It’s a weird world we live in, this age of technology. With the connectivity of Facebook you can keep in touch with people that you might normally lose track of, and it can bring back things you’d never expect. The other day I made this tarts and stashed them in the fridge where my 19 year old found them. If you know 19 year old boys, you know that they eat just about anything and everything. Kevin was chattering away, rummaging in the fridge for sustenance, and suddenly he stopped cold.
“These are SO good! Where did you get the idea?” he mumbled through a mouthful of tart.
“Mrs. Koebel, ” I called back.
“Wait. What? Mrs. Kobel? You chat with Mrs. Koebel?”Two towns and a full 14 years ago, it’s been a long time since she sang her way through a day in kindergarten with Kevin. On his first Valentine’s Day in school, she baked him these very tarts-although she used canned pie filling, which is equally as tasty. I never would have thought to put cinnamon hearts in the filling, but the spice of the cinnamon adds some great flavour to the cherry. Try them warm with a scoop of ice cream, and you will thank me later.
“Mmm…” Kevin shoved the rest of the tart in his mouth. “Tell her thanks. Those are awesome.”
Queen of Hearts Tarts
one 600 gram package of frozen dark sweet cherries, thawed (President’s Choice has a good brand)
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp almond extract
12 tart shells
50-60 cinnamon heart candies
1. First, pour off the cherry juice into a small dish and whisk it with the corn starch until smooth. Set aside.
2. Mix your cherries and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until it’s bubbly. Stir it constantly so it doesn’t burn. Gently stir in the cornstarch juice and continue to stir until it’s nice and thick. Remove from heat and let cool.
3. Set the tart shells on a cookie sheet and pre-heat the oven to 375 F. Fill the tart shells with the cherry pie filling, and press 3-5 cinnamon hearts in each tart.
4. Bake the tarts for about 15-20 minutes, until the pastry is lightly browned and the filling is slightly bubbly. Remove the tarts from the oven and let cool. They will keep 2-3 days in the fridge.
Queen of Hearts Tarts
Pre-heat the oven to 375 F.
Pour the juice from the cherries into a small bowl and stir with the cornstarch. Set aside. In a medium sized pot, stir together the sugar and cherries over medium low heat until the mixture begins to bubble. Be sure to stir constantly, you don't want it to burn! Add the cornstarch and continue to stir until it thickens up. Remove from the heat and stir the almond extract. Cool to room temperature.
Place the tart shells on a cookie sheet. Fill with the cooled cherry pie filling and sprinkle about 4 cinnamon tarts over top, pressing them into the filling.
Tip: you can use canned cherry pie filling if you wish instead of making your own.