Today we celebrate an entire day devoted to one of the best cherry based desserts I have ever had the pleasure of indulging in, the flaky cherry turnover!
Who could think of summertime and not envision the delicious scent and taste of cherries ready for the picking! One of my favourite memories from childhood places me underneath what seemed like towering cherry trees standing row upon row, sunshine peeking through the leaves and branches heavy with the sweet cherries that would soon fill our baskets, fingers stained with the crimson juice bursting from every single cherry you would pop into your mouth!
I have always thought of turnovers as being the pie's portable and tidier cousin, ready to head out the door with you at a moment's notice, needing nothing more than a napkin as a table setting. How could you say 'no thank you' to something that is practically begging you to grab onto and runaway with?
image/recipe via Williams-Sonoma
Flaky Cherry Turnovers
1/2 recipe (1 1/4 lb) Quick Puff Pastry* OR 1 1/4 lb purchased puff pastry
2 1/2 cups Bing cherries, pitted and halved
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Flour for rolling out the dough
1 large egg, beaten
Turbinado sugar for sprinkling
*Prepare and chill the dough for your 'Quick Puff Pastry' as directed below.
Have ready a stainless steel bowl set in a larger bowl of ice water. In a heavy, medium saucepan, combine the cherries, sugar, and lemon juice. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the cherries give off their juices and are tender, about 5 minutes. Taste and add more sugar, if desired.
In a small bowl, sprinkle the cornstarch over 1 tablespoon of cold water and stir to dissolve. Stir into the simmering cherry mixture and cook until thickened, about 30 seconds. Transfer to the stainless steel bowl set in the bowl of ice water and let stand until chilled, about 20 minutes.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface into a 15-inch square about 1/8 inch thick. Using a pastry wheel, cut nine 5-inch squares. Place about 2 tablespoons of the chilled filling just off the center of a pastry square. Fold the square in half diagonally so two points meet and enclose the filling. Using a fork, press and seal the edges closed. Place on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pastry squares and filling.
Refrigerate, uncovered, for 15-30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Brush the tops of the pastries with some of the beaten egg. Sprinkle the tops with the turbinado sugar. Bake until the turnovers are puffed and golden brown with no sign of uncooked dough, 20-25 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for 10-15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes 9 turnovers.
(If fresh cherries aren’t available, you can substitute one 16-oz (500-g) can good-quality pitted sweet cherries in syrup. Drain the cherries well, reserving 1/2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) of the syrup. In a heavy, small saucepan, combine the drained cherries, the reserved syrup, 1 tablespoon sugar, and the lemon juice. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often. Stir the dissolved cornstarch into the simmering cherry mixture and cook until thickened, about 30 seconds. Continue as directed in the recipe.)
Quick Puff Pastry
2 cups unsalted butter
2 cups unbleached flour
2/3 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup ice water
Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes and spread on a baking sheet. Freeze for 30 minutes.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the unbleached flour, cake flour, and salt. Add the chilled butter and toss to coat with the flour mixture. Place the bowl on the mixer and fit with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the butter cubes are about half their original size, 1-1 1/2 minutes. Add the ice water and mix just until the dough comes together into a very moist mass.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and pat into a rectangle. Dust the top of the dough well with flour. Roll out into a 16-by-8-inch rectangle, with the short side facing you. Using a pastry brush, gently brush off the excess flour from the surface of the dough. Fold the bottom third of the dough up, then fold the top third of the dough down over it, as if folding a letter. Rotate the dough a quarter turn, with the folded side to your left, and repeat the process again, rolling the dough into a 16-by-8-inch rectangle, and folding it into thirds. Turn again and repeat the rolling and folding a third and fourth time, being sure to brush off the excess flour before folding. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
Roll and fold the dough twice more. Re-wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. Place the dough on the work surface, again with the short side facing you. Using a large, sharp knife, with a single push without rocking the knife back and forth, cut the dough in half horizontally.
Wrap each dough half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days before using. (The dough can be frozen, over wrapped with aluminum foil, for up to 2 months. Defrost it overnight in the refrigerator. If the dough is still very hard, let it stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes. Then pound the dough, vertically and horizontally, with the rolling pin until it is pliable but still cold).