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Cherry Turnovers

May 23, 2010

This weekend we decided to make cherry turnovers. This is a new recipe to us, and I can’t say I was overwhelmed by the results. We adapted this recipe very slightly from Recipe Girl, who adapted it from Sur la Table’s Art and Soul of Baking.

Max Using the Cherry Pitter

Eating While Pitting

I wanted Max to be able to pit the cherries for us, so I bought this cool little tool for him to use. It worked very well, but occasionally it missed the pit. Fortunately, we were halving the cherries too, so we found the errors and saved our teeth.

While he pitted cherries, I gathered the rest of the ingredients. The dough was made in a food processor, and I let him do all of the pulsing. He loves the food processor (because of the blades, of course). While the dough was chilling in the fridge, he pitted, I halved…

Adding lemon juice to the filling

…and then we made the filling.

Max eating a well-deserved snack after all that cherry pitting

Using a glass bowl to make the circles

He really got into this part

Once the dough was well-chilled, I rolled it out and he cut out the circles. We spooned some of the filling on, then I showed him how to make an egg wash and he wanted to know why it was called a “wash.” We ended up talking about Tom Sawyer and white washing fences and I was dismayed to learn my 9-year-old boy has no idea who Tom Sawyer is. Someday when I have an expired carton of eggs in the fridge, instead of throwing it out I’m going to let him practice with those.

Closing up the turnovers

Next, I folded closed the dough and pinched it shut with a fork. This takes some finesse, so it was OK with me that Max was restless during this time and didn’t seem interested. We shoved them in the fridge for about 20 minutes to chill, then I called him back into the kitchen to apply the egg wash.

Sprinkling on the sugar

We sprinkled the sugar on together. Max loved the coarse sugar and would have eaten a bunch of it right then and there If I’d let him.

Finally, we put them in the oven. About 3 minutes in, I remembered I’d forgotten to put slits in them to release the steam, so ran to the oven in a panic to do so!

Here’s what the prettiest one looked like.

Ingredients :

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons white sugar
1 stick butter (cold)
8 oz brick of cream cheese (cold)

2 1/2 cups pitted and halved cherries
2 Tablespoons white sugar
1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon corn starch
1/4 tsp salt (I used sea salt)

1 egg yolk
2 Tablespoons cream (milk will do, but I had cream, so I used it)


To make the crust, dump the flour and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Cut the cold butter in pieces and process for several seconds until the mixture is crumbly. Then cut up the cream cheese into several pieces and drop in the processor. This time, using short pulses, process until a dough comes together. Push the dough out on sheet of wax paper and knead with your hands a few times to even it out (otherwise there might be rather big globs of cream cheese). Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

While dough is chilling, prepare the filling. Simply put the cherries in a small bowl and mix in the sugar, zest, juice, and corn starch. Let sit and thicken until ready to use.

Roll out the chilled dough into a circle about 15 inches in diameter. Using a 6-inch diameter cutter (or bowl), cut out circles of dough. Remove the disks to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Gather the scraps and roll out again and keep cutting out circles. I only got about 6 circles out of my dough, but that’s enough for our little family.

Give the filling a final mix, then scoop a couple of tablespoons onto each disk. Make sure to scoop it only onto one side, and leave a little room around the edges. Brush a little egg wash onto the clean edge of the side that has the fruit, then fold the other side over and use a fork to press the edges together. Make room in your fridge, and put the cookie sheet in to chill for 20 minutes.

Place a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375. While preheating, brush egg wash over the top of each chilled turnover, then sprinkle liberally with coarse grain sugar. Using a sharp knife, make slits in each turnover, then bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove when golden brown.

Mom Thinks:
I don’t love this recipe. It’s a pretty easy crust to use, but I’ve used just as easy that were a little tastier. I really think there was too much cream cheese in the crust. I didn’t love the filling either. It’s a little too lemony, and not sugary enough. The overwhelming flavor is of the lemon zest rather than the beautiful fresh cherries. So, this is one we will not make again.

Max Thinks:
The cherry pieces are too big, we should have chopped them up smaller. I can really taste the lemon zest, and I don’t like that. The crust is pretty good though. I would not have it for a treat after a meal.

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