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Gluten Free Apple Turnovers – requested and delivered!
Rejoice! We finally have Gluten Free Apple Turnovers that even the wheat-eaters will devour (if we let them). By VERY popular request, this recipe is shared with my love.
When I created my Gluten Free Puff (Rough Puff) Pastry a few months back and asked what you would like to see me make with it, Apple Turnovers was the most requested suggestion. How could I refuse?
Read on for the know-how and recipe that will take you back to your pre-Coeliac days and trips to the local bakery… Crisp and flaky pastry triangled around buttery, caramelised apples… Temptingly delicious with or without whipped cream.
The history of Apple Turnovers
Now here’s the thing. Apple Turnovers were such a ubiquitous part of my childhood, that I grew up thinking they were British. It turns out I was wrong! Because like so many pastry delights, this humble hand-held apple pie has its origins in 17th Century France… As the Chausson aux Pommes.
The story goes that back in 1630, there was a health epidemic in St Calais in the Sarthe region of France. To help relieve the suffering, the lady of the town (the chatelaine) gave flour and apples to the town’s poor… Out of this was created the pastry we now know and love as Apple Turnovers.
The health of the population improved and (unlikely as it is) this was put down to the pies… Either way, a medieval celebration ensued. And now, every year on the first weekend in September, the Fête du Chausson aux Pommes is held to honour its miraculous history.
What is the best pastry for making Gluten Free Apple Turnovers?
Traditionally, Apple Turnovers are made with puff pastry. And while there are various gluten free shortcrust imposters out there, I take the view that Coeliacs and gluten-avoiders deserve tradition and deserve the best.
Although commercially-made gluten free puff pastry is now available in supermarkets (and if you wish to use it go ahead), I find it to be excessively oily, sometimes a little odd in flavour and lacking the necessary flake and puff. Thus, for truly buttery, flaky and light Gluten Free Apple Turnovers that rival their wheat cousins, you’ll need to make your own.
Don’t panic! It’s easy to knock up a batch using my Gluten Free Puff (Rough Puff) Pastry recipe. Head over to the Puff Pastry blog post for all the information you need and step-by-step photos to help you. I promise you won’t look back… It’s that easy to make! And it tastes so amazing, you’ll never want to eat the ready-made stuff ever again.
Ingredients for the apple filling
The apple filling for Apple Turnovers varies from one recipe to another. Some fillings are very wet with either apple or caramel sauce, others less so. Equally, there are recipes using raw apples to fill the pastry and recipes that cook them first. Either way, the base ingredients are largely similar…
Not all apples are equal… When making Apple Turnovers (gluten free or otherwise) choose a variety that is firm and tart. This will ensure the most appley of flavours and tasty chunks of fruit. Cooking apples such as Bramley are good. Although I prefer a sharp ‘eater’ such as Granny Smith or Pink Lady for making these pies.
- Lemon Juice – This adds a little extra tartness and (more importantly) keeps the apple cubes from oxidising.
- Corn Starch (standard UK Cornflour) – This coats the apples and thickens any liquid into sauce.
- Butter – To sauté the apple and give the filling its characteristic buttery flavour.
- Sugar – I use soft light brown sugar or coconut sugar for a caramel richness. But if you prefer your filling to be lighter in colour, just use white caster or granulated sugar. I’ve not ‘over-sugared’ the filling so that the apples shine. But feel free to add a little more if you prefer your Apple Turnovers extra sweet.
- Cinnamon – While adding a little spice is optional, cinnamon with apple is one of life’s great flavour pairings. For me, an Apple Turnover needs a little cinnamon.
- Pinch of salt – This is equally optional. However, a tiny bit of salt will always enhance the individual flavours on the palate.
- Sultanas – Possibly a little off-piste and no doubt controversial. And yes… sultanas are optional! But if you want to take your Apple Turnovers ‘up’ a level and give them an alternative texture, throw a handful into the mix.
To cream or not to cream…
Whether cream should be directly piped into an Apple Turnover is a matter of choice. I prefer to have my whipped cream on the plate for dipping (or not to have it at all) rather than squelching out of the side. But many of you requested Apple Turnovers with cream… So I’ve given the option to slice and pipe if that’s what you love.
If you do decide to fill the turnovers with cream, I’d advise whipping the cream with a little Mascarpone cheese to help stabilize it. Then… using a sharp knife, carefully slice along the seam of each Apple Turnover, prize open a little and pipe cream along the open edge.
Tips for making the BEST Gluten Free Apple Turnovers
For anyone who hasn’t made Gluten Free Apple Turnovers before, here are my top tips…
- Make your own Gluten Free Puff Pastry for the best flaky lightness.
- Pre-cook the apple filling (regardless of what other recipes say). Filling the pies with raw apples leads to soggy pastry and unevenly cooked chunks that are semi-raw.Cooking the apples ahead steams off excess liquid and keeps the pastry crisp.
- Don’t overcook the apples. Aim for ‘bite’ without being mushy. Mushy is never good! It’s a fine balance helped not just by carefully chosen apple variety, but by careful cooking.
- Cool the apple filling completely before making the turnovers. A warm filling will melt the pastry butter and ruin the pies!
- Roll the pastry thin, but not too thin. 3 to 5 mm is good… Any thinner and the pastry is likely to split either when filling and folding or in the oven. And the puff won’t be as good either.
- Use a pizza cutter wheel to cut the pastry into squares for the cleanest lines.
- Don’t overfill the pies. Too much filling may lead to split pastry (when you try to pull it over the filling) and almost definitely to leakage in the oven.
- Be gentle when folding the pastry over the filling. My gluten free puff pastry is amazing, but will still lack the full elasticity gained from gluten.
- Chill the Turnovers before baking for the best stability and puff.
How to store your Turnovers
For the crispest, flakiest pastry, Apple Turnovers are best eaten the day they are made… warm OR cold. However, if you have any left at bedtime (and you’re not planning a midnight feast), they can also be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for about 3 days. Be aware that although still delicious, the pastry will soften a little over time with the moisture from the apple filling.
If the Apple Turnovers are filled with cream, they MUST be stored in the fridge.
Ready to make Gluten Free Apple Turnovers?
And that’s it… Crisp, light, flaky Gluten Free Apple Turnovers with a perfectly spiced and buttery cinnamon apple filling. Simple to make… and utterly delicious to eat. The recipe is just below… I hope you love them.
Head over to the main Gluten Free Recipe Index to browse all my other recipes. They’re all shared for free with my love
Apple Turnovers (with Puff Pastry)
- chopping board
- sharp knife
- oven + hob
- 3 sharp eating apples (eg Granny Smith) or medium Bramley Apples – peeled, cored and cut into cubes (1 to 1½ cm)
- ¾ tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp corn starch (UK cornflour) or arrowroot powder
- 20 g butter
- 40 g soft light brown sugar or caster/granulated as preferred
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch fine sea salt
- 40 g sultanas (optional)
Glaze & Crunch
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 2 tsp demerara sugar or granulated sugar to sprinkle
- 450 g Gluten Free Alchemist puff (rough puff) pastry (approximate weight)
To add whipped cream…
- 350 g double or whipping cream (optional)
- 50 g Mascarpone cheese
- 1 tbsp icing (powdered) sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
- Prepare the apple cubes and set aside in a bowl with the lemon juice and cornstarch (cornflour) folded through.
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, then add the apple and lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.
- Cook for about 5 to 6 minutes (stirring intermittently) until the apple is starting to soften, but is still in distinct cubes and the juices have become syrupy.
- Take the pan off the heat and add the sultanas. Stir through.
- Cool the mixture completely.
Making the Turnovers
- Base-line a large baking tray with baking paper.
- Roll the pastry into a rectangle (36 x 26 cm about 3 to 5 mm thick) (or two strips 36 x 13).
- Cut it carefully into 6 squares (13 x 13 cm). Use either a very sharp knife or a pizza-cutting wheel for clean lines.
- Divide the cold apple mixture between the squares placing in the centre of each.
- Brush the edges of the pastry squares with beaten egg.
- Fold the pastry over the filling (corner to corner) into a triangle and seal the edges by gently pressing them together.
- Fork crimp the two sealed edges and arrange on the baking tray.
- Chill in the freezer for 10 minutes or in the fridge for 20 mins.
- Preheat the oven to 220 C (425 F).
- Brush the top of the uncooked turnovers with egg wash glaze and cut a small slit in the top of each (to allow steam to escape).
- Sprinkle liberally with demerara (or granulated) sugar.
- Pop the tray into the oven at 220 C, close the door and bake for 3 mins. Then turn the oven down to 200 C (400 F).
- Bake for a further 15 – 18 minutes until puffed and dark golden.
- Leave on the tray to cool. If eating straight away, be aware the filling is very hot.
To add whipped cream…
- With a whisk, beat together the cream, Mascarpone, icing sugar and vanilla until it holds as medium-soft peaks.
- Transfer to a piping bag fitted with an open star tip nozzle.
- When the Apple Turnovers are completely cold, very carefully cut a slit down the whole of the central pastry seam using a very sharp knife.
- Gently prise open the slit to allow enough of a gap to pipe and fill with a line of cream.
© 2019-2024 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist
Apple Turnovers shared with
- What’s for Dinner #458 with The Lazy Gastronome
- Full Plate Thursday with Miz Helen’s Country Cottage
- Fiesta Friday with Angie