Sweet Cherry Tartlets

I love a little fruit tartlet for dessert; there is something winsome about having your very own tiny pie to enjoy.  Fruit is high on my list of loved things.  So you can see why I am really into tartlets these days.  Sadly, winter is a desert as to enjoying fresh stone fruit…they are plentiful in the summer to early fall, not in March.  I do not care for fruit shipped from the southern hemisphere; picked so green the flavors are lacking. Thank goodness for frozen bagged fruit.  I love using them to bring back the flavors and scents of fresh baked fruit pies even in March. I couldn’t find frozen sour cherries so I decided to experiment with the frozen sweet (bing) cherries that are readily available.  Bonus over fresh; they are pitted and they keep a long time in your freezer.  I wanted to make these tartlets for President’s Day.  Only two weeks late, LOL!

Don’t eat these tartlets hot; should be cooled to just warm if you like it so or room temperature or even a bit chilled. They are a perfect size, just like a big tart only tiny and each makes one individual dessert.  You could certainly serve them with vanilla ice cream, I had one like that today; dessert perfection!

Angie’s GF Bing Cherry Tartlets: makes 4

Crust:

1 c plus 2 tbsp brown rice flour mix (at bottom of recipe)

2 Tbsp. sweet rice flour

1 Tbsp. granulated sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

6 Tbsp. cold butter cut into 6 chunks

1 large egg

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Crust: You will need 6 flat bottom 4 inch tartlet pans if you make them all at once. I actually refrigerated my dough and made the second batch of 2 a few days later so just one tart pan worked.  Adjust the filling to the number of tartlets you are baking.

Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer.  Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembling coarse meal.  Add egg and juice.  Mix until it comes together into big chunks.  Shape into a ball with your hands. Put it on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust ball some; put on top of it another piece of wax paper and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes while you prepare the filling.

Filling:

2 cups frozen sweet cherries; measure and then cut in halves or even quarters if big, place in medium bowl

Mix with:

2-3 tbsp. sugar (I used 2) mixed with ¼ tsp. cinnamon and

1 tbsp. quick tapioca

A sprinkle of sea salt (less than

1 tsp. grated lemon zest

Add 2 tbsp. orange juice

Stir and let stand while you prepare the crust. This is important so the tapioca can soften and absorb some juices before baking.

Break dough into 2 balls, one twice the size of the other.  Roll out the bigger ball of crust in a pie bag or between the two sheets of wax paper, try to get the thickness even and somewhat thin, no thick middle! Peel off one side of paper and place across the tart pan, centered.  Remove other slice of wax paper. Cut into four squares, mold to fit the pan, I cut off all extras and saved them for the second batch of tarts. Crimp edges all around with fork tines.  Fill each tartlet with cherry mixture after you have the crumb topping ready to go.

Crumb topping

Put all four ingredients in the same mixing bowl you made the bottom crust in and mix well with mixer paddle until crumbs form. If you let them go extra long you get big fat crumbs if you want that look.  Leftover crumbs can be stored for a few weeks in the fridge in a tightly covered container.

¾ c brown rice flour mix

½ c sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

1/3 c cold butter cut into six chunks

Take one half cup of the mixture and put in a medium sized mixing bowl.

Add 2 ½ tbsp. sliced or slivered almonds, 1/8 tsp. cinnamon, and a sprinkle of sea salt.

Sprinkle the top of each tartlet with crumb mix; use as much as you like.  I didn’t measure; just sprinkled until the fruit was barely visible through the crumbs but I did use up all the almond crumb blend. Up to your personal taste… It sinks a little into the fruit mixture.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 35 minutes until bubbly and the crumb crust is light brown.  Cool at least 1 hour before serving at room temperature.  I think it is best served within in 24 hours of when you make it for optimal flavor.  The crumbs will get soggy if too much time passes.

cherry-tart-on-plate

Note: if you find your bottom crust is not browning enough bake it empty at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes before filling it with the fruit mixture.  I have a bottom heat pizza style oven which gives me perfect pie crust so I don’t ever have pale pie crust. This is a big benefit of having this type of oven; it is a two oven range with a full sized lower oven.

Note: Keep the rest of the dough in the fridge; will keep a few days; when you are ready for a repeat: make a half recipe of the filling and use it to bake 2 more tartlets after you remove the tartlets from the pan.

Brown Rice Flour Mix (Same as King Arthur GF All purpose blend)
2 c brown rice flour (finely ground)

2/3 c potato starch – Not potato flour

1/3 c tapioca flour

Note: the crust and base crumb recipe are out of Annalise Roberts cookbook, Gluten Free Baking Classics, Second Edition. Adaptation and filling recipe are mine.

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