Home » Easy Gluten Free Apple Turnovers

Easy Gluten Free Apple Turnovers

These gluten free apple turnovers combine my 100% reliable, perfectly flaky homemade gluten free puff pastry with a juicy, spiced apple pie filling – and they’re absolutely incredible. They’re also really easy to make and they’re just the perfect fall dessert.

Gluten free apple turnover broken in half, on a baking sheet lined with white parchment paper.

Last week, we talked about the best and the easiest gluten free puff pastry you’ll ever make (seriously, it’s ridiculously easy to prepare and it’s just pure buttery, flaky, shattery perfection) and this week, we’ll be using it in one of my all-time favourite apple desserts: gluten free apple turnovers.

The apple pie filling is super juicy and aromatic thanks to an (over)abundance of cinnamon, and the apples are deliciously soft but *without* being mushy. And that’s a really important distinction to make, in my opinion. Because mushy apple pie filling is just… not good. We want apple pieces that are pleasantly soft but still have some texture to them.

And then, of course, there’s the gluten free (rough) puff pastry. It’s basically everything you want in a really good puff pastry: flaky, buttery, tender and it puffs up beautifully in the oven. And even though it’s gluten free, it handles really well so you don’t have to worry about it cracking or tearing as you roll it out and then assemble the apple turnovers.

Overhead view of gluten free apple turnovers on a sheet of white parchment paper.

I’ve also borderline overstuffed the turnovers with the apple pie filing because while I love the pastry, I’m also a big believer in a high apple filling-to-pastry ratio. It definitely produces the most delicious results.

That said, while I used A LOT of filling, I made sure not to use too much. Because let me tell you, being a bit too generous with the filling results in a big mess when you go to assemble the apple turnovers and try to fit the top pastry rectangle over the mountain of filling in the centre. So, be generous with the filling – but not too generous.

Gluten free apple turnover broken in half, on a baking sheet lined with white parchment paper.

Before we get to the bits and bobs of making these amazing apple turnovers – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on the latest recipes and tips!

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Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.

What’s an apple turnover?

Apple turnovers are pastries made with an apple filling that’s encased in a pastry dough – typically puff pastry. They’re often made by cutting the rolled-out pastry into squares, placing a dollop of filling in the centre, and folding the pastry square over the filling along the diagonal to form a triangle. However, you can also make rectangular turnovers.

In writing this, I’ve just realised that I’ve actually made a cross between a turnover (because it uses puff pastry) and a hand pie (because it’s not actually folded over the filling)… but let’s call it a turnover and just roll with it. Mmkay?

Regardless of what you call them, they’re incredibly delicious. And if you want to make apple turnovers that are 100% actual turnovers, you can follow the recipe below but just cut out larger rectangles and then fold them over and seal the resulting pastries along the three open edges.

How do you make gluten free apple turnovers?

The apple pie filling

The apple pie filling is super easy and quick to make. You just need to combine unsalted butter, diced apples (the apple pieces should be about ½-inch (1-1.5cm) in size), light brown sugar, cinnamon, a pinch of salt and lemon juice in a large skillet, and cook them over medium-high heat with frequent stirring for about 5-6 minutes, or until the apples are softened and the juices have thickened into a thick, syrupy consistency.

You want the apples softened but they should still have some texture to them. It’s better to err on the firm side with the apple pieces, as they will soften even further during baking.

Apple pie filling in a large skillet.

It’s important to use a large skillet with a large surface area instead of a pot or saucepan, because the larger surface area speeds up the moisture evaporation. This ensures that a lot of the moisture released by the apples has evaporated by the time the apples have softened, so that the final filling isn’t too wet (which could otherwise lead to leakage during baking).

Allow the apple pie filling to cool to room temperature and then chill in the fridge until needed. Chilling the filling firms up the butter and therefore thickens the syrupy juices even further, which helps when it comes to assembling the turnovers.

The gluten free puff pastry

You can read all about my 100% fail-proof gluten free puff pastry here – it’s really an incredibly reliable, quick and easy way of preparing gluten free puff pastry that’s suitable even for baking beginners. The puff pastry blog post includes detailed step-by-step photos and helpful tips to help you along.

The recipe makes a 500g (a bit over 1lb) block of puff pastry, and that’s just enough to make six generous gluten free apple turnovers.

And just look at how flaky and puffy the pastry is!!! (The photo below is of the gluten free puff pastry baked on its own, without any filling.)

Puff pastry sheets, cut in half, stacked on top of each other.

Assembling the gluten free apple turnovers

To assemble the gluten free apple turnovers:

  1. Roll out the gluten free puff pastry into a large 14×15-inch (36x39cm) rectangle. If you’re working on a smaller work surface or if you find it easier to work with smaller pieces of pastry, you can divide the pastry in half and roll it out into two smaller 10×10½-inch (26x27cm) rectangles instead. The pastry should be about 2-3mm thin.
  2. Divide the pastry into twelve 3½x5-inch (9x13cm) rectangles.
  3. Transfer six of the pastry rectangles onto a large lined baking sheet.
  4. Divide the chilled apple pie filling evenly between the six pastry rectangles (about 2-3 tablespoons of filling per each turnover). Arrange the filling in the centre of each rectangle, leaving a ½-inch (1.5cm) border free of the filling.
  5. Brush the egg wash lightly along the edges of the pastry.
  6. Place the other six pastry rectangles over the filling and press down along the edges to seal.
  7. Crimp the turnovers by pressing the tines of a fork along the edges.
  8. Brush the turnovers with egg wash, cut small slits in the top of each turnover, and sprinkle with some granulated or demerara sugar.
  9. And then: bake!

Baking the apple turnovers

When it comes to baking the gluten free apple turnovers, I like to pre-heat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC), place the apple turnovers in the oven and then immediately reduce the oven temperature to 400ºF (200ºC). The initial burst of heat ensures maximum flakiness and puffiness.

Bake the apple turnovers for about 25-30 minutes, or until they’re of a gorgeous golden brown colour and are crisp to the touch.

Gluten free apple turnovers on a large baking sheet lined with white parchment paper.

How to store gluten free apple turnovers

The turnovers are definitely at their very best on the day of baking – that’s when the pastry will be perfectly crisp, so that it shatters beautifully when you bite into it.

You can store the apple turnovers in a closed container for 3-4 days at room temperature but note that the pastry will soften with time as it absorbs some of the moisture from the apple pie filling. They will still be delicious, but the pastry won’t be as crisp after a few days.

Overhead view of gluten free apple turnovers on a sheet of white parchment paper.

And that covers just about everything you need to know in order to make these amazing gluten free apple turnovers. They’re seriously incredible, I could easily eat half the batch in one sitting – there’s just something so cosy and magical about the combination of buttery, crisp, flaky pastry and the juicy, spiced apple pie filling.

I hope you’ll love them as much as I do.

Happy baking!

Signature of the author, Kat.

Gluten free apple turnover broken in half, on a baking sheet lined with white parchment paper.

More amazing fall desserts

If you’re looking for more incredibly delicious fall desserts, you’re definitely in the right place!

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Easy Gluten Free Apple Turnovers

These gluten free apple turnovers combine my 100% reliable, perfectly flaky homemade gluten free puff pastry with a juicy, spiced apple pie filling – and they’re absolutely incredible. They’re also really easy to make and they’re just the perfect fall dessert.
Note that the prep time below *does not* include the preparation of the gluten free puff pastry.
Print Rate
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook/Bake Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Servings 6 turnovers

Ingredients

  • 30 g (¼ stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 medium (about 750g, 1½ lb) slightly tart, firm eating apples, cored, peeled and diced into ½-inch (1-1.5cm) pieces (I recommend apple varieties such as Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Jazz or Braeburn.)
  • 75 g (¼ cup + 2 tbsp) light brown soft sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 batch homemade gluten free puff pastry (The recipe makes a 500g/about 1lb block of puff pastry, you'll need the full amount for these apple turnovers.)
  • 1 US large/UK medium egg, whisked (for egg wash)
  • 1 tbsp granulated or demerara sugar (for sprinkling the turnovers before baking, optional)

Instructions

Gluten free puff pastry:

  • Prepare the gluten free puff pastry as per the recipe.
    You can prepare the puff pastry in advance and then keep it either in the fridge (for up to 1 week) or in the freezer (for up to 1 month).
    If you've kept the puff pastry in the freezer, give it enough time to thaw (either at room temperature or in the fridge overnight) before you start assembling the apple turnovers.

Apple pie filling:

  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter.
    Tip: It’s important to use a large skillet with a large surface area instead of a pot or saucepan, because the larger surface area speeds up the moisture evaporation. This ensures that a lot of the moisture released by the apples will have evaporated by the time the apples have softened, so that the final filling won't be too wet (which could otherwise lead to leakage during baking).
  • Add the diced apples, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and salt, and stir to combine.
  • Cook for 5-6 minutes over medium-high heat with occasional stirring, until the apples are softened and the juices have thickened into a thick, syrupy consistency.
    Tip: You want the apples softened but they should still have some texture to them. It’s better to err on the firm side with the apple pieces, as they will soften even further during baking.
  • Allow the apple pie filling to cool to room temperature and then chill in the fridge until needed.
    Tip: Chilling the filling firms up the butter and therefore thickens the syrupy juices even further, which helps when it comes to assembling the turnovers.

Assembling the apple turnovers:

  • Adjust the oven rack to the middle position, pre-heat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC) and line a large baking sheet with parchment/baking paper.
  • Before you start rolling out the gluten free puff pastry, make sure that it's not too cold and therefore too hard, as that can lead to it cracking as you roll it out.
    It should be pliable and malleable enough so that you can easily roll it out. If you press down on it with a finger, it should leave an indentation – but it should feel firm, not too soft to the touch.
  • On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the gluten free puff pastry into a large 14x15-inch (36x39cm) rectangle. The pastry should be about 2-3mm thin.
    Tip: If you’re working on a smaller work surface or if you find it easier to work with smaller pieces of pastry, you can divide the pastry in half and roll it out into two smaller 10x10½-inch (26x27cm) rectangles instead.
  • Divide the pastry into twelve 3½x5-inch (9x13cm) rectangles.
  • Transfer six of the pastry rectangles onto a large lined baking sheet.
  • Divide the chilled apple pie filling evenly between the six pastry rectangles (about 2-3 tablespoons of filling per each turnover). Arrange the filling in the centre of each rectangle, leaving a ½-inch (1.5cm) border free of the filling.
  • Brush the whisked egg lightly along the edges of the pastry.
    Tip: Egg washing the edges will help to seal the pastry together which in turn prevents the apple pie filling juices from leaking out during baking.
  • Place the other six pastry rectangles over the filling and press down along the edges to seal.
  • Crimp the turnovers by pressing the tines of a fork along the edges.
  • Brush the turnovers with egg wash, cut small slits in the top of each turnover, and sprinkle with some granulated or demerara sugar.

Baking the turnovers:

  • Place the assembled apple turnovers into the oven pre-heated to 425ºF (220ºC), close the oven doors and then immediately reduce the oven temperature to 400ºF (200ºC).
    Tip: The initial burst of intense heat ensures maximum flakiness and puffiness of the pastry.
  • Bake at 400ºF (200ºC) for 25-30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown, puffed up and crisp.
  • Transfer the baked apple turnovers from the baking sheet onto a wire rack to cool. You can serve them either warm or at room temperature.

Storage:

  • The turnovers are at their very best on the day of baking – that’s when the pastry will be perfectly crisp, so that it shatters beautifully when you bite into it.
    You can store the apple turnovers in a closed container for 3-4 days at room temperature but note that the pastry will soften with time as it absorbs some of the moisture from the apple pie filling. They will still be delicious, but the pastry won’t be as crisp after a few days.
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