Some of our good friends have a cherry tree. Some years it works out. Some years the birds pick it clean in what feels like mere seconds. This year was the later, but I really needed the sour cherries for a recipe I had in mind.
So, on the morning after our anniversary when the kids were with grandma, Sweet Husband and I set out for the farmer's market. The plan was that we'd run (literally, we needed to get a few miles in) to the bank, grab cash, grab coffee, then go scour the market.
As we left the house, the sky looked just fine.
By the time we got to the bank, a few dark clouds were rolling in.
By the time we got to coffee, we knew we were going to get wet.
And as we arrived at the market, I was trying to find a place in my clothes to tuck my phone so that the water wouldn't ruin it.
"You go left, I'll go right," I strategized with Sweet Husband, as we approached our circular farmers' market. But he had barely made it thirty steps, when he shouted, "Found some!"
I grabbed up two pounds, and the lady threw in an extra plastic baggie to protect my phone.
It was worth the soaking for the recipe below.
Sour Cherry and Whipped Goat Cheese Tarts (makes 7-8 tarts)
2 pie crusts (store bought or homemade)
Cooking spray, olive oil, or butter (for greasing the tart “pans”)
1½ cups pitted, sour cherries
2 teaspoons almond extract
4 ounces goat cheese
½ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon honey
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. If you have tart pans, by all means use them, but if you don't you can cheat by using wide-mouth mason jar lids. Putting the gummy-side of the lid down, just pop the lid into a ring and—presto!—you have a little tart pan. Spray or grease the “pans” well, so that the tarts don't stick.
Next, roll out the pie dough to about ¼ inch thickness, then use an extra mason jar band to cut out circles. Go over the dough circles a few more times with a rolling pin to make them just a bit larger, then use your fingers to press the dough into the jar lid “pans” like a mini pie crust.
Use a fork to poke the center of the tart crust several times, then bake for 10-15 minutes. Check the crusts frequently in the last 5 minutes of baking to make sure they don't burn.
As the crusts are baking, pit the cherries, combine them with the almond extract, then set aside.
Next, combine the goat cheese, cream, and honey, in the bowl of a mixer and whip together for several minutes.
Once the tart shells are completely cool and you're ready to serve them—don't put these together ahead of time or the crusts will get soggy—remove the shells from the jar lids and smooth a spoonful of whipped goat cheese in the center of each shell. Top with a few spoonfuls of cherries, then sprinkle each tart with chopped dark chocolate and enjoy!