Saturday, February 27, 2010


images via defgrip

Sometimes when you haven't done something in awhile, you fear you've forgotten how. But that's never the case, is it? Maybe all you need to know is tucked away in some little crevice of your heart, soul, or mind. And just when you need it most, it bursts out to take you by surprise. They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but maybe that's because the bag of tricks you already own needs to see the light of new day.

When I was a kid we used to ride our bikes to the local convenient mart. We always reached for the Hostess Fruit Pies, especially the cherry flavored ones. They were readily available, cheap, and portable. Lately I've started noticing them everywhere I go. Even tonight at the grocery store my eyes were drawn to their colorful packaging. I don't think I'd have the guts to eat one of those now it's so processed. So here's a homemade version for you to try.

Cherry Turnovers
1 recipe basic flaky pastry dough, for 2 crust 9-inch pie (see recipe below)
Cherry Filling, cooled (see recipe below)
1/3 large egg white, slightly beaten
Optional glaze: 1 large egg, lightly beaten & approx. 2 tsp sugar
  1. Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces. Between 2 sheets of plastic roll out each piece of dough about 1/8-inch thick and large enough to cut out 6-inch circle. Brush the egg white onto 1/2 of circle leaving a 1-inch border. Spoon about 2 tbsp of cherry filling on to the brushed section. Turn over other half-section of the dough covering the filling, so that the edges are flush. You are creating a half-moon shape. With your fingers, firmly press the 1-inch border to seal it. Fold the edges up over itself, pressing again to seal it.
  2. Transfer the turnover onto a foil-lined sheet. Repeat with the remaining turnovers.
  3. Refrigerate turnovers for 1 hour or freeze for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 400°F for at least 20 minutes before baking. Set the oven rack at the lowest position and place a large baking sheet on it before preheating.
  5. Unwrap the turnovers, and space them evenly on the foil-lined sheet. If desired, brush them lightly with the egg glaze and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Use a small sharp knife to cut 3 steam vents through the dough into the top of each turnover.
  6. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the filling is bubbling thickly out of the vents and the pastry is golden. Remove the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes. Best eaten warm.
Cherry Filling
2 1/2 cups cherries
2/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp + 2 1/4 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp almond extract or 1 tsp Kirsch
  1. In medium bowl whisk together the sugar and salt.
  2. Add the fruit and lemon juice, and using a rubber spatula, toss together gently to coat the fruit. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Transfer the berries and their juices to a saucepan. Stir the lemon zest and cornstarch into the fruit until the cornstarch is dissolved and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring gently. Allow to boil for 30 seconds to a minute until the juices become clear and very thick.
  4. Gently stir in the Kirsch or extract. Empty the mixture into a bowl and allow it to cool completely, without stirring.
*Note: If this is too much work, you can make pre-made cherry pie filling.

Basic Flaky Pastry Dough For A Two-crust 9-Inch Pie
2 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoon pastry flour or 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
14 tablespoon cold, unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon salt
optional: 1/4 tsp baking powder (if not using, double the salt)
5 to 7 tablespoons ice water
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  1. Divide the butter into two parts, about two thirds to one third (9 tbsp and 5 tbsp).
  2. Cut the butter into 3/4-inch cubes. Wrap each portion of butter with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the larger amount and freeze the smaller for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Place the flour, salt, and optional baking powder in a zip-lock freezer bag and freeze for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Place the flour mixture in a bowl. Cut in the larger amount of the butter with a pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Cut in the remaining frozen butter cubes until the size of peas.
  5. Add the vinegar to the mixture and ice water one tablespoon at a time until you can pinch together a small amount of the mixture and it holds together. Divide the mixture in half, spooning each half into a plastic bag. Holding both ends of the bag, knead the dough once or twice from the outside of the bag until dough holds together in one piece and feels slightly stretchy when pulled.
  6. Wrap the two portions of dough in plastic wrap, flatten into discs and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
recipe slightly modified from daisylanecakes

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