I made these, this time, at the request from a friend. I had offered to make her a birthday cake or what ever she wanted but without any hesitation, she asked for my cherry turnovers. Yes, she’s had them before. It’s a good thing I had frozen cherries in my freezer because the weather has been bad around here and I haven’t ventured out much. I live near many orchards and usually do stock up on all the fruits grown locally. I love to bake and cook with fruit all year. I’m also thankful that I have a big freezer to hold the summer abundance. I have noticed that the big grocery store I shop at, is doing a much better job of stocking frozen fruits….but my freezer is closer.
Tart cherries are often referred to as sour cherries and are the cherries most widely used in baked goods everywhere. They are usually sold frozen because they don’t hold well. What you usually see in the produce department are sweet cherries, which are great for fresh snacking but have a different flavor, when cooked, than the tart cherries do. When you buy a can of cherry pie filling, that is also made with tart cherries. You will find it also has a lot of thickened juice and just a few actual cherries.
At one time I worked at a store that specialized in making jams. Often, customers came in wanting cherry jam and had to be convinced that the Sour Cherry Jam we sold, was indeed sweet and had the flavor they were looking for. We always had a jar open on our tasting table for them to try and they were always convinced!
I use almond extract and I like to top my turnovers with sliced almonds. Almonds bring out the cherry flavor. I’ve made many cherry pies and other cherry desserts and I don’t think I have ever left out the almond extract. My mother and my grandmother taught me that!
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- 1 pkg frozen puff pastry (2 sheets)
- 4 Cups fresh or frozen tart red cherries
- ¼ Cup cornstarch
- ¾ Cup sugar
- ½ Cup water
- ½ tsp almond extract
- egg wash
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp water
- 1 Cup confectioners sugar
- 1-2 Tbsp heavy cream
- ¼ tsp almond extract
- sliced almonds (optional)
- Make the filling first, you can do this and refrigerate until you are ready to make the turnovers.
- For the filling
- In a medium sauce pan, combine the cornstarch and sugar. Add the cherries, water and almond extract. Bring to a boil and cook and stir for about 2 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat and cool. Refrigerate if you have time.
- For the turnovers
- Try to work quickly, chilled puff pastry puffs better than it does when warm. It's easier to work with too! This is the main reason I like to chill my filling.
- Remove puff pastry from the freezer about 40 minutes before using. Preheat your oven to 400°F and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Layout your puff pastry sheets on a clean work surface and cut each square into 4 equal squares, for a total of eight. Place about ¼ cup of the filling in the center of each square. Fold each square in half diagonally to create triangles. Crimp the edges with a fork to seal in the fruit. Cut a vent (a slash is fine) in the top of each pastry. Mix the egg and water to make an egg wash and brush this evenly over the top of the pastry. Transfer to baking sheet.
- Bake for about 15 to 19 minutes, or until puffed, lightly golden, and pastry looks done and set. Allow turnovers to cool on baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes before moving. While turnovers bake, make the glaze. Drizzle glaze over warm turnovers and sprinkle with sliced almonds (optional).