Cherry Cheesecake Turnovers made completely from scratch with a flaky, buttery, homemade pie crust and a sweet cherry cheesecake filling.
It was around this time last year that I shared my apple turnover recipe, and since then my little sister has not stopped asking me to make them for her.
I finally decided that this space could use a new turnover recipe and thought that cherry would be the best choice because
- I have a glaring lack of cherry recipes on my blog (I have none, actually, unless you count my pineapple upside-down cake that uses maraschino cherries, but I think that’s a stretch).
- After spending the better half of my teenage years working at an Arby’s it’s now ingrained in my head that cherry and apple turnovers (and occasionally chocolate turnovers) are the only turnover flavors that matter, and
- I was just really, really getting tired of hearing her ask for turnovers!
Unfortunately, as it turns out, Andi doesn’t actually like cherries or anything cherry-flavored so my efforts for that part were mostly wasted, but at least she nibbled around the edges and gave the sugared crust and cheesecake filling a thumbs-up.
Honestly, I’m not much of a cherry person myself either, but as it turns out if you serve me a cherry turnover made with a bourbon-infused cherry pie filling and served warm over a bed of creamy cheesecake and tucked into a golden sugared bed of buttery pie crust, I certainly won’t turn it down.
I made this cherry pie filling using frozen cherries, but I’m sure fresh would work just as well. Just make sure to pit your cherries before using and also, be mindful of the tartness of the cherries that you use — a more tart cherry will likely need a little more sugar to make the filling more palatable.
I also chose to add a splash of bourbon into my cherry pie filling for flavor, but if you don’t like bourbon you can leave this out. I also tried flavoring the cherry pie filling with a little bit of vanilla extract and found that I didn’t really care for it; the taste detracted from the natural flavor of the cherries, and besides, there’s a subtle vanilla flavor in the cheesecake layer so adding it to the cherries becomes redundant anyway.
These cherry cheesecake turnovers start with my all-time favorite easy pie crust recipe. If you’ve ever felt intimidated by the prospect of making your own pie dough, don’t be. Mine is not only flaky, buttery, and easy to manage but it also comes together simply thanks to the fact that I always use a food processor. this is my go-to pie crust, I’ve been making it for years and I’ve never found another recipe that’s been easier or tastier.
If you’re really looking for a shortcut you could use store-bought pie dough or even puff pastry. When I worked at Arby’s, their turnovers were always made with puff pastry but I always thought that it overwhelmed the filling rather than complementing it — I always had a mouthful of bland, crumbly puff pastry and a tiny bit of filling — so I much prefer using this buttery homemade pie dough instead.
How to Make Cherry Cheesecake Turnovers
Cherry Cheesecake Turnovers
- Double batch pie crust dough chilled (I recommend using my favorite easy pie crust linked to here, the recipe is easily doubled to make enough for this recipe)
- 2 1/2 cups frozen pitted cherries
- 1/4 cup sugar (50g)
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon bourbon optional
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened to room temperature (225g)
- 1/3 cup sugar (65g)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg + 1 teaspoon water beaten together in a small dish (for egg wash)
- Coarse sugar for sprinkling (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400F (205C)
- Divide your chilled pie dough into two pieces that are roughly the same size.
- Transfer to a lightly floured surface and roll one piece into a rectangle about 1/8" thick.
- Using a pizza cutter or a knife, neatly cut dough into 4.5" squares and transfer to a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet (you will need to gather the scraps and re-roll them out to make all 10 turnovers).
- Place squares on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and return to the refrigerator.
- Repeat rolling and cutting with your second half of pie dough until you have 10 squares chilling in your refrigerator.
- Meanwhile, prepare your cherry pie filling by combining pitted cherries, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Stir frequently until cherries release their juices and mixture is liquidy. Increase heat to medium and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently until mixture is thickened.
- Remove from heat and stir in bourbon, if using. Allow cherry mixture to cool (at least 15-20 minutes -- if you add hot cherry pie filling to your pie dough you will melt it) before proceeding.
- While your cherry pie filling cools, prepare your cheesecake filling by combining cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract in a bowl and stirring until well-combined. Set aside.
- Once your pie filling has cooled, remove your prepared turnover dough from the refrigerator and use a pastry brush to lightly brush the insides of your pastry squares with egg wash.
- Portion about 2 teaspoons of cheesecake mixture into the center of each turnover square and then top with 1 ½ Tablespoons of cherry pie filling (see image in post). Gently fold over one corner to the other to envelope the filling (if your dough is still cold and stiff from the refrigerator, just let it sit at room temperature for several more minutes and it will become flexible enough to fold over. Use the tines of a fork to press and seal the turnovers.
- Brush the outside lightly with egg wash, cut small slits across to vent, and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired.
- Bake on 400F (205C) oven for 25 minutes, until pastry is beginning to turn golden brown.
- Allow to cool before enjoying.