Thanksgiving Dessert Buffet 3 – Apple Almond Turnover

Photo Nov 26, 1 12 12 PM

Bon Appetit Magazine was the source for the majority of the desserts in the Great Thanksgiving Dessert Buffet. (It’s grown to epic proportions since the second post.) The detail I’d neglected to mention in post 1 is that after I had offered to bring dessert,  my cousin’s mother said she was bringing pumpkin pie, so my cousin said I didn’t have to bring anything if I didn’t want to. But really, I’d bring dessert anywhere. (Got a flat tire on the side of the Mass Pike? Hey, I’ll bring you some chocolate chip cookies!)

The Apple Almond Aurnover was THE dessert I would have brought even if the 3-dessert gauntlet had not been thrown down. Pumpkin pie is super rich, and after a heavy meal, I wanted to balance  the rich traditional dessert with a lighter, slightly acidic dessert. Apples did the trick. But as many of you know, I am not a pie baker, so it was not going to be apple pie. (Which also, in my opinion, would have been just a tiny bit too sweet.)

When I saw this apple turnover with a bit of vinegar in the syrup, it was, in my mind, just the right combination of light, fruity, and acidic to balance the pumpkin pie. And, yes, the fact that it used frozen phyllo made it wicked easy. (Yep, that was for you, New Englanders. Happy Thanksgiving!) I whipped up a batch of my caramel sauce to serve with it, as well as some fresh whipped cream. It seem a bit naked without it.

Perhaps I should have been suspicious of the vinegar. But, hey, it’s Bon Appetit. They know what they are doing, right?. If a recipe in their magazine, it’s been tested, right? And maybe it’s part of the current trend of slightly savory desserts Or it’s a traditional preparation, right?

Yeah, I’m just not sure what was going on with this one. Maybe it’s a taste preference – other people at Thanksgiving Dinner really liked it. But I personally prefer not to have an apple tart that tastes like it’s filled with almost savory pickled apples. Or maybe there is an error in the recipe, and they meant to include less apple cider vinegar. Or maybe it was supposed to be apple cider not apple cider vinegar. 

This recipe calls for almond paste, which I neither had, nor had a nearby source for. Why the Italian salumeria around the corner doesn’t carry it, I just don’t know. But their lack of it compelled me to investigate how hard it was going to be to make, and it’s actually pretty easy, and tastes better than the store-bought one. I’m posting the recipe separately though, so that this post isn’t 5 miles long.

Apple Almond Turnover (adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine November 2015)


  • 3 large Pink Lady apples, peeled, halved, cored
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • ½ vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
  • 1 14-ounce package frozen puff pastry (such as Dufour), thawed
  • All-purpose flour (for dusting)
  • 3½ ounces almond paste
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Vanilla ice cream (for serving; optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Place apples in a large baking dish and add vinegar, brown sugar, and ¾ cup water; scrape in seeds from vanilla bean and add pod.
  3. Toss to coat apples and roast, turning apples occasionally and adding a splash of water if pan looks dry at any point, until apples are tender and starting to brown and juices are syrupy, 35–40 minutes.
  4. Let apples cool in pan; discard vanilla pod. Reduce oven temperature to 375°.
  5. Roll out puff pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 14×11″ rectangle.
  6. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, placing a short end nearest to you.
  7. Roll out almond paste on a lightly floured surface to about a 11×4″ rectangle and place lengthwise on the left-hand side of pastry, leaving a 1½” border on the left side, like this:


Photo Nov 26, 11 39 15 AM


NOT like this. (Which yes, happened on the first of the two tarts it made because I don’t always read directions carefully.)

wrong layout

  1. Arrange apple halves in a single row, slightly overlapping, on top of almond paste and drizzle any pan juices over.

Photo Nov 26, 11 42 23 AM

  1. Dot apples with butter and fold a long side of pastry up and over apples to create a long rectangle.
  2. Using a fork, crimp all open edges firmly to seal; trim crimped sides just enough to tidy edges.
  3. Whisk egg with 1 tsp. water in a small bowl and brush pastry with egg wash; sprinkle with granulated sugar. Cut several slits in top of the puff pastry to vent.

Photo Nov 26, 11 55 57 AM


  1. Bake turnover, rotating baking sheet halfway through, until pastry is puffed and deeply browned, 40–45 minutes. Let cool slightly.

I served it with a drizzle of caramel sauce and a generous dollop of fresh whipped cream, which did not temper the pickled taste, in my opinion. Rather, it seemed to somewhat just clash. But again, that may just be personal taste. Don’t let this dissuade you, though. The recipe is quite easy, and comes out quite beautiful. If the apples were soaked in a different syrup, it may have been great. Stay tuned because I will definitely try that in the future! (And maybe even with…pears!)

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