At our house, we celebrate George Washington's birthday with this cherry dessert.
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 4 to 5 tablespoons cold water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) pitted tart cherries
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 4 to 5 drops red food coloring, optional
- In a small bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add enough water until dough forms a ball. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450°. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut out eight 5-in. circles. Place each over an inverted custard cup on an ungreased 15x10x1-in. baking pan; flute edges.
- Bake 10-11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes before removing tart shells from custard cups; cool completely on wire racks.
- For filling, in a large saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Drain cherries, reserving 1 cup juice. Set cherries aside. Stir reserved juice into sugar mixture until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in cherries, butter, almond extract and food coloring if desired. Cool to room temperature. Spoon about 1/4 cup filling into each tart shell. Yield: 8 servings.
Originally published as Cherry Tarts in Country February/March 2004, p51
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