Sour cherry turnovers

My plan was to use the sour cherries – something I never ever see in California – I bought at Clancy’s in Minneapolis and use the rest of the insane amount of blueberries my parents had brought up to the cabin and make scads of turnovers. These turnovers would be gorgeous and delicious and I would distribute them amongst our kind neighbors here at the lake – some of whom coughed up some Benadryl and Benadryl cream when my son got stung by a bee and others of whom are just jolly welcoming folks to whom I find myself driven to give turnovers.

So I made two batches of pie crust, tossed fruit with sugar and flour, and started rolling out circles. It ended up being 14 circles – six sour cherry turnovers and eight blueberry turnovers. Here’s the thing. Whether browning meat or rolling out pie dough, I like to take it to the limit. The limit is where really good stew becomes mind-blowing, where a nice pie becomes sublime. The thing with the limit, though, is it is the actual limit. Go beyond it and… things fall apart quickly. Good meat is burned. Perfectly ripe fruit boils into a mess of crust-less nonsense.

I went too far. I reached for the sun and my wax wings melted. That turnover dough wasn’t strudel-thin, but it was too thin for turnovers. Once in the hot oven the fruit just burst right out of those weak little casings and bubbled into a sticky, almost-burnt raft on the pan. The turnovers were still edible, but much of the juicy essence of the fruit ended up soaking in the sink.

They tasted fine, but only a few looked remotely gift-able. (The skillful use of a knife to cut off the burnt fruit dripping out of the sides saved the ones below for their photo shoot.) The Benadryl-giving neighbors (hey Rollins!) ended up with a turnover apiece. The other neighbors (hey Carlsens!) will get something nice soon. I have plans. Big plans.

Sour cherry turnovers

The sour cherries were awesome in these. Use any fruit you like, though, just cut the sugar back by about a third for fruit that isn’t mouth-puckeringly sour. This recipe makes six not-too-thin turnovers; increase at will if you have the gumption to roll out the dough.

1 recipe pie dough (for a one-crust pie)

1 pint sour cherries

1/3 cup sugar

a scant 2 tablespoons flour

Make the pie dough, divide it into 6 pieces and pat each piece into a 1/2-inch-thick disc. Wrap in plastic and chill at least an hour and up to 2 days.

Preheat oven to 350. Pit cherries. Have a large baking sheet ready. In a large bowl toss the cherries, sugar, and flour until some juice from the cherries and the sugar and flour form a sort of wet sandy mixture around the cherries.

Roll out each disc of dough into a 5- to 6-inch circle. Put 1/6 of the cherries on half of each circle, fold the dough over the fruit to make a half-moon shape, and crimp the edges. Put turnovers on the baking sheet, cut a vent or two or three in the top of each turnover, and bake until fruit filling is bubbling and the crust is the color of a wooden cutting board, about 50 minutes. Let cool.

Eat with coffee. I find they really taste best at breakfast. Turnovers are, after all, the original Pop-Tart.