Skip to content

National Cherry Turnover Day is August 28th

August 26, 2008

Now making turnovers is something I know about. I know that I just adore to eat them up! My mother often would make a little turnover from left over pie pastry dough when I was a kid, filling it up with jam, or apples with a little brown sugar and butter….. oh it was always fantastic – and I would do this very often for myself when I was making pies for others after I grew up. In fact, I often thought that the turnover was usually better than the actual pie, but that’s another story.

Both quick and homemade from scratch recipes have been included for your viewing and reading pleasure.

So today is national cherry turnover day. Now, aren’t you glad you learned this? Would you like to learn how to make one? I was going to share a from scratch recipe, but I am feeling a bit lazy today, so I will share with you the quick method which includes cheating with a premade cherry filling which you can get in the store in your baking isle.

Later this week I was thinking of making either empanadas or samosas with some new recipes I received, and if I do, I will make sure to share with you.

But before I do share the recipe, let me share with you some history on the turnover which goes my many different names, and is not necessarily always sweet by any means. In fact you probably love other types of turnovers – as these little pockets of food have been created for centuries:


Courtesy of

A turnover by many other names: Many cultures prepare “turnovers” where a piece of dough is wrapped around some type of filling, singular or in combination. I’m sure there are many twists to our basic folded pizza recipes. I loved the Stromoli’s that we bought from pizza joints in upper New York……How about a little history?

Beerocks are a baked German pastry crust filled with meat and cabbage. (How about sauerkraut and smoked sausage for a twist.)

Calzones are the Italian delicacy that means baggy pants. Calzones are made with floppy soft doughs but were strong enough to be carried. Calzones are made with many different dough’s but pizza dough works well. Calzones can be baked or fried but we’re more into baking for good health! Calzones, like Pasties and Empanadas now hold all kinds of fillings.

Dim Sum is a small bite filled turnover with seasoned mixtures of meat, fish, or vegetables. There are varieties which can be baked, or fried, or boiled. I just love going to a Chinese Dim Sum restaurant and getting hit on by all the oriental servers (pushers) with their Din Sum items!

Empanadas means sandwich in Spanish speaking countries. Empanadas are typically filled with ingredients unique the area in which they are made. Often empanadas are filled with ground meat or sweet potatoes or fruit or raisins. Many of these are made in corn dough crusts that are baked or fried.

Fruit Turnovers made from pastry dough, fried or baked, or puff pastry varieties and even sweetened yeast bread doughs. We have a lovely quick fruit/cream cheese turnover recipe to try in the wood oven! I’ll post it later after we try it in the Horno Lena

Pastelillos are Puerto Rican & Caribbean meat pies. Often made with yucca flour in a leavened dough filled with pork, ham, onions, olives, raisins, capers and/or egg. (Pastelillos Rellenos are a Colombian meat filled pie, pork filled version of an empanada.)

Pasties were favorite foods of the Cornish miners from England. There are many varieties, but the most original were simple turnovers with potatoes, vegetables ground meat. Our recipe uses rutabagas or turnips and we’ll try it in the wood fired oven and post pictures. The copper miners in the Keeweenaw mines took them down into the mines for their meal break over 100 years ago. This mixture was wrapped in a basic pastry crust. You can still find Pasty shops in the Upper Peninsular of Michigan. Remember the ketchup!

Pastelitos Fritos are a Brazilian fried pastry turnover filled with meat or cheese.

Pierogies are Polish turnovers-usually served as a side dish. They are filled with potatoes, or cheese or vegetables or fruits or combinations.
Risole are a Brazilian fried turnover. It’s a boiled dough filled with meat, cheese, shrimp or hearts of palm mixtures. The turnovers are egg washed and dipped in manoic meal before frying.

Salteña is a baked South American (Peru and Chile) meat pie containing meats, potatoes, cheeses, onions, and sliced hardboiled egg and sliced olives.

Samosas are fried East Indian turnovers filled with chick peas, parsley, barley, mutton and onion and spices.
Sambosak Hulow is a Middle Eastern turnover made with a cookie dough and filled with chopped dates typically seasoned with sugar, butter, sesame seeds, cinnamon and cloves.

Sanbousic is a fried Middle Eastern small turnover in the Arab world. Its filling is diced cheeses like feta, mozzarella, jarlsburg. They are seasoned with fresh chopped dill and served warm.
Spanokopitas are Greek baked turnovers with spinach, cottage cheese, feta cheese and olives.

Strombolis are a close relative of the calzone. A folded pizza that uses meat fillings. I had my first ones in Beacon, New York. They’re found on the Eastern US, northern that is!


How to Make Cherry Turnovers – The Easy Quick Way

So here is one version on how to make a cherry turnover with cheating the system a bit since this recipe calls for using pre-made pie pastry dough and canned cherry pie filling. Ok, Don’t shoot me, you know I usually do EVERYTHING from scratch, I am allowed to ‘cheat’ once in awhile.


  • 1 pre-made pie pastry un-thawed
  • 1 can of cherry pie filling – found by the canned pumpkin in your baking isle at the grocery store
  • One working oven preheated for 10 minutes at 425 degrees
  • one cookie sheet
  • parchment paper
  • Rolling pin, clean working surface
  • a little flour
  • fork & spoon
  • little butter
  • sugar (optional)


  1. Take pie pastry dough and allow to be un-thawed and come to room temperature
  2. Dust working surface and rolling pin slightly with flour.
  3. Place pie pastry dough onto working surface, roll out a little more if you can.
  4. With knife, cut pie pastry into four equal sections.
  5. spoon only 2 tablespoons of the filling into each cut section of pie pastry.
  6. fold over and with fork, seal edges by pressing down
  7. Place parchment paper on cookie sheet which will help your turnovers be released.
  8. With flat metal spatula, slide folded pie pastries over to cookie sheet leaving a couple of inches in between each ‘turnover’
  9. With knife, slightly cut a few slashes across the turnovers in order to allow the steam to escape during baking.
  10. place on the middle rack of your preheated oven and allow to bake for 15 minutes.
  11. Let cool 15 minutes prior to serving. As they say at MickyDee’s, Caution, filling is hot!
  12. Serve up with a dollop of whipped cream if you are feeling extra naughty.

Do you want to learn how to make the real McCoy Cherry Turnover from Scratch…. ok here is it…. I came back after a few hours from posting this originally and felt I cheated you as well as me…. here’s my granmother’s version of homemade cherry turnovers from scratch:

Recipe should yield 6-8 turnovers

Ingredients for Standard Pie Pastry:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup chilled shortening (such as crisco)
  • Very Cold Water 6 tablespoons


  1. With pastry blender, break and cut half of the shortening into flour and added salt until mixture resembles corn meal, then add remaining shortening and continue blending until mixture resembles the size of small peas.
  2. This creates a tender yet flaky crust – a big secret here folks….
  3. most recipes have you add the shortening all at once….
  4. Sprinkle tablespoons at a time of the chilled water into the pastry dough, using the pastry blender until mixture is combined.
  5. Wrap up pastry dough into wax paper and place into fridge to chill for at least one (1) hour.
  6. While the pastry is chilling, prepare your homemade filling so that it is also ready.
  7. Once chilled, roll out onto lightly floured surface, and roll till 1/8 thick.
  8. Cut out squares or circles to create your turnovers.
  9. Place on cookie sheets, add 1/4-1/3 cup of filling to each turnover.
  10. Before folding over turn over to close over filling, add a little of water to fingers and wipe edges to help seal turnovers. Then fold over pastry.
  11. Using fork, press edges closed.
  12. Do an egg wash over turnovers for a shiny look – beat one egg yolk and ad 1 tablespoon water, then brush egg yolk over raw pastry turnovers.
  13. Create several slits with a knife into the tops of the turnovers to allow the steam to be released during the baking stage.
  14. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and place into freezer to chill until ready to bake.
  15. Use a preheated oven at 425 degrees and allow turnovers to bake on the middle rack for 15 to 20 minutes.

Homemade Cherry Filling for Turnovers:

This filling can also be used over cheese cakes, and as cake fillings.


  • 3/4 cup homecooked or canned SOUR cherries, with juices drained.
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup cherry juice


  1. Add sugar and cornstarch to 2 quart pot.
  2. Add cherry juice drained from cherries, cook over medium heat until clear and thickened stirring constantly.
  3. Add 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract for serious extra flavor which matches really well with the cherries.
  4. Once slightly cooled, add to your turnovers, fold over as described above and bake in a hot oven for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before diving in…. enjoy!

You could also create a simple confectioner’s sugar glaze as you would use on cinnamon buns if you are so inclined, simply tale one cup of powdered sugar, sift, then add 1/4 cup of milk, whisk till combined. Add a little more milk if you need to to create a syrupy concoction, then drizzle over cooled turnovers.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: