Ed and I were craving apple pie really badly late one night, and I happened to have fresh apples and frozen puff pastry on hand, so I made apple turnovers. (See my apple pie recipe here.) These were quick and easy to make and tasted much better than store bought turnovers. We Loved them; anything else would have been a disappointment in comparison. They were so good that Ed ate four large turnovers that night. I wasn’t much better… stopping after three of them. These are by far our new favourite apple turnovers. They freeze beautifully, if you can resist from eating them all right away, that is.
Apple Turnovers Recipe
makes 8 large turnovers; adapted from here
1 (397 g) package frozen puff pastry, thawed in the refrigerator (Note: I used brand Tenderflake. Alternatively you could use home made puff pastry. See a quick and easy recipe here. You would only need 1/4 of the puff pastry dough to make these turnovers.)
3 small to medium sized apples, cored, peeled and chopped into small cubes between 1/4″ and 1/2″ (Note: Use apples that are good for baking pies. I used idared apples. Other examples include Granny Smith, Jonathan, Jonagold, Pippin, Gravenstein, Braeburn, Fuji, Pink Lady, etc.)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 tbsp water
fresh lemon juice
granulated white sugar (large sugar crystals would be even better)
1 egg white
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Allow the butter to brown slightly until it smells nutty. Do not allow the butter to burn. Then add the cubed apples with a tiny squirt of fresh lemon juice and cook them for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and a tiny pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until any liquid has thickened and the apples are nicely soft but not mushy, about 3 minutes. Pour in the cornstarch in water and stir continuously until the filling thickens. This will not take long, so do not allow it to burn. If it is too thick, remove it from heat and stir in water 1 tsp at a time. Remove the skillet from heat and allow the filling to cool.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 F. Work with half of the package of puff pastry at a time, keeping the other half in the refrigerator until ready to use. On a silpat mat with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into a large square, approximately 8 inches x 8 inches, that is approximately 1/4″ thick (you could go up to 1/2″ thick if you prefer). Do not over work the dough or it will not be flaky. Use a sharp knife to cut the square into 4 equally sized smaller squares.
Work with one square at a time. Place 1/8th of the filling (approx. 2 1/2 to 3 tbsp) into the centre of the square. Use a small pastry brush or your finger to brush a thin line of the egg white all the way around the edge of the dough square. This will help seal the filling in. Then lift up one corner of the square, fold it over the filling, and bring it over to the opposite corner of the dough square. This will create a triangle shaped turnover. Gently press the two edges together with your fingers to seal the turnover. Flip the turnover over (so that the pretty moist side of the dough is facing up) and place it on a silpat (silicone) mat lined baking sheet. Leave 2 inches between turnovers on the baking sheet. Then reinforce the seal by using the tines of a fork to press a pattern into the pressed edges. Repeat the process with the remaining dough squares. If desired, use a small, sharp knife to cut some slits into the top of the turnover to allow steam to escape. (I do not do this as the turnovers only leak a little bit as they bake.) Then brush the tops and edges of the turnovers with the egg white. Sprinkle over a light coating of white sugar. Bake until turnovers are puffed up, flaky, and lightly browned on the top, about 22 to 25 minutes. Allow the turnovers to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving as they will be very hot. Repeat the process with the second half of the puff pastry. Cool the turnovers completely before freezing. To reheat, simply bake in a preheated 400F oven directly from frozen until heated through, about 20 to 25 minutes.