Cherry Turnovers – Using My Make Ahead Bread Book.

The Book.

The Book.

I love making bread, it frightens me how easy I find it. I hear other people say they have issues and often fail. I have had a couple of failures which I have blamed on old yeast and the weather. It has still been edible, but a little flat. If you are frightened, start with 5 minute bread to find your feet and you can use it for various things.

My latest bread making cook book is the one above. I have made a few basic things and they have been good. I do love the idea of doing a little work a few times and then cooking something wonderful. I have been looking for a reason to bake some pastries and use the method that takes 3 nights. As Friday is Mr Muffins take baking to work day I have the perfect opportunity.  The pastries I have chosen are…….. drum roll …………. CHERRY TURNOVERS. Some will actually be apricot and I will be using jam rather than pie filling. I have to change something.

Over the next few days I will update on the step and results.

Cherry Turnovers – from Make Ahead Bread by Donna Currie

Day 1

Day 1

Day 1

2 1/4 tsp active yeast

3/4 c milk at room temp (can microwave for few seconds to reach room temp)

1 large egg

1/3 c sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract

2 1/2 c bread flour

1/2 c ground almonds (almond meal)

1 tsp salt

225 g cold butter (2 sticks)

Whisk together yeast, milk , egg, sugar and extract in a medium bowl.

Put flour, ground almonds and salt in a food processor and pulse to mix.

Cut butter into roughly 4 cm cubes and add to flour.

Pulse into flour mix until the butter is baked bean sized.

Stir flour mix into the liquid mixture, stir gently until combined.

The mix should be on the wet side, add more milk of flour to get to desired consistency.

Cover and place in fridge over night.

Day 2- folding

Day 2- folding

Day 2

I took the buttery dough like mass out of the fridge and followed the instructions. I really enjoyed rolling the dough out and folding it. Therapeutic it was. I used plenty of flour on the surface and the dough.

Flour your work surface and turn dough out, flour that too.

Roll dough into 45cm (18 inch) square.

Fold the left side of square into centre of dough and then right side (like a letter).

Fold the top 1/3 down to centre and bottom 1/3 up, you will have a fat square.

Roll this square into a 40 cm (16 inches) square and repeat above.

Do another 16 cm square and repeat one last time.

Wrap in glad wrap and place in a bag in the fridge.


Not looking too shabby?

Day 3

I must say, I have looked forward to finishing these babies off all day. The dough was easy to roll, handle and shape. I did find that as they cooked the butter did melt out of the pastry and next time would consider doing the last rise in the fridge over night. They would freeze well at this stage like the boxed frozen ones in the supermarket, now my mind is ticking. My pastries were smaller than the book stated and I’m going to write the steps as I did it.

For fillings I used Barker’s of Geraldine Morello Cherries, Barker’s of Geraldine Apricot Jam and Whittaker’s Dark Cocoa Chocolate. The sausage roll looking pastries were the chocolate version. For those I cut the pastry into long strips about 4cm wide, put a piece of chocolate along the top and rolled. I sealed it with a bit of water.

* Keep the rolling and patting gentle so you don’t knock the layers out.

Line 2 or 3 baking trays with baking paper.

Remove Dough from fridge and cut into 3 equal pieces, place 2 back in the fridge.

Pat dough into a square and roll out to roughly 5mm thick, cut into even squares (mine were roughly 7cm Squared)

Put 3/4 tsp jam on the centre of the square.

Dampen the edges and pull over one side to make a triangle.

Press a fork around the edges.

Place on the baking sheet, leave a gap to allow for rising between pastries.

Carry on until all the dough is used.

Brush with egg glaze and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake until brown in a 210c oven.

Allow to cool on a wire rack.

PicMonkey Collage

Cherry and Almond Cake and the one egg saga


I have this problem, I can not cope when there is space in the oven for something else and I have just one egg left. One egg drives me mad. It screams to be used and use it I must.

This happened just yesterday and my frantic goggling for a cake recipe that uses just one 1 egg and me mixing it up made for a very lovely cherry and almond cake which was very easy to make. Yes, cherries and almonds again. I do love them so. The original recipes is here.

This recipe makes a very robust European tasting cake, it is not on the light fluffy scale. If you don’t have the cherries it will still be interesting.

Cherry Almond Cake

Grease 20cm round cake tin
1 Cup sugar
1 large egg
3/4 (170 grms) Melted butter
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 c ground almonds  (75grm packet)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup drain morello cherries (I used jar Delmaine)
1/2 c slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 180
Grease a 9″ cake tin and line with baking paper
Lightly whisk sugar and eggs
Slowly whisk in melted butter until well combined
Stir in almond extract and ground almonds
Stir in flour, baking powder and salt
Spread half the batter over prepared tin
Stir cherries into remaining half and spread over existing batter
Sprinkle slivered almonds over the top

Bake for around 30- 40 minute, until set and top browning
Cool in tin for around 10 minute, loosen with a knife, remove baking paper and place on wire rack.

Cherry and apple strudel

Photo 11-01-14 9 48 28 am (HDR)

This morning we had friends around for brunch.  If I do say myself, it was rather yum. I will talk about the hash browns another time, they came with the first with some more savoury items. The strudel came next and was so, so, so good. I served it with the Christmas special from The Collective Dairy – Vanilla Bean Custard. Oh blimey, they worked well together, very well. In fact so well that I saved all the crumbs and odd bits of cherries and sprinkled the on the left over for yoghurt for later.

Anyway, on to the strudel. I must confess that I used filo and didn’t spend hours making really, really thin strudel pastry. I used the filo from the fridge in the supermarket as I find it easier to work with. I filled it with cherries as I had a jar in the cupboard and I love cherries. I couldn’t get fresh ones as they would never last past getting stoned. The one things about strudel is, it is easy and you can put what ever you like in.

heat oven to 180 (160 on fan)


Filo pastry- 8 sheets (I used Timos)

Jar of cherries

2 apples

1/2 cup white sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 lemon

Ground almonds

Around 100 g melted butter with a teaspoon of vanilla essence added

Clean tea towel


Drain the cherries, get as much liquid out as possible

Peel and thinly slice the apples

Add fruit to a bowl and sprinkle with cinnamon, sugar and squeeze lemon juice over  (I did night before and stuck in the fridge so was all ready  in the morning)

Lay the clean tea towel out and put 1 sheet of filo on it, brush with butter

Lay another sheet on top and brush again,

Lay the next sheet on and brush with butter then sprinkle some ground almonds over

Repeat until all 8 sheets have been used

Turn the sheets so the long side is horizontal

Sprinkle ground almonds in a long thin rectangle , just enough to cover ( leave a gap of 3cm from all edges and make it around 10cm high)

Put fruit mix over the almonds, try not to transfer any liquid

Grab the end of the tea towel closest to you and pull up so strudel rolls over the filo

Transfer to a baking sheet lined with baking paper, you can curl it around to fit

Bake until browned- around 40 minutes

Leave to cool slightly and sprinkle with icing sugar

Slice on the diagonal and serve warm with Vanilla Bean Custard.

There are a good few clips on YouTube about the whole strudel business, I  like this one with a huge strudel-

The roll

French Farmhouse Cherry Pie

This tart/pie is one of my favourite things in the world. It is my birthday request and my mum likes to make it for me. Now she has gone back to the UK I will have to make it myself.
I copied the recipe from my parents scraggy old French farmhouse cooking recipe book. I did not copy the pastry recipe as mum always uses the store bought stuff and there are plenty of recipes out there, if you are stuck try here
If you are a fan of cherries and almonds like me, you must make this as soon as you can. If you have followed a link from Sweet New Zealand, you know you have to try it, you clicked, you liked.Thanks Sugar & Spice & all Things Nice for hosting. If you are wondering what I am talking about, look HERE.
Tin- I used my new rectangle tin but mother always uses a normal flan dish- the fluted round type.

Sweet Short crust pastry
I used the Ruth Pretty recipe as mentioned above, I baked the shell blind for 15 minutes while I prepared the filling.
300g (2 cups + 3 tbsp) flour
75g (1/4 cup + 2 + 1/2 tbsp) sugar
1/2 tsp salt
150g unsalted butter (cold and diced)
1 egg yolk
45ml (3 tbsp) water
In food processor whiz flour, butter, sugar and salt until the mix forms breadcrumbs
Lightly whisk egg yolk with water and, with processor running, slowly pour liquid through feed tube.
Process until pastry just forms a ball. 
Form pastry into a disc and let pastry rest for 30 minutes before rolling, or store in fridge for up to 2 days, or till required. Alternatively freeze till required.

Roll short crust pastry to a 5mm thickness
Shape into prepared flan tin and chill for 30 minutes, prick base gently with a fork.

Blind bake for around 15 minutes or until just starts turning brown.

450 grm jar of Morello cherries
125 grms butter
125 grms caster sugar
125 grms ground almonds
1 tsp flour
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons rum flavour 

Pre-heat oven 180, blind bake pastry case
Drain cherries
Cream butter, sugar, almonds and flour until smooth
Add eggs one at a time
Stir in rum flavour
Arrange cherries in the bottom of pastry case
Pour almond mix over the cherries
Bake for 30 minutes until golden, cover with foil and bake for further hour.

175 grms icing sugar
1 tablespoon rum flavour
2 tablespoons of water
jam to glaze (states red current, we use raspberry or black cherry)

Dissolve icing sugar, rum and water in a small saucepan over a low heat, beating constantly
Brush tart with jam, heating jam if necessary
Pour glaze over the cooled tart