Flaky, buttery puff pastry with homemade cherry pie filling (oh! the Bings this year!), sweetened with maple syrup. Paired with homemade vanilla ice cream and you have a little slide of heaven!
3 lbs. fresh in-season cherries, pitted (6-7 cups) (1360 g) (If using frozen, thaw first and expect them to cook longer to reduce extra liquid)
1/8 tsp. Mediterranean sea salt
1/2 cup (156 g) real maple syrup (adjust quantity depending on how sweet or sour your cherries are)
1 T lemon juice (15 g)
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. (5 g) vanilla paste (I much prefer! If you don’t have access to the paste, vanilla extract works great too)
3-1/2 T (25 g) of cornstarch
3-1/2 T (53 g) cool water
Wash and dry the cherries, place in a large bowl (to contain the messy juices), remove the stems and pits and discard. Pour the cherries + juices (about 1/4 cup) into a large skillet. Add the sea salt, maple syrup, lime juice + zest, and vanilla extract. Stir and turn the heat to medium. Let the cherries cook for about 5-6 minutes until they start to release their juices and the mixture is steaming, but not boiling.
In a separate bowl, stir the water and cornstarch together until completely dissolved. Set aside until the cherries are juicy and steaming. When that happens, give the cornstarch slurry another stir, and pour into the cherries. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and then cook for about 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, until the juices start to thicken up and turn slightly glossy. This will happen very quickly, so don’t walk away. Immediately remove from the heat and let the cherry pie filling cool for about 20 minutes so you can use it in the turnovers.
(Note: This recipe makes a little over 2 cups of filling, enough for 18 turnovers in one go. If baking less than that, the leftovers freeze well for future baking adventures. You can also make the filling a few days ahead of time and store in the fridge until you’re ready to bake.)
Three packages of an all-butter brand of frozen puff pastry (I like Dufours), thawed overnight in the fridge.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle a large cutting board or clean counter with flour. When working with a package, leave the other two in the fridge until you’re ready for them. (The idea is to keep the pastry as cold as possible). Quickly unwrap the thawed puff pastry and spread it onto the floured surface. Cut the dough into six equal squares or rectangles using a sharp knife or pizza cutter. (Note: If you want the pieces equal sizes you may have to cut off an inch or so of the dough. You can save this for other baking projects or discard.)
As soon as you cut the dough, transfer the puff pastry pieces onto the parchment paper. If the dough is getting too soft/sticky (this can happen if your kitchen is warm since it’s an all-butter dough), transfer the baking sheet to the freezer for 10 minutes or so to cool down.
1 tsp. water
In a small bowl, beat egg and water together and set aside.
Spoon about two heaping T of the cooled cherry pie filling onto the bottom center of each dough square, making sure to leave at least a 1/2 inch rim around the filling for sealing the turnover. (Overfilling will cause spillage during baking, but it will still taste amazing).
Using a pastry brush, lightly coat three edges of the dough with egg wash, then fold the dry top part of the dough over the filling. Use a fork to seal the two edges of the dough for each pastry. Lightly brush the tops of the turnovers with more egg wash, and cut 2-3 small slits into the tops of each one using a sharp knife. If desired, sprinkle each turnover with some turbinado sugar.
Important: Before baking, place the baking sheet in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake the turnovers for 30 minutes or until the tops are golden and the dough is fully cooked through. Let the turnovers cool a bit on the baking sheet and eat while still warm. Leftover turnovers can be stored in tightly sealed containers in the fridge and consumed within 4-5 days or freeze for later.
Adapted from Elaina Newton and The Rising Spoon