Oh My Heart… Oh, and Sweetheart Cherry Turnovers

IMG_2261.JPGCan I take a moment to be honest? It being the month of February, I find it only fitting to share my heart with you… both through baking and in my own personal life.  That is why I’ve chosen these amazing Sweetheart Cherry Turnovers as my featured recipe and tutorial! Aren’t they just the sweetest? With little hearts scored on top, they are perfect for Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day, or… ANY DAY!!

As much as I love these heart-inspired turnovers, their flaky crust and gooey cherry filling that yearns to escape through every creese and flaw imaginable, remind me how fragile our own hearts truly are.  I don’t often allow myself to be this vulnerable, but can I just say… the month of February is hard for a single girl!  Right as you feel you’ve recovered from the Christmas season, you realize what holiday is next on the calendar… and panic ensues.  February  is a month when the reality of ones singleness is made evidently clear through the constant reminder of love around every corner… literally.

Just the other day, I took a detour from my normal commute home to make a quick Target run… in search for a planner for the New Year. Whilst in a stellar mood, thinking about all the things that will soon be accomplish with the help of this handy dandy planner, I strolled down the aisles in pursuit of the next item on my shopping list.  As I turned the corner to look for my favorite toothpaste, I was stopped in my tracks by the sea of red and pink that made up the Valentine’s candy display.  Now, if I would have purchased my planner early in January, like most organized and goal-striving people, I would have possibly glanced at the upcoming month and had more time to process this shift of emotions that would soon come over me.  But alas, I procrastinated, and not only did I get the snickelefritz of the remaining unwanted planners, I was left with a sinking reminder of my relationship status.

The thing is, I am not a love-bashing or cynical person at all; on the contrary, it makes me happy to see others happily in love.  I’m a sap, a hopeless romantic, I LOVE love, and hope to someday join this party you all seem to be so fond of… but the fact of the matter is, I’m not there yet. I know we all go through seasons of life where we feel broken and struggle to see the light.  I would consider myself an extremely positive, strong, and grounded individual… yet somehow, this season of singleness has knocked me down like no other. Just like any other struggle, I know that it potentially has the power to daily take over my thoughts and consume me… Who am I kidding, of course there have been moments where this has happened…

But in the midst of all this, I have a hope… A light that I know will always outshine this darkness.  I know that there is work being done in me that only this time of singleness can accomplish. I know that God is good, that he hears our cries and prayers. I choose to look for the light in the darkness, not merely because it will lead me out of whatever it is I am facing, but it also will reveal what was once unseen.

I know I am not alone in this battle, there are so many who feel the pains of being alone. I encourage you to take heart, and look for the blessings and opportunities that this season has allowed.  Give yourself grace in times of frustration and guilt; your pain is real, valid and felt by so many who don’t often express it.  And know that, when others fail you (as imperfect humans tend to do), God will always be by your side guiding you and even carrying you through this.

You see, the beautiful thing about these turnovers (recipe to follow shortly, I promise) is that they take prepping and mending but also need ample room to vent and let steam loose.  May you take special care of your own heart this Valentine’s Day, whether in a relationship or not, listening and tending to it’s needs but also allowing it to be expressed to those you love.

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” – Psalm 73:26

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Sweetheart Cherry Turnovers

Yields: 16 Turnovers

Pie Crust Ingredients (Makes 3-9″ pie crusts or about 16-3″ turnovers)

3 cups (375 g) All-Purpose Flour

1 ½ cups (249 g) Crisco

1 tsp Salt

1 Egg

5 Tbsp Cold Water

1 Tbsp Vinegar


Flour (for dusting)

1 Egg white + 1 Tbsp Water (for egg wash)

Coarse Sugar (for sprinkling)

Cherry Filling Ingredients:

3 Tbsp Cornstarch

3 Tbsp Cold Water

4 cups Fresh Cherries, pitted (or 24 oz frozen cherries, unthawed)

1 ⅓ cups Dried Cherries

1 cup sugar

4 tsp lemon juice

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

¼ tsp Kosher Salt

 

Directions:

First, prep your pie crust! It will need to sit in the freezer for a good 20-30 minutes.  This is a great step to do ahead of time, I like to have some on hand just in case any pie-related emergency should occur… if you have some already made and frozen, just let the dough thaw till it is workable, about 20 minutes.

In a large bowl, measure you flour, crisco and salt; with a pastry cutter (or fork), blend together till dry ingredients are fully incorporated.  In a separate small bowl, lightly mix together the remaining wet ingredients (egg, water, and vinegar), add this to your dough and gently fold until just combined (this step is important! Don’t overdo it!).  Put dough in a gallon-size ziploc bag, press down to flatten slightly, and freeze for at least 15 minutes.

OR you could just go out and buy one of those pre-made pie crusts from the grocery store… I won’t judge you… but this is my favorite pie crust recipe from the Pioneer Woman, it is pretty spectacular!

While you’re waiting for your pie crust to freeze, start prepping the cherry filling.  In a small bowl mix together cornstarch and water; this will be the thickening agent for later, so set it aside.  In a large saucepan, combine remaining ingredients (cherries, dried cherries, sugar, lemon juice vanilla and salt), cook on medium heat till cherry juices are released, stirring occasionally.  This should take about 5 minutes for fresh cherries; I used frozen cherries and it took closer to 8 minutes.  Add thickening mixture and bring to boil, stirring often. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

While that is cooling, we will go ahead and prep our pie crust and egg wash.  In a small bowl mix together egg white with water to make the egg wash, plop a brush in that and set aside for later.  On a lightly floured surface, knead dough slightly and roll out to about ⅛” thickness.  Now at this point, you can choose what shape you’d like your turnover to be! Isn’t that exciting? If I’m being honest, the ones I made were shapeless, I had extras from a Native American baby shower where I made these cherry turnovers in the shape of little TP’s.  I would recommend using a 3″ circle cookie cutter and make tops and bottoms from that; you can also do the folding-in -half method, just make your shapes larger.

By this time, hopefully your cherry filling has cooled down. Scoop about 2 Tbsp onto a 3″ pie round, then brush egg wash along the edges.  Place another 3″ pie round on top, press down the edges lightly and seal using a fork to crimp.  Using a sharp knife, create slits on top for venting; you can draw a heart, or just a few lines… whatever suites your fancy.  Brush tops with egg wash and sprinkle a little coarse sugar on top.  Place turnovers on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 375° for about 30-40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to cooling rack.

And there you have it!  I am so pleased to share this Cherry Turnover recipe with you… it has been adapted from  a couple of different recipes, with an amazing end result (crust from the pioneer woman and filling from mybakingaddiction.com).  I look forward to sharing my future recipe collaborations with you, thanks for stopping by… and…

Happy Baking!!

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