Sour Cherry Tartlets

Sour Cherry Tartles
(Makes 8 tartlets)

You will need:

1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour, plus more for dusting
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
10 tbsp butter
3-5 tbsp ice-cold water, plus more if needed
8 tartlet molds with removable bottoms (about 2 1/2 inch diameter)

2 lb pitted sour cherries, or two 14.5 oz cans of same (no sugar or other additives), drained
1/2 cup agave syrup
3 tbsp corn starch


Make the dough:

1. Whisk flour, sugar and salt together in a medium bowl. Slice butter into 1/4 inch cubes and add to the flour mixture. Working quickly with your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture, breaking the butter into smaller pieces until the entire mixture has a sandy, crumbling texture (similar to granola). Add 3 tbsp of water to the mixture and mix swiftly with your fingers. The dough will begin to stick together. Add 1-2 tbsp more water, until you can form the dough into a ball (if the dough is too sticky, add a sprinkle of flour; if it flakes, add a few more drops of water). 

2. Separate the dough into 3-4 pieces and form each into a ball. Taking each in turn, place on dusted wax paper and, with the heel of your hand, press down and smear the dough across the wax paper. This process blends the butter into the flour. Repeat with remaining dough, then form it back into one piece. Place in a bowl, dust with flour, cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.

Pre-bake the shells:

3. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Butter each tartlet mold. On a dusted counter or wax paper, with a dusted rolling pin, roll out the dough to a 13 inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. With a cookie cutter slightly larger than the diameter of the molds, cut out the dough into about 8 rounds (you can also use an inverted glass). Place each round inside the mold, pressing it to conform to its shape. Fold in any dough remaining over the top and press it into the sides. Roll the rolling pin over each mold to flatten the tops. 

4. Place the shells on a baking sheet, and in order to prevent the sides from shrinking and the bottom from bulging, line each shell with foil (additionally, you can weigh them down with baking beans). Bake the shells for about 8 minutes. Remove from oven, remove the foil, and prick the bottom of each shell with a fork to prevent it from rising. Replace the foil and bake 2-3 minutes more, until the sides start to separate from the mold slightly and the shells begin to change color. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.

Make the filling and bake the tartlets:

5. To make the filling, whisk together agave syrup and corn starch in a bowl, add the cherries and toss until combined. Spoon the filling evenly into the pre-baked tartlet shells. Bake at 375ºF for 20-25 minutes, until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling. Remove from oven and let cool slightly, then remove the molds. Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.

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