Fresh Cherry Turnovers

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Fresh Cherry Turnovers are the best reason for using up your sweet, fresh cherries!

fresh cherry turnover on a white plate with a couple of fresh cherries on the plate. fresh cherries in the background

This hand-held dessert is perfect for serving a grab-and-go dessert that is easy to eat. Use sweet cherries for the sweetest flavor, and you’re going to love the cream cheese pie crust on this one too.

close up of a fresh cherry

Fresh cherries are the best!  They’re in season in the middle of summer, so take advantage of that!  

showing process of using a cherry pitter to get the pit out of a cherry- fingers holding cherry pitter and pressing down on cherry

All you need to make these Fresh Cherry Turnovers is a good cherry pitter to get rid of the pits inside the cherries in an efficient way! What a cool tool!! Slip the cherry into the slot, punch the metal gadget through and the pit slides right out. The cherry remains intact with a clean hole through the middle, and the plastic guard holds back the splattering cherry juice. As a result of this tool, our lives are happily filled with cherries.

showing process of rolling dough for turnovers- red rolling pin rolling out, using a tupperware to cut the round shapes, and then using a knife to mark the diameter of the round pastry

How to make the cream cheese crust:

The crust is pretty much the easiest crust I’ve ever worked with (this is coming from someone who is severely crust-challenged). The whole thing just goes into the food processor and then is given a short chill in the fridge before rolling. I use the top of a plastic container to cut out the rounds for the turnovers. I then use a knife to lightly mark the halfway-mark of each circle.

showing process of making cherry turnovers with cherry filling on a pastry and using a brush to brush edges with water

The cherry mixture is simple… just some sugared fresh cherries with a lemony zest and added cornstarch. I plop a couple of tablespoonfuls onto each turnover half. The edges of that same half are brushed with a milky egg-wash.

showing how to crimp the edges of turnovers using a fork

The tines of a fork are used to press the edges together to seal them.

showing how to make cherry turnovers adding egg wash to the turnover before baking

The turnovers are chilled in the fridge before continuing, and then brushed with egg wash again and sprinkled with coarse sugar.

cherry turnovers in a red cloth lined basket

Fresh and warm out of the oven, these Fresh Cherry Turnovers are fantastic little hand-pies. Slightly crunchy with a syrupy cherry filling tainted with lemon-flavor, we enjoy these plain. They’d also be fabulous with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of freshly whipped cream.

two cherry turnovers on a white plate with one cut open to see the inside. Fresh cherries in the background

They are also amazing as leftovers eaten the next day. Enjoy!

Here are a few more recipes using cherries that you might like to try:

fresh cherry turnover on a white plate with a couple of fresh cherries on the plate. fresh cherries in the background
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Fresh Cherry Turnovers

A lovely way to use up fresh cherries!
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Chill Time: 30 minutes
Servings 9 turnovers
Calories 318kcal
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Cherry, turnovers



  • cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon granulated white sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 8 ounces cold cream cheese, cut into tablespoons


  • cups (3/4 pound) pitted and halved fresh cherries
  • 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons milk or cream


  • coarse grain sugar



  • Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process for 10 seconds to blend. Add the cold butter pieces and process for just a few seconds, until the mixture looks like crumbs. Add the cream cheese and pulse quickly about 25 times (or until a clump of dough has formed). Turn the clump of dough onto waxed paper and knead gently 2 to 3 times to bring dough together. Flatten into a 7-inch square. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes (or up to 2 days).


  • In a medium bowl, mix the cherries with the sugar, lemon zest and juice, cornstarch and salt; set aside until ready to fill the turnovers.


  • Place the dough on a lightly floured surface.. Roll into a square that is roughly 15x15. At this point, you can decide if you'd like to make round or square-shaped turnovers. If you make round (half-moon shape) turnovers, you can simply use the top of a 6-inch diameter bowl as your cutter. If you'd rather make square (triangle-shape) turnovers, use a chef's knife to trim a 15-inch square. Mark 5-inch increments along all sides of the dough & with the ruler as a guide, cut the dough into nine 5-inch squares. Re-roll scraps as necessary.


  • Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • Place the cut-out dough onto prepared baking sheets. On each square or circle, use a knife to lightly mark a line showing the halfway mark (make sure it's just a line indentation & not cut all the way through). Spoon a couple of tablespoonfuls of the cherries onto each "half"- keeping it on one side of the dividing line and leaving about a 1/4-inch border along the edge. Brush edges on the fruit side of the turnover with egg wash (egg & milk whisked together). Carefully fold the other side over the fruit and use the tines of a fork to press the edges together and seal them. Move baking sheets to refrigerator and chill for about 20 minutes. Adjust racks in oven to top and bottom thirds of the oven, and preheat oven to 375°F.


  • Brush the tops of the turnovers with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Use the tip of a paring knife to carefully cut three slits in the top of each turnover to allow steam to escape during baking. Bake turnovers on bottom and top third racks for 15 minutes. Then rotate the sheets and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Serve warm or at room temperature, with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.


  • *The dough may also be frozen. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in zip freezer bag for up to 2 months.
    *These will keep at room temperature in a covered container for 2 days. To re-crisp, heat in a 375 degree oven until warmed through. They'll keep a little longer if wrapped airtight and refrigerated (about 5 days).


Serving: 1turnover | Calories: 318kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 238mg | Potassium: 207mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 723IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1mg
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Lori Lange of Recipe Girl

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  • Susan wrote:

    I pitted, halved and froze leftover cherries last summer. Can I use those? Or should they be fresh?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I think they would be fine.

  • Emily wrote:

    Do you use sweet or tart cherries for this? I would assume sweet since there’s not a lot of sugar in the recipe, but I just want to make sure.

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Yes, sweet cherries will be perfect.

  • Foodie in Berlin wrote:

    Can you freeze the uncooked and filled turnovers and cook them from frozen?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      @Foodie in Berlin, Haven’t tried it, but since you can do pies like that, I’m assuming these would work too.

  • Daziano wrote:

    This looks so good!

  • Sarah wrote:

    I wonder how these would hold up in the freezer? If this crust is as simple and yummy as it looks… I could have handy pies of whatever fruits are abundant in the freezer, ready to pop into DH’s lunch.
    How Betty Crocker would I be?

  • Stacey wrote:

    Thanks for sharing! I made these tonight – they are pretty good! I think if I make them again I’ll add more sugar to the pastry (or just have them with ice cream) to increase the sweetness factor! Great way to use up cherries!

  • Jennifer F. wrote:

    I tried this recipe and it is just amazing! Thanks so much for sharing so many wonderful recipes with the world!