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Toasty Almond-Cherry Turnovers

Cherries, especially sour cherries, have a hint of almond flavor, which intensifies when you pair them with the nuts. You can make puff pastry the day before and store overnight in the refrigerator. Or, use purchased puff pastry.

To freeze the extra puff pastry: Place the wrapped pieces in individual plastic freezer bags and seal. Freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to use, thaw the puff pastry, still wrapped, overnight in the refrigerator.

Ingredients:

For the quick puff pastry: 

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt 
  • 4 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes 
  • 2 tsp. white wine vinegar 
  • 1 cup ice water 
  •   
  • 2 Tbs. ground almonds  
  • 2 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar 
  • 1 cup pitted and stemmed sour or Bing cherries, fresh, thawed frozen or drained canned 
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. granulated sugar  
  • 1 Tbs. all-purpose flour 
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten 
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds 

Directions:

To make the quick puff pastry, in the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the flour and salt. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment, scatter the butter over the flour mixture and mix on medium speed until the butter is the size of large peas and coated with flour. On medium-low speed, add the vinegar and then drizzle in the ice water until the flour mixture is moistened and starts to come together. You may not need all of the water.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, gather it into a ball and knead lightly until uniform. Roll out into an 11-by-17-inch rectangle, 1/2 inch thick. Dust off the excess flour from the surface with a clean, dry dish towel. With a short side facing you, fold the bottom third up and then fold the top third down over it, as if folding a business letter. It should now measure about 6 by 11 inches. If the dough seems warm, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Once again, roll out the dough into an 11-by-17-inch rectangle, 1/2 inch thick, and fold into thirds. Roll and fold one more time. Using the rolling pin, press the folded dough lightly on top to “lock” the folds. Cut the folded rectangle into thirds, and wrap each piece tightly with plastic wrap. For use in this recipe, refrigerate 1 piece for at least 1 hour or up to overnight. Freeze the remaining pastry (see note above).

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a floured work surface, roll out the chilled pastry into an 18-by-12-inch rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. Cut the rectangle into six 6-inch squares.

In a small bowl, stir together the ground almonds and confectioners’ sugar. In a medium bowl, stir together the cherries, the 1/2 cup granulated sugar and the flour.

Place 2 tsp. of the almond mixture in the center of each square. Divide the cherry mixture evenly among the squares, placing it on the almond mixture. Brush 2 contiguous sides of each square lightly with some of the egg white and fold in half to form a triangle. Press the edges with fork tines to seal. Place the pastries on the prepared pan, spacing them 1 1/2 inches apart. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. (At this point, the turnovers can be well wrapped and frozen for up to 3 months and then topped and baked directly from the freezer; increase the initial baking time to 30 minutes.)

Preheat an oven to 425°F. Recrimp the edges of each triangle with the fork. Brush the tops lightly with the remaining egg white. Sprinkle evenly with the sliced almonds and then with the 2 Tbs. granulated sugar. Using a sharp knife, cut 2 small vents in the top of each triangle.

Bake the turnovers for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350°F and continue to bake until puffed and golden, 10 to 15 minutes more. Let cool on the pan on a rack. Serve warm. Makes 6 turnovers.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Family Meals, by Maria Helm Sinskey (Oxmoor House, 2008).