sweetness.

Golden Delicious apples are thin-skinned pale yellow apples that are very sweet and, my husband’s favorite apples to eat raw. Because of the thin skin, they do not store well. They are considered an all-purpose apple, but for me, we prefer to eat them raw, not cook with them because of the softer flesh.

Granny Smith apples, as mentioned above, are large, crisp, and have a thick skin, making them an ideal apple for long-term storage. They can be sour enough to make your mouth pucker if you take a chomp out of one, but at the same time, this tartness makes them the perfect apple to pair with hard cheeses, caramel sauce, or baked goods. 

Braeburn apples have yellow-red skin and a medium-sweet, crisp flesh that is balanced enough to work well, either eaten raw or for baking.

Red Delicious apples are a deep, pretty burgundy-red shade with thick skin and sweet flesh. They tend to be mealy in texture, and the skin can have an off-putting flavor. Our family doesn’t like these raw or cooked. However, we added them to applesauce once, and the skins turned the applesauce a beautiful shade of pink.

APple Turnover Ingredients

Ingredients in Homemade Apple Turnovers

Turnover filling ingredients:

  • Granny Smith apples. These are my favorite like I mentioned above, but there are many kinds of apples to pick from!
  • Sugar. I use plain cane sugar in this recipe but you could also use brown sugar for another depth of flavor.
  • Cinnamon. If you use a lot of cinnamon, you should buy it in bulk!
  • Butter. This helps with the flavor! If you can’t use butter, use a dairy alternative butter.
  • Flour. All-purpose flour is used as a binder in the apple filling. You could use another starch if you prefer.
  • Egg. This helps bind the filling together and gives it great flavor.
  • Powdered sugar. This is for the optional topping drizzle.
  • Vanilla extract. You can use store-bought or Homemade Vanilla Extract.
  • Milk. This is to make the frosting topping. If you can’t use milk, you can skip the drizzle or use a milk alternative.

Pie crust ingredients:

  • Flour. All-purpose flour is used here. You could try all-purpose gluten-free flour, but it might be crumbly without a binding ingredient.
  • Cold grated butter. It needs to be cold; otherwise, it won’t work well in this recipe! You can use unsalted or salted, but you can skip the salt if you use salted.
  • Salt. As mentioned above, if using salted butter, skip the salt.
  • Cold water.

Apple Turnover Filling

Instructions for Making Apple Turnovers

In a large bowl, combine apple filling ingredients, set aside.

Make Miss Sherry’s pie crust recipe.

Shredding butter

When you need butter in this recipe it may help to grate it instead of trying to chop it into small pieces. I have a metal rotary shredder.

Pie Crust for Turnovers

Divide pie crust dough and roll each into a large rectangle using a rolling pin. Use a pizza cutter or a sharp knife to cut the dough into large squares.

Filling apple turnovers

Put 2-3 tablespoons of the apple mixture on one half of each square of pie dough, and fold over diagonally to create a triangular-shaped pocket.

Egg Wash on Apple Turnovers

Crimp the edges with a fork. Brush the tops of the turnovers with an egg wash like a glaze, and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake in the oven at 400* F for 15 minutes.

Apple turnovers with drizzle

Remove to a wire rack to cool, then whisk together powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk to make a medium-thin icing to drizzle over the top of each turnover. Serve plain as an apple hand pies or as a fancy dessert with vanilla ice cream!

Need to print this recipe for your Recipe Binder? Grab it below!

Easy Homemade Apple Turnovers

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Homemade Apple Turnovers Recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 20 turnovers
Calories 169 kcal
Creator Kendra


  • 2 Cups flour
  • 2/3 Cup COLD grated butter (or diced very small)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 Tbsp cold water
  • 2-4 Granny Smith apples (diced small)
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 Tbsp butter (cut into small pieces)
  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • cinnamon/sugar (for sprinkling on top)
  • 1/2 Cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • milk (to thin icing to proper consistency for drizzling)


  1. Start with the pie crust. Combine flour and salt in a bowl. 

  2. Add in the butter, and stir gently with a pastry blender or a fork.  Add water a tablespoon at a time, fluffing the flour/water with a fork to combine after each addition. 

  3. Continue to add water until the dough almost comes together; there will still be some dry areas. 

  4. Overturn dough onto a lightly floured countertop and very lightly press together into a ball of dough. 

  5. Combine apple filling ingredients in a bowl.

  6. Divide pie crust dough in half and roll each half into a large rectangle.  Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into large squares. 

  7. Put 2-3 tablespoons of the pie filling on one half of each square of pie dough, and fold over diagonally to create a triangular-shaped pocket. 

  8. Crimp the edges with a fork.  Brush the tops of the turnovers with an egg wash, and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Bake at 400* for 15 minutes. 

  9. Remove to a wire rack to cool, then whisk together powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk to make a medium-thin icing to drizzle over the top of the turnovers.

Nutrition Facts
Easy Homemade Apple Turnovers
Amount Per Serving
Calories 169 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Trans Fat 0.3g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 30mg10%
Sodium 129mg6%
Potassium 41mg1%
Carbohydrates 21g7%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 281IU6%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 9mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

There you have it! An easy apple turnover recipe that’s “easy as pie.” You could use this same idea with any other fruit fillings you might have available. Try it and let me know!

Storing Homemade Apple Turnovers

Leftover Homemade Apple Turnovers should be stored in an airtight container on the countertop or in the fridge.

If you don’t plan on eating them up within a week, put them in a freezer bag and freeze until you are ready to enjoy them again.

Apple Turnovers

Gluten-Free Apple Turnovers

To make this recipe gluten-free, you will replace the flour in the filling with a gluten-free starch such as cornstarch or arrowroot. Use a gluten-free puff pastry or pie crust recipe that is your favorite for the pastry.

Dairy-Free Apple Turnovers

To make this dairy-free recipe, replace the butter with shortening or a dairy-free buttery spread. Use a milk alternative in the glaze topping.

How Do You Keep Apple Turnovers From Getting Soggy?

Make sure that you don’t add any more liquid to the turnover filling than is necessary for the recipe. Turnovers may also get soggy when stored in a cool, damp environment, so if this has been an issue for you in the past, store leftovers on the countertop and not in the fridge.

How Do You Seal Turnovers?

Turnovers are traditionally sealed with a fork by crimping the edges. You’ll need to apply enough pressure to seal the sides shut but not so much pressure that the form goes all the way through the dough.

Pineapple Coconut Cake

More Homemade Desserts

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KendraKendra Paulton is a freelance writer, photographer, and ranch mama. She resides on a fourth-generation cattle ranch with her husband, six young children, and a pack of German Shepherds. Visit her website www.dakotacanyonbeef.com to connect.

This Homemade Apple Turnovers recipe was originally posted on Little House Living in March 2023.

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  1. I was taught by my mother, grandmother and great grandmother to make what we call “fried apple pies” using biscuit dough. The end product is soft and gooey rather than crispy and is wonderful hot, room temperature or chilled.