It shouldn’t be this easy.
It’s cherry season in Central Washington State and for me, based here, time to come up with new recipes for the nearly limitless supplies of fresh-picked fruit. Last year, I made Easy Cherry Cobbler for One and Cherry Chutney. These Easy Cherry Turnovers are my first successful experiment this season.
- 2 cups cherries, pitted and cut into halves or quarters. I (obviously) use fresh cherries; today I used Rainiers that had been left on the tree because they weren’t quite red enough for market. (This is the second year this grower has left behind his excellent organic cherries and allowed me to pick them. I filled two 2-1/2 gallon buckets, shared some with friends, and still have at least 10 pounds left.) Although you can use frozen cherries, if you’re going to do that, you may as well buy Sara Lee frozen turnovers and skip this recipe completely.
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
- Pie crust dough, phyllo dough, or puff pastry sheets. A purist would make pie crust from scratch. I’m living in an RV with limited kitchen facilities, so that’s not really an option for me. Besides, I make really crappy pie crust from scratch. Someone with slightly less ambition might use frozen phyllo dough to make a flaky base for the turnovers. I’m not that ambitious. Instead, I used frozen Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets.
- 2 tablespoons milk. This is optional, to brush the tops of the turnovers.
- 1/4 cup brown sugar. This is also optional, to sprinkle on top of the turnovers.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Combine the cherries with cinnamon and stir well to coat. If the cherries aren’t sweet — mine were very sweet — you could add some sugar, but I’d recommend not doing that. Don’t we have enough added sugar in our diets?
- If necessary, roll dough to 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into squares about 4 inches on each side. This is really easy with the Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets I used; I just defrosted them, unfolded them, and cut them into quarters. Result: 8 squares.
- Spoon about 1/4 cup cherries into the middle of a pastry square. Then fold diagonally and seal by pinching two open sides. It’s important to get a good seal if you want the cherries and their juices to stay inside the turnover. Repeat for remaining squares and cherries.
- If desired, brush with milk and sprinkle with brown sugar.
- Place turnovers on a lightly greased cookie sheet. (Again, with my limited kitchen facilities, all I had was a pizza pan, which would not fit all eight, so I had to make them in batches.)
- Bake for about 45 minutes. Your time will vary. I have a tiny RV oven and the temperature might not be accurate. It’s important to start checking them after about 30 minutes. The tops should be browned when done but be careful not to bake them so long that the bottoms burn.
- Cool for at least 15 minutes before eating.
Yields: 8 turnovers.
I’m here by myself, so I really don’t need 8 turnovers. I’ll freeze the extras and pull them out for breakfasts over the next few weeks.
If you do give this recipe a try, please share your comments about it here. I’m also very interested in any variations you come up with. I bet it would work nicely with pears or apples if the fruit was cut up small enough to cook.