I love cherries.
Not cherry-flavored candy. Definitely not cherry cordials. Absolutely no neon and nearly radioactive cherry pie filling. Not mystery cherry ham glaze. Just cherries. Sweet or tart. Black, red or rainier. They are perfectly wonderful all by themselves, needing no supplement.
In the early days of summer, cherries start popping up at farmers markets and roadside stands. Picking up 2 or 3 lb at a time is not gluttonous, but necessary.
The moment I spotted cherries at the market a couple weeks ago, I knew I had to make turnovers. Chocolate turnovers.
Flaky rich dark chocolate pastry. Barely sweetened cherry filling.
Just cherries. No bullshit.
Chocolate Cherry Turnovers Recipe
8 tbsp (120g) cold, cubed unsalted butter
1 c (240g) flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c (60ml) cold water
1 heaping c pitted and halved cherries
zest of 1/2 lemon
1/4 c sugar
1 tbsp flour
For step by step photos of this recipe, check out the Nomad with Cookies Facebook page.
For the Chocolate Pastry
Remember a few weeks ago when we made kitchen sink quiche? Well, the pastry dough is exactly the same with a little cocoa powder added.
Stir together flour, salt and cocoa powder. Using your fingers, pastry cutter or food processor, cut the butter into the flour mixture. I prefer the finger method because I find that the dough becomes flakier when baked and it gives me a better feel for when the dough is ready.
Once the mixture resembles coarse cookie crumbs, add a few tablespoons of the cold water. Mix together until the dough sticks together when pressed. The dough should be moist but not wet. Flatten dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour before rolling.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4″. Using a ruler, cut the pastry into equal squares. For 4″ x 4″ turnovers, the dough yields about 9 turnovers. Then if you roll out the scraps of dough, you can get another 2-4″ x 4″ and 2-3″ x 3″ turnovers. Yes, you most certainly can reuse the scraps once to get more turnovers. That is how I got so many out of such a small amount of dough. Reusing the scraps more than once will made the dough too tough.
For the Cherry Filling
Pit and halve the cherries. No, you don’t need a cherry pitter. Using a paring knife, score the cherry vertically along its natural line. Twist the halves apart like an oreo and pop out the pit. Easy as…turnovers.
Mix together the zest, sugar and flour in a large bowl. Toss this mixture together with cherries.
For the Assembly
Whisk together 1 egg and a spoonful of water. This will be your egg wash AKA the glue. Using a pastry brush or your finger (i’m a hands on kinda girl), put a light swipe of egg wash on two sides of each square of dough.
Put a small amount of cherry filling (I found that 5 cherry halves is optimal) in the corner of the dough where the egg wash is. Fold the dough over and press to seal. You can use a fork, tines or handle, to further seal the edges to prevent unwanted leakage.
Place turnovers on a parchment lined sheet pan. Chill for 15m while oven preheats to 375F (190C). Remove from fridge. Glaze each turnover with egg wash and lightly sprinkle with sugar. The dough will not be sweet, but chocolatey. If you want a sweeter dough, sprinkle with more sugar. Bake for 18-20m until baked through.