When cherries are in season, I can't resist buying them. I end up with much more than we can eat out of hand, so,naturally I had to come up with a recipe for a turnover that suited them perfectly. This pastry allows the cherries to be the star while at the same time ensuring the crust has a shortbread-like tenderness.
Place clean, pitted cherries in saucepan along with 3/4 cups cane sugar and heat over medium heat until sugar melts and cherries soften, about 7 minutes. Add the lemon juice to the cornstarch and mix then add, while stirring, to the cherry mixture. There should be enough moisture from the cherries to enable the cornstarch to incorporate well, if not, then add a few tablespoons of water while stirring to avoid lumps. Cook on medium-low heat until the fruit liquid has turned clear. Remove from heat and set aside.
Make the crust mixing the flour and salt then cutting in the shortening until it resembles coarse meal or bread crumbs. Add the water, a little bit at a time until creating a mixture that holds together. Place the dough in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.
Remove chilled dough, cut into fourths, and place one quarter on a floured board or mat. Roll or press out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into 4 inch diameter rounds, or the size of your choosing. Place cherry filling into the center of the round. There should be an inch of dough remaining around the filling for crimping. After filling, fold the pastry in half, moisten the edges with water or milk, press and crimp the edges.
Bake in preheated 400 degree F. oven for 12 to 15 minutes. Brushing with milk before baking will help the crust to darken, but these don't turn brown when done, they are like a shortbread crust, which turns only lightly golden when cooked.
Allow to cool slightly and dust with powdered sugar, if desired.