Fresh Cherry Tartlets

Fresh Cherry Tartlets
Using fresh cherries without cooking them really brings out their bright, summery flavor. When we can get them, we love to use Balaton cherries in this simple dessert. Balaton cherries have loads of tart cherry flavor, but are sweeter than other pie cherries, so they really don’t need any additional sugar. If you can’t find fresh Balaton cherries, use dark sweet cherries instead.

9 graham crackers (each 2 1/2 by 5 inches)
2 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 pound fresh Balaton cherries, or other cherries, pitted and halved
1 tablespoon seedless raspberry preserves
2 cups pastry cream, or as needed (recipe follows)



First, make the pastry cream and allow to cool for at least an hour or up to a day in advance (see recipe below).


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, pulse the graham crackers and 2 tablespoons of the sugar until finely ground. Add the butter, and process until combined.


Divide the mixture evenly betwen 4 small tartlet pans with removable bottoms or 1 9-inch tart pan. Press the mixture firmly in a thin layer into the bottom and up sides of each pan; use your fingers or a clean glass to press it in. Place the prepared tartlet shells onto a baking sheet and slip them into the pre-heated oven. Bake until lightly browned, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.


When the crusts have cooled, spread a few spoonfuls of the pastry cream in each one. Scatter the pitted, sliced cherries generously on top.


Combine the preserves and 1 teaspoon water in a small pan and heat over low until smooth and liquidy. Using a pastry brush, lightly dab a little of the glaze on the cherries. Place the tart in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes or, covered, up to a day.


Pastry Cream Filling


Makes 2 cups




4 large egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces




Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium pan until well blended. Whisk in the milk. Place the pan over medium-high heat, and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to thicken to the consistency of pancake batter. At this point, immediately remove the pan from the heat, continuing to whisk briskly. It WILL continue to thicken up, and very quickly too. Stir in the vanilla, then whisk in the cut pieces of butter a few at a time. Continue to whisk until all the butter is melted and fully incorporated and the texture of the pastry cream is smooth and silky.


Pour the warm pastry cream into a bowl. Lay a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pastry cream; this will prevent a skin from forming. Place into the refrigerator and allow to cool for at least an hour and up to a day.



Products suggested for this recipe:

Earthy Delights

2871 Jolly Road

Okemos MI 48864

tel 855.328.8732

fax 517.253.7366

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