Cheese and Jam Turnovers are an easy and delicious treat inspired by Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” book. With tender, flakey cheddar cheese infused pastry crust and filled with sweet and tart blackberry jam, these little cheese and blackberry jam hand pies are perfect for breakfast or a snack on the go.
These lovely little hand pies are inspired by the book “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott. In the book, Hannah made these every morning, no matter how busy or grumpy she might be. The sisters would then use these hand pies hot out of the oven to warm their hands as they walked to work or school. They are easy to make into a sweet or savory snack, depending on what you fill them with.
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My friend Wini recently wrote a book called “The Little Women Cookbook” and I could not be more excited to get my hands on a copy. With a love for historical recipes and literary-inspired recipes, this cookbook was right up my alley! This book is filled with historical recipes that play a prominent role in the book “Little Women”. With over 50 easy to make recipes that have been updated for modern kitchens, you can eat and read your way through one of your favorite literary classics! Get your copy here!
Other historical and literary inspired recipes:
- American 17th Century Gingerbread Recipe – This easy to make historical 17th century gingerbread cake recipe is flavorful, dense, and moist, and still as perfect today as it was back then
- Traditional Apple Cider Wassail – This easy and traditional Apple Cider Wassail Recipe is the perfect holiday drink the whole family can enjoy! Whether you are going caroling or opening presents, everyone will be sure to enjoy a big mug full of this holiday beverage!
- Chocolate Puffs – These Chocolate Puffs are a simple 3 ingredient dessert from the 1700’s is the perfect combination of crispy chocolate cookie and candy – semi-sweet and loaded with chocolate.
These Cheddar Cheese and Blackberry Jam Turnovers are the perfect combination of sweet and savory. With a good aged sharp cheddar cheese in the quick pastry dough and a dollop of sweet blackberry jam inside, these make a great addition to any breakfast or mid-day snack. And they are so easy that they are perfect for kids to get in the kitchen with you and help make them!
How to prep Cheese and Blackberry Jam Turnovers
These little turnovers are perfect to make ahead of when you need them! They are actually quite hot when you take them out of the oven (obvious, I know, but that jam turns into molten lava and takes a while to cool back down). Here are some easy ways you can get these cheese and jam hand pies to fit into your schedule:
- Shred the cheese and prepare the dough ahead of time. It needs to chill an hour in the fridge, but you can keep it in there up to 2 days if you need to. Just remember if it has had a long rest in the fridge it will need some time to become a little warmer before you can roll it (but still chilled).
- You can prepare the turnovers and store them on the lined baking sheet in the fridge before baking.
Kids in the Kitchen: How Your Kids Can Help You Cook
Getting your kids in the kitchen is an amazing way to help them be more interested in trying new foods and confident in their own abilities. This Cheddar and Blackberry Turnover recipe is great because it helps them learn to use a cheese grater and they get to practice using a rolling pin. This recipe is perfect for beginner cooks because it is so easy! And it is a great recipe for kids to experiment and become more comfortable with new flavors – which means they are more likely to eat it!
- Kids aged 1-3 can help you measure and mix the ingredients for the dough, as well as scoop the blackberry jam into the dough circles.
- Kids aged 4-6 can do everything above, plus help you mix the dough, roll the dough, use the cookie cutters, use the pastry brush, and help assemble the turnovers.
- Kids aged 7-10+ can help you do everything above.
*Please note that these recommendations are generalized, and to please use your personal discretion with your child’s skill level. And always, always supervise! Read more about how to have your children help you in the kitchen.
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Cheese and Jam Turnovers
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- pinch of salt
- ½ cp unsalted butter cut into pieces
- 1 cup shredded aged sharp cheddar cheese
- 3 Tablespoons milk plus extra for brushing pastry
- ¼ cup fruit jam or preserves I used blackberry
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.
- Add in the butter, and working with two forks or a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
- Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese.
- Add in the milk, stirring unitl the flour is moistened and the dough starts to come together.
- Knead the dough gently against the side of the bowl to make a ball.
- Flatten the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap.
- Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchemnt paper or a silpat mat.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/8" thick.
- Using a 3.5" round cutter, cut out 12 dough circles. Gently press the scraps togehter to reform the dough and reroll as needed, but try to work quickly because the more you handle the dough, the softer it will become.
- Spoon a heaping teaspoon of jam into the center of each circle.
- Brush the edges of the circles with additional milk and fold the circles over to enclose the jam.
- Press the times of a fork around the edges to seal.
- Cut three small slits on the top of each turnover with a sharp knife to allow steam to escape.
- Arrange the turnovers on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake until the turnovers are golden brown, 25-30 minutes.
- Cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes before serving - the jam centers will be hot.