Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Cherry Crumble Tartlets

So, first it was Katie. She had to go and jump-start my fascination with cherry pie. Then, a few weeks later, Deb over at Smitten Kitchen tried her hand at it and that was the end of me. That afternoon, I was off to the store to get some cherries for baking only. I had to buy a bag of cherries with a specific purpose in mind, otherwise, I will eat every.last.one and given myself a major stomachache. I have been known to sit with a giant bowl and eat them all until they are gone (at $3.99 a pound, we're talking about a serious investment too!).

Now, I'm talking about sweet bing cherries, not tart cherries, which I've actually never tried. Even though I love cherries, I've never made any cherry desserts - always ate them raw. So, after reading about everyone else's cherry exploits, I took the plunge. And....they were unbelievably delicious. Seriously, so good. You have to try them before cherry season is over - we're at the tail-end in my neck of the woods. This recipe is also ridiculously easy if you can believe that.

Cherry Crumble Tartlets
(the filling for this recipe was inspired by Deb's pie filling)

Prepared pie dough (now, you can go ahead and use your homemade dough, but for a weeknight or in a pinch, the prepared kind is just fine)
1-2 lbs of fresh cherries, pitted and cut in half (amount depends on how many tarts you are making)
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
Dash of almond extract

Crumble topping
(this was extremely haphazard, feel free to add nuts or whatever you like - as long as it sticks together and becomes crumb-like, it will be fine :)
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
~1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup oats
Pinch of salt

1. Stir together cherries, cornstarch, lemon, extract and sugar until will mixed. Put to the side.

2. Roll out dough. Cut rough circles of dough that will fit your tart pans. I used a mixture of 4.5-inch tart pans and a few larger ramekins. Line bottoms of pans/ramekins with dough. If using tart pans, use a rolling pin to remove excess dough.

3. Prepare crumble topping - mix all ingredients together. Its best to use your hands to make sure little crumbs are formed. I usually just stir it up and then use my fingers to mash the butter into the dry ingredients. Sounds good huh? :)

4. Add cherry mixture to pans. Make sure to leave excess juice in the bowl - no need to add that to the pans. Top with crumble.

5. Bake at 350-400 degrees or so until mixture is bubbling and crumble topping is starting to brown. I think mine were done in about 20 minutes - the timing will depend on your containers so just watch them.

6. Awesome served with a scoop of ice cream!

I'm planning on making these for our July 4th BBQ this Friday - I think they will be great as individual cupcake-size tarts - festive and super-easy to prep using a regular-sized cupcake pan. Plus, they are great at room temperature. Have a great 3-day weekend!


Anonymous said...

OH MY GOSH! You KNOW my love for cherries and you are taunting me with these???!! I've been trying not to buy tartlet pans for SO long. I can't resist any longer. I have to make these - NOW! mmm.....

Joelen said...

Beautiful pics for such a tasty recipe! You can even submit this to the Fruit Frenzy blogging event I'm hosting (and maybe even win the giveaway prize too!) Details are in my blog & Thanks for sharing!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) said...

Oh this is beautiful, just gorgeous. I bet they tasted just as good!!!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I've been going a little crazy with cherries this year. I don't know if it's me or what, but they're some of the best I've ever had. And having them in these tantalizing tarts would put me right over the top!

Leah said...

We're in the middle of a serious cherry obsession at our house -- you've inspired me to make a crumble tomorrow! Your pictures are too die for.....wish I had half your talent. Nicely done!

Sophie said...

We'd like to invite you to participate in our July berry recipe contest. All competitors will be placed on our blogroll, and the winner will receive a fun prize! Please email me, sophiekiblogger@gmail.com, if you're interested. Feel free to check out our blog for more details: http://blog.keyingredient.com/2008/06/06/key-ingredient-cooks-kitchen-recipe-contest/

Thanks :),
KI Chief Blogger

Anonymous said...

Oooh, I'll have to try this. I have several cherry trees and I have gallons and gallons of cherries in my freezer and I'm always looking for recipes.