I know, it’s been a while since I last shared a recipe. I have a good reason for this brief hiatus though, I promise.
Need more details? Then continue to read, otherwise you can scroll down to the recipe for these super flaky turnovers that are basically bursting with some of the tastiest (and simplest) cherry filling you’ll probably ever find 😉
As I’ve shared before, I just recently graduated this Spring and have been lucky enough to find a job pretty quickly. This large step towards adulting (def: the act of being an adult) was the sole focus of my attention during the entire month of June, a.k.a. my first full month of work (well, kind of — more like a highly informative training period before starting in my actual position… which actually happens on Monday, woohoo!!).
And then July rolled around and along with it my trip to Italy, and obviously I couldn’t bake/photograph/write/edit/post while I was eating gelato in the Piazzo Navona and walking around the Roman Forum!! But now I’m back (even though I wish I was still in Italy, but I’m thinking most of us are constantly wishing we were in Italy) and am settling back into the groove of things between home and work.
Being my first weekend back home and my last before officially starting work, my weekend was inevitably going to be spent (at least in part) in the kitchen. And because I had yet to go grocery shopping and didn’t think it was late enough in the day to get out of my PJ’s to actually do that, I began to McGuiver my way through the pantry, freezer, fridge, and basically every other cupboard, nook, and cranny of the kitchen to see what ingredients I actually had to work with.
Obviously cherry turnovers were going to be made, I’m just surprised those cherries and puff pastry sheets were never on my radar up until now… better late than never, I guess.
All you really need to know about these turnovers is that a recipe really doesn’t get any simpler than this. You don’t even have to make the dough, just the filling — EASY PEASY. And the filling hardly takes any time at all, just boil some of the cherry juice with a bit of sugar and cornstarch, then stir in the drained cherries and you’ve got yourself the easiest and possibly the tastiest cherry pie filling you’ll ever make. In the recipe below, you’ll notice that I specify to use one can of dark sweet cherries and one can of tart cherries; this of course was decided for me based on the contents of pantry combined with my lack of motivation to get dressed and go the grocery store on a Saturday morning.
However, I really must give my pantry (or maybe that should read: “my sister’s pantry…”?) a proper thank you for this because I think this particular combination of sweet and tart cherries created a near perfect balance in terms of the sweetness of the filling. If you want your filling to be on the extreme end of the sweet spectrum, though, then by all means, use two cans of the sweet cherries instead and play around with the sugar quantity to match your own taste preferences.
And now, I bid you all a wonderfully lazy and cherry turnover-filled Sunday — enjoy!
2 Puff pastry sheets (I used one box of Pepperidge Farms puff pastry sheets, but any brand will do!)
1 14.5 oz. can dark sweet cherries, drained and juice reserved
1 14.5 oz. can tart cherries, drained and juice reserved
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon water
Coarse sugar, for sprinkling
Allow the puff pastry to thaw for about 40 minutes on the counter; while the sheets are thawing, prepare the filling.
In a saucepan over medium heat, add 3/4 cup of the reserved cherry juice (about half – the rest can be discarded). In a small mixing bowl, mix together the sugar and cornstarch with a fork or a whisk until thoroughly combined and no clumps of cornstarch remain; whisk this mixture into the cherry juice. Cook, whisking frequently, until it is boiling and thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the cherries; set aside in the fridge to cool down until the pastry is ready to be shaped.
When the puff pastry sheets are thawed (they will no longer be icy and frozen, but they will still be cold — don’t let the sheets warm up and come to room temperature!), place one of the sheets onto a lightly floured surface. Lightly roll will a lightly floured rolling pin, just enough to ensure the seams where the sheets were folded are well mended.
Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut the sheet of puff pastry into 9 equal squares.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the egg and water to make an egg wash. Lightly brush 2 adjacent edges of each of the 9 squares with the egg wash and then place about a Tablespoon of the cherry filling onto the center of each square (avoid overfilling, or shaping will be a messy business — you can see from my photos that I had a bit of a problem with this!). Take the corner of the square that joins the two sides that have been brushed with the egg wash and fold it over the filling so that it’s directly on top of the opposite corner of the square, creating a triangle. Using a fork, firmly press the tines all along the sides of the pastry to seal the edges shut to prevent leakage during baking. Repeat this shaping process until the full first sheet of puff pastry has been shaped into 9 turnovers; repeat this process with the second sheet of puff pastry.
Place shaped turnovers onto parchment-lined baking sheets, fitting 8 or 9 on each sheet. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes, then lightly brush each turnover all over with more egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Using a sharp knife or a pair of kitchen scissors, create two incisions, or “vents,” on the top of each one (this will allow the steam to escape as they bake). Bake for about 20 minutes, until they are golden brown and the sugar is caramelized. Allow to cool a bit before eating — that filling will be H-O-T-!
*I know, I know, 18 turnovers is kind of a lot… luckily, though, these little pastries freeze insanely well! Just bake up as many as you want, and then store the rest in a freezer-safe bag (do this after you remove them from their initial stint in the freezer, just before the step where you brush them with more egg wash/sprinkle with sugar) in the freezer. When you’re ready to bake some more, you can bake them straight from the freezer — just remember to brush them with the egg wash/sprinkle with sugar and make those slashes on top before putting them in the oven.
Recipe for the filling adapted from Oregon Fruit’s Cherry Pie Filling