Caramel Apple Turnovers Recipe

One of our favorite fall treats is a classic caramel apple, but these are perhaps best suited for early autumn when it's still warm enough to eat them outdoors. Imagine chowing down on one while visiting a harvest festival or navigating a corn maze, for instance. But, once the weather cools down to the point where we'd rather be indoors, caramel apples are a bit too messy to consume inside, at least while snuggling under a blanket.

That doesn't mean we can't still enjoy this most delightful of fall flavor combos in a somewhat less sticky form. Recipe developer Jessica Morone created these caramel apple turnovers that are all-around perfect to enjoy with a cup of coffee (maybe pumpkin spice flavored, if you wish) on a chilly day. 

"The thing I love about this recipe," Morone tells us, "is how the flavors come together and how delicious it is. The flaky turnover dough with the tart apples and the sweet caramel all go together so perfectly."

Assemble the ingredients for apple turnovers

The ingredient list for this recipe is short and sweet: a package of frozen puff pastry (this is usually found in the frozen foods section of your store), three Granny Smith apples, salted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch, and an egg. You can also buy or make some caramel sauce to drizzle over the finished turnovers.

If you're surprised to see salted butter listed here when so many recipes want you to have the unsalted kind on hand, Morone has an explanation. "I like using salted butter in recipes because I think it gives things a better flavor," she says. She also claims that it's more convenient in this case, because "using salted butter means you don't have to measure out and add salt to this recipe." 

With only 2 tablespoons of butter called for here, there's no need to worry too much about the extra sodium. Indeed, Morone says the turnovers won't taste salty at all. In fact, if you do use the caramel sauce, you might even want to sprinkle a little salt on the topping of the finished turnovers to get that oh-so-trendy (but still tasty) salted caramel flavor sensation.

Prepare the apples for baking

Start off this recipe by peeling, coring, and chopping the apples up into small, bite-sized chunks. While you could conceivably use other apples, do your best to get that green Granny Smith variety for maximum flavor and the best texture. Morone tells us "I love baking with Granny Smith apples because their tart flavor balances out the sweetness of the caramel sauce in the turnovers, and because they hold their shape well." She does say, however, that "if you think Granny Smith apples are too tart you can swap in whatever apple type you like better."

Once your apples are chopped, put them in a medium-sized saucepan along with the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch. Set the stove burner to medium and cook the apples for 5 minutes, until the mixture is starting to bubble and the apples are getting soft. Then, turn the heat down and simmer the apples for 5 more minutes until the sauce begins to thicken. Turn the heat off and let the apple mixture sit for a further 15 minutes in the pan so it can cool down.

Assemble the apple turnovers

As the apples are cooling, set the oven to 400 F to preheat. You should also spray 2 cookie sheets with baking spray or line them with parchment paper or an alternative like a silicone baking mat

Next, lightly flour a work surface, then unfold the puff pastry sheets. Cut each one into 4 even squares. When the apple mixture is cool enough, scoop up about ¼ cup and center it in the middle of a pastry square. Fold the dough over to make a triangle-shaped turnover, then seal the edges by crimping them together with a fork. Put 4 turnovers on each baking sheet, making sure their sides don't touch.

Nervous about working with puff pastry? Don't be! Morone assures us "It's actually really easy to use pre-made puff pastry dough." She says "You just have to make sure it's thawed enough that it doesn't crack when you are using it." How much thaw time should you give it? According to Morone, "Leaving it out for a couple of hours before using it or putting it in the fridge overnight should get it to the right temperature."

Give the turnovers an egg wash before baking

Though it may look like you're ready to put the turnovers in the oven, hold off for just a minute. There's one more step to go, even if the oven has reached the proper temperature. Don't worry, though, as this is a quick treatment that will make your finished turnovers look bakery ready.

First, whisk an egg with 1 tablespoon water, making sure that the white and yolk are evenly combined. Then use a pastry brush to give the tops of the turnovers a light coating of this egg wash. Next, use a sharp knife to cut 3 little vents into the top of each turnover — this will help release steam and prevent any filling leaks. Now you can put them in the oven and let them bake for 20 minutes until they turn a lovely golden brown and smell like a little slice of heaven.

As for why the egg wash step is necessary, Morone says "The egg wash does 2 things for these turnovers, the most important is that it helps the edges stick together so that the turnovers don't open during baking. The second thing is that it gives the pastry its nice golden color while it bakes."

Caramel sauce makes these turnovers extra sweet

If you're wondering why these are called apple caramel turnovers, there are actually a couple of explanations in play. Morone points out that "The apples in this recipe are caramelized with brown sugar and butter, so you're getting caramel flavor in the turnover." 

That's great, but if you want these treats to come with a bit of extra caramel flavor, you always have the option to top them off with a drizzle of caramel sauce. Just let the turnovers cool a bit after they've come out of the oven, then drizzle the sauce right on top. For a salted caramel twist, sprinkle just a bit of flaky sea salt on top.

You can certainly make your own caramel sauce, though there's no problem with using a bit of the store-bought stuff, too. Morone tells us "I like to use Smucker's sundae syrup or Ghirardelli caramel sauce for easy toppings like in this recipe."

Caramel Apple Turnovers Recipe
5 from 19 ratings
These caramel apple turnovers made with flaky puff pastry are perfect to enjoy with a cup of coffee (maybe pumpkin spice flavored if you wish) on a chilly day.
Prep Time
30
minutes
Cook Time
20
minutes
Servings
8
turnovers
Basket of apple turnovers
Total time: 50 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 (17.3-ounce) package of frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 3 large Granny Smith Apples
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 egg
Optional Ingredients
  • Caramel sauce
  • Sea salt
Directions
  1. Peel, core, and cut the apples into small pieces.
  2. Add the cut apples, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch to a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, until the mixture is bubbly and the apples begin to soften.
  3. Lower the heat and simmer the mixture for another 5 minutes, until the caramel sauce has thickened.
  4. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool for at least 15 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  6. Lightly spray 2 baking pans with cooking spray or line them with parchment paper.
  7. Unfold the thawed puff pastry sheets onto a lightly floured surface. Cut each sheet into four even squares.
  8. Place about ¼ cup of the apple mixture in the center of each square. Fold the dough over to cover the apple mixture, then crimp the edges together with a fork.
  9. Place 4 turnovers on each baking sheet, spacing them so that the edges do not touch.
  10. Whisk together the egg and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl until well combined. Brush the tops of the turnovers with a light coating of this egg wash.
  11. Use a sharp knife to cut 3 small vents into the top of each turnover.
  12. Bake the turnovers for 20 minutes until they are golden brown.
  13. Once the turnovers have cooled, drizzle caramel sauce and sprinkle sea salt over them if desired.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 452
Total Fat 26.9 g
Saturated Fat 7.9 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 27.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 47.7 g
Dietary Fiber 3.3 g
Total Sugars 16.7 g
Sodium 186.5 mg
Protein 5.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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