Sugar, Spice & Everything Nice Apple Turnovers (Gluten Free and Dairy Free Option)

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Gluten Free Dairy Free Apple Turnovers

Winter always makes me crave warm spicy desserts and this year is no exception. I love anything with cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom in it. My sister and I developed the following recipe for apple turnovers as an excuse to use these spices and a surplus of apples we received as a gift over the holidays. Now of course I know that January is the time that everyone makes New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, but these apple turnovers are about as healthy as it gets dessert wise. Also, they will give you a much needed treat in the inevitably long and holiday-less winter months post New Year’s. This recipe can be reserved for your allocated cheat day and you don’t even need to feel too guilty about it!

GF & DFO Apple Turnovers:Gluten Free Dairy Free Apple Turnovers

Makes 8 large turnovers or 16 small ones

For the actual turnover dough, I use this excellent recipe from Paleo Cupboard. I typically use it to make the traditional savory empanadas as suggested, but reworked it for this recipe to make it sweet. This recipe consistently has produced great results for me and has a nice crispy yet chewy texture that both I and my non gluten free husband equally enjoy. Please note: I have found that the amount of salt in the original recipe is too much for our tastes and I reduce it to a 1/2 tsp for the savory recipe and a 1/2 tsp for the sweet version when I double the recipe. 


For the Dough:

3 cups finely ground blanched almond flour (I use this one)

1 & 1/2 cups tapioca flour (I use this one)

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp cardamom

1/4-1/2 tsp of nutmeg

1/2 tsp of ginger

4 large eggs, whisked, plus one extra whisked egg for eggwash

6 Tbsp olive oil

Coconut palm sugar for sprinkling on turnovers prior to baking (optional)

For the Filling:

2 large apples

1 Tbsp of coconut oil or butter if not dairy free

1 tsp of cinnamon

3-4 Tbsp maple syrup (sweeten to your taste)

4 tsp tapioca flour mixed with 1 Tbsp of water

For Optional Icing:

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup of organic non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening or butter if not dairy free

1-2 Tbsp almond milk

1 tsp vanilla


For the Dough:

  • Whisk all dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.
  • Fold in wet ingredients until a dough ball forms. Your mixture will be somewhat sticky, but if very sticky add some additional tapioca flour. I find if I use the Anthony’s Almond Flour brand I get exactly the right consistency, but other almond flours have required some additional tapioca flour.Gluten Free Dairy Free Apple Turnovers
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate at minimum 10 minutes. You can leave in the refrigerator longer as needed to give yourself time to make the filling.

For the Filling:

  • Peel and chop apples into bit-sized pieces.
  • Heat butter or coconut oil in a large pan and add apples, cinnamon and sugar.
  • Cook the apples until tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Add in tapioca and water mixture and allow to cook on low until thickened.
  • Set aside and allow to cool completely.Gluten Free Dairy Free Apple Turnovers

To Assemble the Turnovers:

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and cut two extra pieces of parchment paper to assemble the turnovers.
  • Divide the dough into 8 or 16 equal parts and roll into balls.
  • Place one ball on the extra parchment paper and cover with the other extra paper. Use a rolling pin or your hands to flatten the ball into a disc. You want the discs to be about a 1/4 inch thick. Using parchment paper on both sides prevents the dough from getting too warm from your hands and tearing.Gluten Free Dairy Free Apple Turnovers
  • Remove top piece of parchment paper. Spoon the filling onto one side of the disc. Do not overfill as this will result in the dough breaking or filling leaking out during baking.Gluten Free Dairy Free Apple TurnoversGluten Free Dairy Free Apple Turnovers
  • Use parchment paper to fold disc in half over the filling.
  • Pinch disc ends together and press fork lightly around the edges to seal completely.
  • Repeat above steps for the remaining dough.
  • Transfer turnovers to lined cookie sheets and then brush with eggwash on one side and sprinkle with coconut palm sugar if desired.
  • Bake for 16-17 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Allow to cool for 10 minutes enjoy or make optional icing to drizzle on top per instructions below.Gluten Free Dairy Free Apple Turnovers

For Optional Icing:

  • Mix all icing ingredients together in small bowl
  • Add powdered sugar if too liquid and additional almond milk if too thick.
  • Drizzle over turnovers with knife.

I hope you enjoy this little treat post holidays!

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