The Ross’s up on the highway had a cherry tree when I was little. I don’t ever remember if it produced fruit but I do remember the shadow it cast over the road and that was a welcome bit of shade on our summer walks to Zeno’s store for treats. In my home in Nova Scotia homemade pies were a wondrous thing, not unusual but a treat none-the-less. Rhubarb, apple, lemon and my Dad’s favourite raisin pies were flaky and tender, tart and sweet.
Try these little tarts, they are a wonderful mix of flaky pastry and tart filling in just the right size of serving.
Tart Cherry Tarts
For the pie crust I use the No-Fail Pastry recipe off the Crisco box and it hasn’t failed me yet.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup or stick of Crisco shortening
- 4 to 8 tablespoons of ice cold water
- Blend flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Cut half inch cubes of chilled shortening into flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with pea sized pieces.
- Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of ice cold water over the flour shortening mixture. Using a fork stir and draw flour from the bottom of the bowl. Add more water by the tablespoon, mixing until mixture just comes together. Don’t over mix or the pastry becomes tough.
- Form dough into a ball and wrap with plastic wrap and chill.
- Place half of dough onto a well floured surface. With floured rolling pin gently roll out the dough from the centre.
- I used paper liners in a muffin tin and used a plastic container the size of a flattened paper liner as a pastry cutter.
For the filling:
- 1 19 fl. oz. jar or can of sour pitted cherries in light syrup
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- Combine the cherries and sugar in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Simmer, stirring often, until filling thickens. About 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Fill the prepared pastry shells and top with a smaller pastry piece.
- Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove when just golden. Cool on a rack and enjoy. Makes 9 tarts.
I like the idea of making smaller tarts rather than whole pies. Tarts are easier to serve and save because, like a cake, once you cut into a pie it’s never that pretty whole again. Also young boys love to steal them and eat them from their hand.