This may be one of my shortest blog posts ever!!! Rejoice all of you who secretly wish I would just “get to the point” (or the recipe) when I publish something :)!
This is the story of me making sour cherry pie filling for the very first time in my entire life. Why did I wait so long to try make this? I dunno… I thought it would be long and difficult? I didn’t know how? It’s easy to buy it ready made? I never saw fresh sour cherries at the market before? Or maybe never noticed them before? Who knows… There is always a first for everything and this was mine. Ironic because cherry is my favourite pie ever. It so happens to land close second with the King, his numero uno desserts being apple baked in “everything”. It happens that it also was my father-in-law’s ultimate favourite pie of all times and I am always reminded of him when a cherry pie graces our dinner table. Fond memories indeed!
I was bumming around the farmer’s stall on the Byward Market (no surprise here) for my weekly fill of all the good stuff in season this past Saturday when I saw these shiny crimson red beauties. Next thing I knew, they were in my shopping basket. What to do, what to do??! My friend Google came to the rescue and to my surprise, site after site after site offered pretty much the same ingredients/steps. So I won’t really credit anyone here except that I settled on “AllRecipes.com” for the basic guidelines.
As for the pastry well… Drum roll please, it is confession time: I am useless, completely useless at making pie dough. Sometimes it turns out and other times, it is a HUGE fiasco. I will never, ever share a “how to make pie dough” recipe on this site. Ever! Pie dough is my nemesis, pinky swear! I could tell you stories about pie crust disasters. And I can have a few friends tell you I am not exaggerating either. Like this one time when I had 24 tourtières to make for a catering order at a very busy time of year and I called my buddy Laura SC in tears at 10pm on a Saturday night because all I was ending up with were mountains of crumbs… But that is a story for another day. I said I would get to the point: so I used, instead of making from scratch, ta ta ta tum… wait for it… Frozen puff pastry. Yup, there, I’ve said it out loud! I used frozen puff pastry from the grocery store. Marvellous little invention I say :).
So project sour cherry turnover was done in a jiffy with homemade from scratch sour cherry filling and frozen pastry dough. I think regular pie dough or puff pastry dough can be used interchangeably. Best damn sour cherry filling I ever had!
Sour Cherry Pie Filling and Turnovers
All the recipes I came across in my Google searches offered pretty much the same ingredients in the same proportions. I added cinnamon, just because :).
What you need
- 4 cups pitted fresh sour cherries (I used a traditional cherry/olive pitting tool)
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 package of frozen puff pastry, thawed
- Egg wash or heavy cream
- Optional: toasted almond and powder sugar crumble (instructions follow)
How to make it
- Rinse and using a little gadget or the tip of a paring knife, remove the pit from all the cherries
- Add the cherries to a heavy bottom pot.
- In a separate bowl, combine together the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt
- Add to the cherries and mix well to coat evenly. Cook on medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant silicone spatula or wooden spoon
- Once the mixture starts to thicken, reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking until the cherries have softened, anywhere between 6 to 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool completely
- Once the filling is completely cooled off, you can make the turnovers
- Set oven to 400°F and place rack on the middle position
- Cut each pastry sheet in 9 squares. Prepare only one sheet at a time keeping the other sheet refrigerated until needed.
- Set a small amount of filling in the middle of each square, slightly wet the edges and fold in a triangle. Using a forks, seal the edges well.
- Place on baking sheet and brush with egg wash (1 egg yolk well mixed with a tablespoon of water) heavy cream if you have on hand.
- The turnovers are ready to bake. It will take 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven. Keep an eye on them after 10 minutes. They are ready when they have developed a deep golden colour. And maybe the filling will ooze out just like mine did, that’s okay: nothing that a fork can’t fix when it is time to eat
- You can top with an almond and powdered sugar crumble after the egg wash has been brushed on. To make the crumble, you will need about 1/2 cup toasted almonds and 3 tbsp powdered sugar whizzed through a food processor until it reaches a coarse and crumbly mixture. Pat a generous amount on top of each turnover. The baking time remains the same.
These are best eaten warm and right away! As if you could wait…