Cakes, Pies & Tarts, Dessert

Apple Pear Turnovers

Nicoletta November 23, 2016

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Apple Pear Turnovers: a beautiful golden brown pocket full of goodness. The homemade pie crust so flaky and crunchy, with an apple pear combination filling, that is  succulent, juicy, and sweet.

Apple Pear Turnovers

I don’t know how many days you can go without seeing the sun, but I can tell you that this constant, bleary grey is starting to affect me. It’s been weeks that there is a thick, gloomy film on the sky. I watch outside my window and everything is washed-out and colorless. Indoor, the light is on indefinitely, unless ones like to be in the dark. The air seems to sit still in this woolly, hazy state: no snow, no rain, no sun, no wind. Not too cold, certainly not warm. You often hear me ranting about the weather in my posts, I cannot help it, the state of the atmosphere has an impact on me.



I come from another Country, and from a city that is blessed with sunny blue sky most of the time. I haven’t been here long enough for my body to get used to the cold, nor for my soul to take in all the grey and blah without suffering. My skin longs for warmth, my eyes miss the brightness, the glow. It’s well known that I don’t do well under these conditions. Lately I’ve got a cold and sore throat that seem to be stuck to me like glue, and on top of that, I developed a cold sore (if it’s called “cold sore” there must be a reason 😉 ). Talk about psychosomatic illness 🙂 . Even the cats, my trusty companions, all they do is doze. They make me want to curl up with a blanket and sleep until I am woken up by the kiss of a sun ray.

But I don’t do that. Instead, I bake.


I used the last of the apples gently given to us by Margaret Kitchen Frau. Beautiful, sweet and tart, organic apples, that have graced many of our dishes lately. And I paired them with a wonderful, homemade, pie crust, from my go-to pie dough recipe from the Duchess cookbook, that never fails me. To make Apple Pear Turnovers.

Apple Pear Turnovers, the making of.

Of course you can use store bought pie dough, if time is not on your side, or if you’re not comfortable yet making your own pie dough. They’ll still be good, at least you’ll get to choose what to put in the filling, especially how much sugar you’re going to use, because usually the store bought ones are packed with refined sugars. But I encourage you to try making your own, it is not that hard, and you’ll be so proud of yourself after. As for me, I have tons of time to kill, plus the making of the dough has always been a pleasurable and therapeutic activity. The food processor does all the hard work, blending flour, butter, vegetable shortening, pinch of salt and water. The dough needs to stay cold, so not too much work required, a gentle shaping in two balls and in the fridge to rest for at least half hour. I used one and placed the other one in the freezer, it’s going to come in handy another time. When you take it out the freezer, you have to let it thaw and it’s going to be as good as if it was freshly made.

Apple Pear Turnovers

As for the filling, I kept it simple. Just a squeeze of lemon on the peeled and cubed apples and pear (prevents the browning and adds a lovely  citrus-y flavor), then I tossed them in a sauce pan with some butter, maple syrup, brown sugar, just a pinch of nutmeg and cardamom and cooked them until soft. No cinnamon this time for me, but if you want you can add it, it is always a great spice to pair with apples.

Once the dough is rolled out, I used a little square ceramic baking dish (4,5 inch or 11 cm) to cut the squares. In goes the filling, not too much or it will be hard to to fold it over and seal the edges (I used a fork to crimp). Egg wash on top, few cuts for ventilation, a sprinkle of sugar and in the oven they go.

Apple Pear Turnovers

After 25-30 minutes the smell will drag you to the oven door and your Apple Pear Turnovers will be ready, a beautiful golden brown pocket full of goodness. Flaky, crunchy, succulent, juicy, and sweet. And you’ll get to eat it with your hands, having fun, while adding a tactile dimension and engaging all of your senses.

Apple Pear Turnovers

I kept one for me, to taste and take the picture below. The rest of the Apple Pear Turnovers came with me and were enjoyed as a dessert at a Girls’ Night dinner. Where five gorgeous Zen Divas had a magical night sharing incredible food, wine, love and laughter.

Because that’s what friends are for, they bring the sunshine into your life.

Apple Pear Turnovers

Song of the day: “That’s What Friends Are For”, Dionne Warwick.

Apple Pear Turnovers

Apple Pear Turnovers

  • Author: Nicoletta
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 7 turnovers 1x
  • Category: Sweets
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: North American


Apple Pear Turnovers: a beautiful golden brown pocket full of goodness. The homemade pie crust so flaky and crunchy, with an apple pear combination filling, that is succulent, juicy, and sweet.


Duchess Cookbook Easy Mixer Pie Dough (makes 2 x 9-inch pie shells):

  • 320 g (2 cups) organic, unbleached all purpose flour
  • 113 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cubed, cold
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) vegetable shortening, cubed,cold
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 121 g (1/2 cup) ice water

Apple and Pear Filling:

  • 3 small apples
  • 1 medium pear
  • lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of cardamom
  • Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water)


For the pie dough:

  1. Place the flour, butter, shortening, salt in a stand mixer bowl. Mix on low speed until the you see crumbles and the mixture seems a bit dry. Do not overmix.
  2. Add the ice-cold water and mix on medium speed until the dough just comes together. You should still be able to see lumps of fat in the dough.
  3. Shape the dough into 2 balls, wrap each in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days. If you’re using just one, at this point you can freeze the other ball (it will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months).
  4. In the meantime, pre heat the oven to 400° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Cut the apples in cubes, squeeze in the lemon juice to prevent browning.
  6. In a sauce pan over medium heat, heat up the butter, add the apples and pear, the maple syrup, brown sugar, nutmeg and cardamom. Stir, then reduce heat and cook for about 5 minutes or until apples and pear are tender. Set aside to cool slightly.
  7. After the 30 minutes, or more, in the fridge, take the dough out, lightly flour your work surface and place the cold pie dough, sprinkling some more flour on top. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough from the centre outward, using more flour if needed to prevent from sticking. Roll the dough in a rectangle about 1/2 cm thick.
  8. Using a square mold (mine was 11 cm, 4 1/2 inch), cut into squares (I had 7 squares)
  9. Brush the edge of each square with egg wash and spoon apple/pear mixture onto the center of each.
  10. Fold each in half diagonally to form a triangle. With a fork, press edges together to seal.
  11. Transfer the turnovers to the prepared baking sheet, and brush with egg wash.
  12. With a sharp knife cut a few vents into each turnover. If you have it, spoon some of the apple/pear juice into the vents, then sprinkle some sugar on top.
  13. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden, then take out of the oven and transfer to a cooling rack.
  14. Enjoy!
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Spiced Apple Hand Pies



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  • Avatar
    Reply annika November 23, 2016 at 9:21 am

    Love that you use both apple and pear! They look delicious!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta November 24, 2016 at 9:39 am

      Thank you Annika! I found the combination apple and pear to be perfect in these turnovers, would do it again!

  • Avatar
    Reply karrie @ Tasty Ever After November 23, 2016 at 9:22 am

    I feel you girl because I dislike cold and always need the sun (I grew up in South Florida). It’s pretty sunning in New Hampshire, even during the winter, but we just had about 3 days of grey skies and I about lost it. I should been baking these yummy little turnovers instead to get me out of my funk. Definitely making these soon. How fun on the girls night dinner too! Love getting together with my girlfriends and cooking at home too 🙂

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta November 24, 2016 at 9:42 am

      Hi Karrie, thanks so much for your understanding 🙂 ! Today finally the sun is showing is face, we had 2 solid weeks without even a ray! Not because I made them, but these turnovers are absolutely delicious. Hope you try! Love girls’ nights, each of us cooked something and we shared.

  • Avatar
    Reply Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.) November 24, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    Apples and pear in these turnovers look delicious! I am NOT a winter person even after 15+ years here in Canada. The Australian warmth is in my blood I guess. These turnovers could add some warmth to a chilly day though!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta November 24, 2016 at 8:47 pm

      I don’t know if I’ll ever get used 😉. But baking, and these turnovers in particular, help 😊. Thank you for your comment!

  • Avatar
    Reply Margaret @ Kitchen Frau November 25, 2016 at 8:15 am

    Nicoletta, I can imagine how you must feel during these grey days – just thinking of the sunny skies of Italy. I was born here and still get my mood affected a lot by this discouraging weather – it’s usually really bad about February. Looks like you’ve discovered the same cure I use – holing up in my kitchen with cozy baking and warm spices and happy get-togethers with friends. Those little things make it more bearable. I guess we have to make our own sunshine inside. (So glad you’re enjoying the apples 🙂 )

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta November 25, 2016 at 11:48 am

      Thank you Margaret, yes, we really enjoyed your apples! We’re already thinking about next year supply 😉 . There are days I really miss my city a lot, and that includes the weather, my family and friends, the whole atmosphere.

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