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Fresh Cherry Tartlets: Sweet and Simple

Cherries are easily my favorite of the summer fruits, and I simply cannot get enough while they are in season. This simple tartlet recipe was a great way to transform my favorite summer fruit into a deliciously simple dessert. There’s no need to pre-bake the crust here, so the dough and fruit meld into jammy, flaky perfection. Next time you need a quick and tasty summer treat, give these cute and delicious tarts a try.

Though I used sweet cherries, this basic recipe could be applied to any summer stone fruit. I didn’t use any spice for my tartlets, but they would be wonderful with nutmeg, cinnamon, or ground ginger. Feel free to add in your favorites. Finally, I used sweet bing cherries for this recipe, but if you’d like to use sour, consider upping the sugar by 1/4 cup.

Cherry Tartlets
makes four 5″ tartlets

for the crust
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon saltӬ1 tablespoon sugar
6 tablespoons cold butter
1/4 cup ice water

Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Quickly chop up the cold butter, and pulse it into flour mixture, several times. Drizzle in the ice water, pulsing 2 or 3 times, just until the dough is combined.

Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gather into a ball. Flatten dough into discs, and wrap each one tightly with plastic wrap. Chill for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

for the cherry filling
4 1/2 cups cherries, pitted and halved
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ground instant tapioca (I use my coffee grinder)

Stir the ingredients together in a bowl, and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a large rimmed baking sheet in the oven to preheat as well. Liberally butter four 5″ tartlet pans.

Roll out the dough disc on a lightly floured surface. Roll into a roughly 14″ square. Cut the square into quarters, and press each quarter into a greased tartlet pan, fold any excess dough under and crimp the edges with your thumb and forefinger. Place the tartlet pans on the heated baking sheet. Carefully arrange the filling in the tartlet crusts, including plenty of fruit and several tablespoons of juice. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until the crusts are a very light, golden brown and the filling is bubbling vigorously. Cool for 20 – 30 minutes and serve.

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