Life is a bowl full of cherries!
In this case, they are wee tiny little organic cherries picked off of one of the trees from Grandma Jane’s Orchard by Critter, Varmint, and My Captain.
And they come with pits in them, as all good cherries do.
And since I don’t have anywhere to store it, I don’t have one of those handy-dandy semi-automatic cherry pitting machines. Which means each and every cherry gets lovingly pitted by yours truly. At least in this picture it is done by me….. Because, you know, we have children for a reason…..
Look at that. The pit is almost bigger than the cherry. This is going to take a lot of cherries!
After half an hour, and several hand cramps, these are the pits of my labor…and…
This is the fruit of my labor! Get it?! Fruit of my labor? hahhahahahahahahaha!
This is Xylitol, a naturally occuring sugar alcohol. I use it instead of sugar, or in addition to sugar. In this case, I used about half sugar, half xylitol.
Now, here is where I get on my soap box. People these days want solid, exact amounts in recipes. I say the world just doesn’t work like that. ESPECIALLY when it comes to pies or tarts. Why? Because sometimes you get a sour batch of fruit, and sometimes you don’t. You’ve got to taste it and experiment, or do what I do, and wing it.
So, here I am pouring some sugar and xylitol in.
And then some cornstarch.
Here is my Harris Teeter brand pre-made pie crust. GASP! Hey, it’s quick and yummy. Don’t be a hater. If I had expendable time, I would make my own crusts. Guess what I don’t have. That’s right.
I am making individual tarts, one for each kid and one for My Captain. I put a third of the cherries on the crust. How much, you ask? A third of what I had. See? That is how real life cooks. You work with what life gives you. I had so much in the bowl, and I split it as I could. Tell that to Alton Brown.
Butter. Salted butter. Our friend in so many ways, and no doubt what will be the death of me.
And since I’ve come to terms with my inevitable demise, I add plenty.
Then I fold, leaving a hole up top for steam to escape.
All the way around!
And then sugar gets sprinkled generously on top. And on the counter and the sink and the floor and my shoes.
In it goes to a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes, and then down to 400 for another 40 minutes OR UNTIL THE DANG THING IS READY! (That was for you, Alton.)
See, I told you I made three! And aren’t they purty?
Oh lord. The color is amazing!
I wish I had a camera to do these justice.
I wish I had a camera that had smellovision on it. Cherry pie smell is second only to apple pie smell. You can take that to the bank.
Why is my terribly venous hand in this picture? For perspective, of course. But, alas, you have no idea how big my hand is, so it really doesn’t help at all, now does it?
Cherry tarts are easy.
Wash and Pit your cherries. Add sugar and cornstarch. Throw the lot onto a crust. Dot the pile of goodness with butter. Bake it, and share it with your friends.
Want to play with it? Add some lemon zest. Or add a little orange liquor. Or add some almond extract. But heed my words, in this case, simple really is best.