Black Bottom Cherry Pie Tarts

Cherries, oh, cherries. Is there anything better than fresh sweet cherries in July? I found some for a decent price at my local grocer and stocked up for the weekend. 

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My mom told me recently that my departed grandfather loved cherry pie the very most, and I couldn’t help but feel a bit tender as I purchased my cherries to create a cherry pie for Sunday dinner. Of course, I couldn’t just make a cherry pie. I had to complicate things, so I decided to make individual pies in my muffin tin with cute little gingham liners.

Which made me pause and consider changing the name of this blog to be something about gingham because I adore gingham. But I soldiered through my distracted musings and focused on the task at hand and began to make mini pies rather than re-design my neglected food blog.

I started with a new pie crust recipe. Why? I don’t know. So here it is.

2 1/2 cups of flour 

2 T. of sugar

1 t. of salt

12 T. cold butter

8 T. shortening

1/4 cup ice cold water.

 

Combine flour, sugar, and salt in large bowl. Pour onto large metal baking sheet. Add butter and shortening, then using a pastry cutter, cut butter and shortening into the flour. (You can do this in a bowl if you prefer. I tried it out on the sheet on a whim and liked working with it that way.) Once you have cut the fats into the dry ingredients, drizzle with cold water and sort of toss together, adding more water as needed to JUST barely bind the flour together. You don’t want to smear the butter or shortening into the butter, that ruins the flakiness. So just toss it until you can press it into a soft ball. Roll in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Cherry Filling

3 1/2 cups of pitted sweet red cherries

2/3 cup of sugar

1/3 cup of corn starch

1 t. almond extract

1/2 t.s vanilla

Take baking sheet used for pie crust and pour the cherries onto the sheet. In small bowl combine the corn starch and sugar and then sprinkle evenly over the cherries. Drizzle extracts onto pile of cherries, sugar, and corn starch. then using hands gently toss and roll the cherries to coat well with the corn starch, sugar, vanilla, and almond. Let sit.

I use freezer paper as a base for rolling out pie crust. It works really well, and then I throw the whole mess away. So sprinkle a large sheet of freezer paper with flour. Then gently ROLL don’t press the pie crust into a large rectangle. I then placed a cupcake liner on the corner and using a pizza roller cut a large square about 1 inch wider than the base of the cupcake liner. Repeat for number of mini pies you will be making. Gently peel the pie crust square from the freezer paper and hold by corners, creating a small “purse” shape. Fit into the cupcake liner in the cupcake pan. Shape with care to the shape of the cupcake liner. Does not need to be perfect, but don’t lose filling space by only half putting the pie crust into the liner. 

At this point I added Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Chips to the bottom of the little tarts. You can skip that step if you wish.

Take a large spoon and carefully spoon cherries into each tart, taking care not to over fill, but also not under-filling each tart. It’s  not hard, just remember they will collapse a bit while baking as the juices run out. Top each tart with a tiny slice of butter on top.

For the final step I rolled the crust out and using a large star shaped cookie cutter cut a star to top each tart. Cute, right?

So excited to try these tonight after dinner! 

 

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