Thursday, February 18, 2010

apple turnovers

 When I first starting thinking about writing a food blog, I remember talking it over with one of my high school friends over facebook chat.  We hadn't talked in about ten years...basically since graduation!  In our conversation, it came out that we both were interested in finding ways to reduce the fat in the comfort food that we grew up eating...and we were both serious about making sure that flavor didn't get reduced in the process.

Jessica gave me the encouragement I needed and a challenge to go along with it.  She specifically requested that I find a way to make flaky apple turnovers that were as good as the ones featured on this blog post.  Well, Jessica...I did my best...and I liked the result.  This one's for you!

I think apple turnovers are best when they are fresh.  And, since there are only two people in my household, I make two turnovers (nevermind that each one is worth about 2 servings).  If you have more've got some options.  You can actually stick to the serving size and cut the turnovers in half before serving.  You can be more industrious than I am and actually just make smaller turnovers in the first place.  Or you can triple the recipe, neglect to tell your guests that each turnover is worth two servings, and giggle quietly to yourself while they demolish their healthy dessert.  Your call.

First things first...grab an apple!  Most people prefer the tart apples like Granny Smith for this sort of thing.  I just choose whichever looks cutest in the store at the time.  I think this is a Gala.

Chop your apple into pieces.  Easy enough.

To actually assemble the turnover, we are going to use Phyllo dough.  It's thin, so it makes a nice flaky crust when stacked on top of itself.  But it's also a lower fat alternative to traditional flaky crusts.  I love it!  Other ingredients you will need - butter or butter substitute, sugar, and cinnamon.

I should note here that you want to make sure you take time to thaw your Phyllo dough before making your dessert.  There's nothing more depressing than talking yourself into an apple turnover only to find out that you have to wait two hours for the Phyllo to thaw.

I have personal experience...believe me, it will scar you for life.

Lay out one piece of your nicely thawed Phyllo dough on the counter, and cover the rest with a damp paper towel (to keep them from drying out).  Thinly brush some melted butter over the top of the dough sheet.  You don't need to cover every inch, and it doesn't need to be saturated.  Your goal is to give it enough moisture to get the next layer to stick.

After you brush on a bit o' butter, lay another sheet of Phyllo dough on top.  Repeat brushing with butter and laying dough sheets until you've got a stack of dough about 5-6 sheets thick.  You should only have used at most a tablespoon of melted butter.  If you want to go even lighter, try spraying each sheet of dough lightly with cooking spray instead of using the butter. 

Place 1/2 of the apple pieces on the middle center of the dough stack.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon sugar.  Dot the top with up to 1/2 teaspoon of butter.

Fold the ends in...

...and then roll it up like a burrito.  If you need to, brush with a little butter along the way to get the dough to stick to itself.

Repeat with the other turnover.

Bake your turnovers at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes.  I generally put a piece of foil over the top after 20 minutes (to keep it from over-browning) and then let it go for another 10 minutes, just to ensure that my filling is good and cooked.

Now for the icing!  Mix 1/2 cup of powdered sugar with 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and enough milk (or milk substitute) to get a good glazing consistency.  I used about 2 teaspoons of milk.

No need to wait for your turnovers to away!

Yum.  Yum, yum, yum.  And just wait until you cut into it...


Apple Turnovers
1 apple, peeled and chopped
10-12 sheets Phyllo dough, thawed
2 T. plus 1 t. butter or butter substitute
1 t. sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 t. vanilla
2 t. milk or milk substitute

Melt two tablespoons of butter.  Spread a sheet of Phyllo dough on counter and brush melted butter over top.  Layer another Phyllo sheet on top.  Continue until you have a stack of dough about 5-6 sheets high.  Repeat.

For each turnover, place 1/2 of the apple pieces the center of the dough.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and 1/2 t. sugar.  Fold sides in and roll up like a burrito.  Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes, or until filling is cooked.

For icing, mix together powdered sugar, vanilla, and enough milk to form a glazing consistency.  Spread glaze over warm turnovers.  Serves 4.

Nutrition for 1/2 turnover (calculated using Smart Balance Light): 254 cal, 6g fat,2g sat fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 277mg sodium, 47g carbs, 2g fiber, 20g sugars, 4g protein, 9% vit A, 3% vit. C, 2% calcium, 9% iron.

Compare those nutritional stats to the original recipe...

Nutrition for original recipe (I'm assuming it makes about 10 turnovers): 1 turnover equals 609 cal, 36g fat, 13g sat fat, 0g trans fat, 45mg cholesterol, 263 sodium, 68g carbs, 2g fiber, 27g sugars, 6g protein, 30% vit. A, 5% vit. C, 5% calcium, 14% iron.

That's concoction has 1/6 of the fat...success!!!

This post is proudly linked to Foodie Friday (happy anniversary!) and the Saturday Blog Showcase!


  1. It looks delicious as well as easy, two things I like!

  2. You and your friend Jessica sound like you both are into healthier eating which is wonderful. I have to say that you now having me craving an apple turnover now:)

  3. Oh, this looks delicious. Two of my favorite products to use are frozen phyllo and frozen puff pastry :)


  4. You did a good job! They look very delicious. I have to admit I have never used phyllo dough. I plan on using it for the first time with this recipe.

  5. Your the best ever Kristin!!! These look amazing and I am making them Sunday! Yum!!!!! Keep cooking... I love your recipes!

  6. This looks like it would be the perfect dessert for just two people in the house, Kristin! Thanks so much for showing each step. I'm not exactly sure how to roll a burrito, since I've never made them, but I'll figure it out.

    BTW, your link to the source of the recipe in your second paragraph is not working at the moment. I'll check back later.
    Thanks for posting this!

  7. Great work on putting this fabulous post together! Your apple desserts look sooooo amazing! Thanks for posting and for your visit! Have a great day! Coralie

  8. Your turnovers look delicious. I usually cheat and make them with purchased puff pastry. But I really like the idea of using phyllo.

    I tried to open the link to the blog you are showcasing, but the link doesn't work for me.

    Thanks for participating on the Saturday Blog Showcase.

  9. Blog link should be working now! And to roll up like a burrito, just fold the opposite ends over (at least that's how I do it). I'm sure there are other ways. Your goal is simply to get the apples inside the flaky crust. :-)

  10. Wow, this looks so easy but yum, yum, yummy too! And I usually have all these ingredients on hand, so there's no excuse not to whip one up.

    ~ Amy from She Wears Many Hats

  11. This looks delicious. I love phyllo desserts and this looks easy (if I remember to take the phyllo out of the freezer!) Perfect step-by-step photos!

  12. Looks very good, and I like that it is lighter!

  13. Wow!!!! That's awesome! I love the humor in your post too. :-) It makes cooking sound like so much fun! :-)

  14. Great blog! These apple turnovers looks great and I'm so glad I came across your blog today because I've had phyllo dough in the freezer for the past month and I didn't know what to make with you. :)

  15. Made this when I needed dessert in a pinch. My guests loved them! I thought there might have been a bit too much vanilla in the frosting, but everyone else thought it was perfect. The only problem I had was the way I folded/rolled them (in thirds) I ended up with a very thick bottom portion of phyllo dough. This made for a tough bottom which was hard to cut with a fork. Next time I'll try to roll them more equally such that I don't end up with so many layers of dough on the bottom.


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