One thing you must always remember when you happen to be married to a man who makes his living talking about reducing food waste: make sure you don’t create food waste. So these tartlets were a quick improv so that the leftover dough from the peach and blackberry tart I made didn’t go into the trash. It was so easy, as in you won’t even believe how easy, and they were pretty dang good if I do say so myself.
So, first off, I finally bought some black cherries for the first time this summer. Has anyone else noticed how prohibitively expensive they’ve been lately? I haven’t seen them for less than $6 a pound until about two weeks ago. Then suddenly, Walmart had a big pack of 3 pounds of cherries for $6. It was worth the wait. I’ve been eating them like crazy. Yesterday, I went to see the new Mr. Rogers movie (bring Kleenex), and I furtively ate cherries from a Ziploc baggy in my purse the whole time. Yummmmmm
This brings us to the second important element in this culinary improvisation. Mexican Chocolate. Ha! Got you now, don’t I?!?! We just got back from Cozumel, and one of the only things we brought back with us was an enormous block of coffee infused Mexican chocolate. It was a little too sweet for me, but Justin ate almost half the block in the airport and felt quite sick from the overindulgence by the time our feet were back on American soil. Regardless, we did make it back with a little bit of chocolate intact, and I thought it would be the perfect complement to those dark, sweet cherries. It was already sweet enough that I didn’t even put any sugar in the tartlets. It is literally just pastry, chocolate shavings, and halved, pitted cherries.
I made this recipe as a quick way to utilize some leftover pastry crust that I had made, but there is no need for you to make crust from scratch if you don’t want to. This recipe would work just as well with a frozen, pre-made pie crust if you don’t have any homemade pastry scraps lying around. You could probably even use puff pastry if you had that in your freezer. Remember, the game here is improv. Do what you want!
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES COOK TIME: 20-25 MINUTES
- black cherries, halved and pitted
- Mexican chocolate, or chocolate bar of your choice
- Sweet pastry crust or frozen pie crust
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Roll out your pastry crust on a well floured surface. If you are using scraps like I did, just reform them into a dough ball, and roll out to a thickness of about a quarter of an inch. If you are using a frozen pie crust, let it thaw first, then roll it out to the same thickness.
- Use a cookie cutter to cut out three inch circles. Press pastry circles down lightly into their own little individual spaces in a mini muffin pan. They do not need to form perfectly into the pan. They will grown into it as they bake.
- Fill each tartlet with two to three cherry halves and between 1/2 and 1 teaspoon of chocolate shavings.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the filling is bubbling and pastry has browned slightly.
I haven’t given precise measurements for the number of cherries or the amount of chocolate you need because that will vary based on how much leftover pastry you have, how much chocolate you like to use and how many cherries you want in each one. There is no wrong answer here. This is jazz, not Mozart…live a little!