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Dessert plate with 3 cherry turnovers. One is torn in half with fruit filling oozing out.

Cherry Turnovers

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 8 reviews

  • Author: Denay DeGuzman
  • Total Time: 1 Hour 55 Minutes
  • Yield: 9 Pastries 1x


These flaky cherry hand pies are bakery-worthy treats. Enjoy them for breakfast, snacks or dessert. It’s easy to make cherry turnovers from scratch! Or save time with store-bought puff pastry sheets and/or canned fruit filling.




  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (+ more for dusting)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) butter, cold
  • 1/2 cup sour cream


RECIPE YIELD: 2 1/3 cups cooked fruit filling

  • 3 rounded cups fresh cherries (about 70), stemmed & pitted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (or more to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons milk (for brushing the tops)
  • Sparkling white sugar (coarse sugar crystals)



RECIPE PREP: Cut sticks of cold butter into pats or pieces. If butter softens, stick it in the freezer to harden it up. It’s important that the butter stays as cold as possible!

  1. Whisk together flour, salt and baking powder. Add butter. Toss it in flour mixture. Lightly rub and press flour into the butter to create a coarse crumbly mixture. Most of the butter should remain visible so there will be marbling in the dough.  
  2. Stir in the sour cream. The mixture will not be cohesive. It will not be a dough. It will be a loose, dry, crumbly mix. 
  3. Turn it onto a well-floured board. Gather it together. Knead it into a dough. It may take a bit. Be patient. It will become a cohesive ball.* Dust board with flour. Pat dough into a square. Roll it into an 8″ x 10″ rectangle. If at any time the dough becomes warm, immediately chill it in the fridge or freezer.
  4. Dust both sides of the dough with flour. From a shorter end, fold dough in thirds like a business letter. Rotate dough a quarter turn. Roll it into an 8″ x 10″ rectangle. Fold it in three. Slip dough into a zip-top bag. Chill in the freezer 20 minutes (or refrigerate 30 minutes or overnight).

*IF DOUGH DOESN’T COME TOGETHER:  Add ice-cold water, up to 3 tablespoons, as needed. But keep in mind, the dough should not be moist or sticky. Moisture is not the friend of flaky pastry.


RECIPE PREP: Prepare an ice-water bath. Fill a broiler pan or an oversized bowl with ice water. Pull out an aluminum pie pan or a stainless steel bowl. Set them aside.

  1. Remove cherry stems and pits.
  2. In a ramekin, mix the cornstarch with water until it dissolves and looks milky. Set the bowl aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine cherries, sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to simmer.
  4. Stir in cornstarch slurry until fully incorporated. Cook 7 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until cherries soften and liquid thickens. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Transfer cherry pie filling to prepared ice water bath. Let it it sit for 20 minutes to shed heat and chill. Refrigerate.


RECIPE PREP: Line 2 rimmed baking trays with parchment paper. Put them aside.

  1. Roll out chilled dough into a 15-inch square between 1/8″ and 1/4″ thick. Cut out 9 squares. 
  2. In a ramekin, beat an egg with 1 tablespoon cold water. Brush all edges of the pastry squares with egg wash. 
  3. Work with 1 pastry square at a time. Place 2 tablespoons cherry pie filling slightly off-center in the square. There should be more cherries than thickened juices. Fold square in half diagonally to form a triangular turnover. With tines of a fork, close and seal edges. Transfer to a lined baking sheet. Refrigerate hand pies for 30 minutes, uncovered. Or stick tray into the freezer 20 minutes.
  4. Adjust oven rack to center position. Preheat oven to 400°F.  Lightly brush tops of turnovers with milk. Sprinkle with sparking sugar. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until golden blonde. 

RECIPE NOTE: Some filling may ooze out during baking. That’s normal! Cool cherry turnovers on a rack. Serve and enjoy while warm or at room temperature.


CAN THIS RECIPE BE DOUBLED? The fruit-filling can be doubled, but not the puff pastry dough. If more dough is desired, it’s best to make it in separate batches. 

HOW TO STORE BAKED TURNOVERS: Place turnovers in an air-tight container or wrap in plastic. Store on a cool countertop for 1 to 2 days. For longer storage, refrigerate up to 5 days or freeze up to 1 month.

HOW TO FREEZE UNBAKED TURNOVERS: Place unbaked turnovers in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined tray. Freeze until solid. Transfer pies to an airtight container or freezer bag. To bake, add a few minutes to original baking time.

  • Prep Time: 35 Minutes
  • Chill Time: 1 Hour
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American