Wash and pat the cherries dry. Use a cherry pitting tool to pit the cherries. Alternatively, slice them in half and pick out the pit. Note: The compote does look prettier when the cherries are whole, so it is worth it to purchase a pitter. They are fairly inexpensive and can be found at most kitchen stores.
To make the compote, simply place the cherries, juice and sugar into a heavy-bottomed pot and heat over medium. Let the compote simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cherries soften slightly. The cherries should still hold their shape somewhat, so it's important to not overcook the compote.
Mix the cornstarch and a couple of teaspoons of water together in a small bowl. Once the compote has cooked, add the cornstarch a bit at a time while stirring. Let the mixture simmer for a minute or so to see how thick it becomes before adding more, keeping in mind that the compote will thicken even more as it cools. You should be able to see obvious track lines in the compote when you scrape the bottom of the pot. The compote for turnovers needs to be a thick enough so it doesn't spill out of the turnover when you take a bite. Let the mixture simmer for a couple of minutes to cook off any starchiness. Taste to make sure it doesn't taste chalky.
Pour into a bowl and let cool completely before using.
- 1 1/4 lb fresh bing cherries
- juice of 1/2 an orange
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 to 3 tsp cornstarch (or more)
- 2 tsp water (approx.)