Blackberry turnover deliciousness


When we first moved into our house, my husband’s friend Greg gave me a blackberry cutting. I said, “don’t blackberries run?” He said, “These aren’t the running kind.”


These babies have gone throughout the yard, all over the place. We pull them and try to control them, but keep one patch where we get the most delicious blackberries each year that I freeze or make into quick refrigerator jams. One special treat is to crush them and add them to Trader Joe’s Soyaki sauce, which makes an amazing grilled chicken marinade.

But I’m always looking for new recipes and this month’s Sunset magazine had a recipe for Blackberry Turnovers by the formidable Ruth Reichl. They looked perfect and easy. So I headed out back with my trusty colander and picked all the ripe berries.

The recipe is easy, but I did make my own adjustments, and after making it have more suggestions.

Blackberry Turnovers, adapted from Ruth Reichl

1 1/2 sticks cold butter, cut into small pieces

8 oz. cream cheese cut into small pieces

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

Blend pastry ingredients together using a pastry cutter and your fingertips. I once watched a woman who was proclaimed the best biscuit maker in the South, and she swore that the very best way to cut shortening into flour is with fingertips. I like to use the cutter and use my fingers to work the bigger chunks. This makes for a really flaky crust because the butter isn’t overworked as it is with a food processor.

2 cups fresh blackberries

1/2 cup sugar

pinch of salt

3 1/2 tbsp. flour

Mix right before you make the turnovers. Reichl said the fruit “weeps” after a half-hour. More like 10 minutes and it’s running all over the place. She also calls for zest from 1/2 lemon. I added some of the lemon peel and regret it. The berries are already tart and don’t need the intrusive lemon flavor.

To prepare the turnovers.

Heat oven to 375. If the dough has been in the fridge for more than an hour let it sit on a counter for about 15 minutes. On a generously floured surface roll out one disk. Cut the dough into 4-inch (approximately) circles. The dough reworks well, so keep re-rolling the scraps mushed together by hand, and cutting the circles. Repeat for second disk.

Spoon about a heaping tablespoon of filling into the middle of each circle. By tablespoon here, I’m talking about an eating utensil tablespoon, rather than a measuring tablespoon (the sizes are very different).

Brush the edges of the circles all around with milk. Fold in half. Use a fork to crimp the edges together. Brush turnover with more milk. Sprinkle with sugar (Raw sugar is best). Pierce each turnover with a sharp knife, making about four slits.

Cook on parchment paper or –my preference–Silpat, liners on baking sheets, for 25-30 minutes.

Blackberries fresh from the patch in our backyard. Warm from the sun.
The recipe called for cutting shortening in with a food processor. I’ve found hand-mixing with an old-fashioned pastry cutter gives much better results
Once dough is mixed, form disks, wrap in plastic wrap and stick in the fridge for an hour.


About a teaspoon of filling goes in each turnover. Fold over turnovers, brush edges with milk and crimp with a fork. Brush outsides with more milk and sprinkle with sugar. make slits with a sharp knife


Reichl’s recipe called for a 4 1/2 inch round cutter. I improvised with a clean, used sour cream container. It did the job. Not optimal, but workable,
Rustic-looking–just like in the magazine.

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