This Tart Cherry Pastry recipe is sponsored by Oregon Fruit Products. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Bakes by Brown Sugar possible.
This Red Tart Cherry Cream Cheese Puff Pastry is so delicious and the best part is it's an easy breakfast pastry or dessert. Golden brown puff pastry is filled with a lemony sweetened cream cheese mixture and then topped with sweet-tart cherry filling, featuring Oregon Fruit Red Tart Cherries.
You'll love these delicious treats with all those buttery flaky layers. They make great breakfast pastries or an afternoon snack with coffee and they're perfect for family get-togethers.
I’m excited to work with Oregon Fruit and present this scrumptious pastry. I’ve been a fan for years. So when they asked me to come up with a sweet treat featuring tart cherries that families could enjoy together I said yes. Oregon Fruit’s Red Tart Cherries was the first product that I ever tried and it’s what made me a fan of this company. I also just love that it is a family-owned, US-based company with core community values and sustainability being the main focus.
Oregon Fruit Products are easy to find year-round so you can make your favorite treats any time of the year. I love that they’re packed in water, so it’s easy to adjust the amount of sweetness for your favorite dessert or other treats at your next family celebration.
Ingredients You’ll Need for Cream Cheese Pastries
Here is what you’ll need for this delicious cherry pastry:
- Puff Pastry (All Butter): I used store-bought puff pastry for this recipe, it's a great shortcut but if you want to practice your baking skills use this Puff Pastry recipe to make your own. For the best results use all-butter puff pastry.
- Oregon Fruit Red Tart Cherries: The taste of these red tart cherries are amazing and go so well with the buttery puff pastry and the sweet cream cheese filling.
- Granulated Sugar: Add sweetness to the cherry filling and the cream cheese filling
- Lemon Juice: Fresh lemon juice enhances the natural tartness of the cherries and adds a nice tartness to the glaze
- Cornstarch: Cornstarch is used to thicken the cherry filling
- Pure Vanilla Extract: Adds a wonderful flavor to the tart cherry filling.
- Cream Cheese: Use full-fat cream cheese for the best results.
- Large Egg Yolk: The egg yolk is combined with the cream cheese to make a smooth creamy filling for the pastry.
- Lemon Zest: Is added to the cream cheese filling and gives it a citrusy floral taste
- Whole Egg: The whole egg is used as an egg wash for the puff pastry and gives it a nice shiny appearance.
- Powdered Sugar: Powdered sugar is used to make the glaze. The glaze is optional but it’s a nice addition to the red tart cherry filling.
- Whole Milk: Whole milk helps make the glaze creamy.
See the recipe below for the full list of ingredients and the baking directions
How to Make Tart Cherry Cream Cheese Puff Pastry
I think the thing you’ll love about this recipe is how easy it is to make. It has three main components: the puff pastry, the red tart cherry filling, and the cream cheese filling.
Start by reading the directions on the box of puff pastry and follow the package directions for defrosting the puff pastry sheets and baking them in the oven. The brand that I use calls for baking it in the oven at 400F. If the brand you’re using calls for a different temperature, use that temperature and adjust the baking time.
Make the Red Tart Cherry Filling. Drain the cherry liquid from the cherries and place it in a 3-quart saucepan. Add the sugar and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the ingredients until the mixture is reduced to 1/2 cup.
While the cherry liquid is simmering, in a small bowl whisk together the cornstarch and the lemon juice until it forms a slurry. Once the liquid is reduced, whisk the cornstarch mixture into the cherry mixture. Continue to whisk for another minute until the liquid thickens and to thoroughly cook the cornstarch. Add the whole cherries and cook for another minute. Remove the cherries from the heat, add the vanilla extract and allow them to cool to room temperature.
The cherry filling can also be made up to one week in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you make the cherry pastries.
Make the Cream Cheese Filling. In a medium mixing bowl combine the sugar and lemon zest and rub the lemon zest into the sugar to release as much lemon flavor as possible. Add the cream cheese. With an electric mixer beat the mixture until smooth. Add the egg yolk and mix in until the egg is thoroughly incorporated. Refrigerate the filling until ready to bake the pastries.
Add the egg yolk and mix in until the egg is thoroughly incorporated. Refrigerate the filling until ready to bake the pastries.
Bake the Pastries. Remove the puff pastry dough from the packaging and place it on a lightly floured surface. Most packages come with two sheets of puff pastry and depending on their weight you may only need one sheet for this recipe. For this recipe, you'll need a puff pastry sheet that weighs about 9 ounces. Lightly sprinkle some flour on top and roll out the puff pastry to a 9x9-inch square. Use a ruler and a sharp knife to mark 9 3x3-inch squares.
Use a pizza cutter and ruler (to help keep straight lines) to cut out the squares. Separate the squares and brush each one with egg wash. Refrigerate the squares for 15 minutes.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the squares from the refrigerator, brush them and prick the center of each square with a fork. Place a tablespoon of the cream cheese filling in the center.
Pricking the puff pastry with the fork is called docking and it's done to allow the steam to escape as the puff pastry bakes and to keep the centers from rising as high as the outside edges.
Bake the puff pastry for 10-12 minutes until they are a beautiful golden brown color and you see the layers of flaky puff pastry. Remove the pastries from the oven, cool them for 5 minutes on the baking sheet then move them to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Assemble the Pastries. Once the puff pastry is cooled, spoon the red tart cherry filling on top of the cream cheese filling.
Make the Lemon Glaze
In a small bowl combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, milk, and pinch of salt. Drizzle the glaze over the completely assembled pastries.
How to Store The Pastries
The cream cheese puff pastries are best served the day they are baked. Store leftover pastries in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Pro Tips for Making This Recipe
- Follow the directions on the puff pastry for thawing and baking the puff pastry. Keep the puff pastry cold and in the refrigerator until you're ready to roll it out and cut it into squares.
- Use room temperature cream cheese, about 70F, to ensure a smooth filling. I recommend using Philadelphia cream cheese for its texture and tanginess.
- When making the cornstarch slurry mix it with room temperature or cold liquid to make a smooth mixture. If cornstarch is added to warm or hot liquids it will form lumps in the liquid.
Recipe - Frequently Asked Questions
You can make the cherry filling and cream cheese filling three days in advance and store them both in the refrigerator in airtight containers.
Yes, if you're allergic to eggs or have run out you can make the cream cheese filling without an egg. Prick the puff pastry in the center with a fork and bake the squares following the recipe. When the pastries have cooled spoon the cream cheese filling into the center of the pastry then spoon cherries on top of the cream cheese.
If your pastry didn't rise, that may be because the puff pastry was warm when it went into the oven.
If you make these yummy cream cheese puff pastries please leave a rating and a comment below. And if you would like to be notified of the latest recipes, subscribe to the Baking Newsletter.
If You Like This Recipe, Try These Recipes
Red Tart Cherry Cream Cheese Puff Pastry
- 9 ounces All-butter puff pastry
- 1 can (14.5-ounce) Oregon Fruit Red Tart Cherries
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon (9 grams) cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Filling
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest about 1 lemon
- 3 ounces (85 grams) full-fat cream cheese room temperature
- 1 large (20 grams) egg yolk room temperature
- 1 large (50 grams) whole egg
- 1/2 cup (60 grams) powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons whole milk
- Follow the package directions for thawing and baking the puff pastry. I used Trader Joe’s puff pastry with package directions to bake at 400˚F.
Red Tart Cherry Filling
- Drain the cherry liquid from the can into a bowl and then set the cherries aside. Place the cherry liquid and ½ cup of sugar in a 2 or 3-quart saucepan. In a small bowl whisk together the cornstarch and lemon juice. Set it aside.
- Bring the cherry liquid and sugar mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer until the mixture is reduced to about 1/2 cup. Whisk the cornstarch mixture again to ensure it’s well mixed. Whisk the cornstarch mixture into the cherry and sugar mixture. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and cook whisking continuously for about 1 minute until the cherry glaze is thickened and to cook off the cornstarch taste.
- Add the Red Tart Cherries and cook for 1 minute over medium-high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Pour the cherries into a medium-sized bowl and cool to room temperature. The cherry filling can be made up to a week in advance. If making the filling in advance, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to make the pastries.
Cream Cheese Filling
- Place the sugar in a medium sized mixing bowl. Zest the lemon into the sugar and use your fingers to rub the lemon zest into the sugar so you have lemon sugar. Add the cream cheese and mix on medium speed until the mixture looks creamy, about 90 seconds. Add the egg yolk and mix on medium speed until the egg yolk is well incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to ensure all the ingredients are mixed together.
- Store the cream cheese mixture in the refrigerator until ready to bake the pastries.
Baking the Puff Pastry
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Line a half baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Thaw out the puff pastry according to the package directions. Place the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and sprinkle a little flour on top. Roll out the puff pastry into a 9x9-inch square. Use a ruler to mark off 9, 3x3-inch squares. Use the ruler and a pizza cutter to cut the pastry into squares.
- Whisk the egg in a small bowl. Brush the squares with the egg wash. Wait 30 seconds and brush the puff pastry with the egg wash again. Use a fork to dock the middle of the squares. Chill the puff pastry in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Remove the puff pastry squares from the refrigerator and place them on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Place 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese filling in the center of each square.
- Bake the puff pastry for 10-11 minutes until the edges are golden brown and shiny and the puff pastry squares have increased in height. The cream cheese filling will also puff up as the pastries bake. Once it’s removed from the oven the cream cheese filling will collapse back down into the center of the pastry.
- The pastries should rise straight up, but if they are a little uneven, as in one side is higher than the other, gently press down the higher side while the puff pastry is still warm. Let the puff pastries cool for 5 minutes then move to a wire rack and let cool for another 15 minutes. Spoon the cherries into the center of the pastry.
Make the Lemon Glaze
- Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice and whole milk in a small bowl and whisk together until the glaze is smooth. Spoon the glaze over the pastries.
- The pastries taste best if eaten the same day they are baked. Store leftover pastries in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
- The pastries should rise straight up, but if they are a little uneven, as in one side is higher than the other, gently press down the higher side while the puff pastry is still warm. Let the puff pastries cool for 5 minutes then move them to a wire rack and let cool them for another 15 minutes.
- Once the pastries are completely cooled, spoon the tart cherry filling into the center of the pastry.
- Store leftover cherries in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Use leftovers on yogurts or on waffles.
- The tart cherry cream cheese pastries are best eaten the day they are made, but can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 2 days.