"McDonald's apple pies... are unbelievably American." 

Homemade McDonald’s®-Style Baked Apple Turnovers

Total Time: Active time: 1 hour | Downtime: 23/4-hour refrigeration
Yield: 10 5-inch turnovers


  • 1 recipe No-Stress All-Butter Pastry Crust (page 150), divided
  • Apple Filling:
  • 1 1/2 cups | 1 1/2 ounces freeze-
  • dried apples
  • 1/2 cup | 3 1/2 ounces sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt (half as much if iodized)
  • 3 medium apples (about 20 ounces), such as Braeburn, Granny Smith, and/or Honeycrisp
  • 4 tablespoons | 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons | 1 1/2 ounces unsulfured molasses (not blackstrap) or sorghum
  • 1 tablespoon | 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Cinnamon Sugar:
  • 1/4 cup | 2 ounces sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Roll and cut the dough:
Roll each portion of dough into an 11-by-13-inch rectangle, using as much flour as needed to prevent sticking. Stack on a parchment-lined cutting board or baking sheet, with a sheet of parchment between them, cover with plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours, or up to 24.

Cut each chilled sheet into four 5-by-6-inch rectangles. Gather scraps, knead briefly, roll into a 6-by-13-inch strip, and cut two additional pieces. Arrange on two parchment-lined baking sheets and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

Fill the turnovers:
Combine freeze-dried apples, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Cover with a sheet of plastic to contain the dust, and grind until powdery and fine, about 1 minute. (This mixture will keep for up to a month in an airtight container, at room temperature.)

Peel, core, and dice the apples into 1/4-inch cubes. Measure exactly 12 ounces (3 level cups) into a large bowl, and set scraps aside for snacking. Even if it’s a very small amount, do not add any extra apples to the filling! Toss apples and apple-cinnamon powder together with a flexible spatula, then add melted butter, molasses, and lemon juice (this cannot be done in advance).

Imagine each portion of dough as an open book: Lightly brush the edges of the “right page” with water, then place 2 tablespoons filling inside that boundary. Close the “book” and crimp the short sides with a fork, leaving the long side open, like a pita pocket. Repeat with remaining dough. To finish, pick up each pastry and spoon in another tablespoon of filling, letting gravity help you work it into the corners. Return to the baking sheet and crimp with a fork to seal.

Refrigerate turnovers until firm, about 45 minutes, or up to 4 hours.

Bake the turnovers:
Adjust oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and preheat to 400°F. Mix sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl.

Lightly brush turnovers with water and sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar. Snip a few decorative slits across each with a pair of scissors. Bake until the turnovers are puffed, crisp, and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes before serving.

To keep the pastry crisp, store leftover turnovers at room temperature under a cake dome or upturned bowl, and rewarm in a hot oven before serving.

In an especially hot and humid summer kitchen, periodically refrigerate the dough to keep it cool and firm.