Tart Cherry Cobbler

Back in the 1980s we had a small house on about 2 acres of ground, almost every inch filled with something good to eat that my husband had planted.  We all loved the tart cherries and had to join in and pick quickly before the birds got them.  I used netting for a while, but got too upset when a bird got caught in it, although we were always able to set it free without injury.  Instead, we just kept an eye on the tree and tried to beat the birds to the harvest.

Eleven years ago, we had to leave the two acres and all its bounty behind and since then I’ve had no luck in finding fresh or frozen tart cherries – only the small cans of discolored fruit for an annual President’s Day pie.  But recently, my online friend, Darlene, mentioned on her blog that she buys tart frozen Morency cherries at her Meijer store in Columbus, Ohio.  I couldn’t wait to check out the freezer section of my Cincinnati area store, and, sure enough, they carry a 24-oz. bag.

TART CHERRY COBBLER

The Cherry Filling

  • 24-oz. bag of frozen tart cherries, thawed with juice
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tblsp. quick cooking tapioca
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Tblsp. butter
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract

The Cobbler Dough:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tblsp. granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

To make the filling:

In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, mix the cherries, juice, sugar, tapioca and salt.  Cook until mixture begins to boil, stirring occasionally.  Boil for another minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in butter and almond extract.  Pour cherry mixture into a 10-inch or 1-1/2 qt. ungreased  baking dish.

To make the cobbler topping:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Cut in the shortening until well distributed.  With a fork, stir in the milk.  Drop batter by tablespoonful onto the top of the piping hot cherry mixture.*  Place baking dish on a flat pan to catch spills and bake in a preheated 400 degree F oven for 25-30 minutes until topping is golden brown.  Remove baking dish to a wire rack to cool.

Best when eaten warm with whipped cream/topping or ice cream.

Servings:  6 

*I never had a lot of luck with cobblers until I read in an old Farm Journal cookbook that the filling should always be piping hot when the batter is spooned onto it.  This tip always works for me.

My President’s Day Pie

Christmas Cherry Mince Tarts

In 1987, my oldest daughter came up with an idea to add tart cherries to a dried fruit mincemeat that I made.  We enjoyed it so much that it ended up replacing the regular mince pie on our holiday menu.  This is a small English-style Christmas tart version.  It was our dessert today on a snowy December afternoon.

CHRISTMAS CHERRY MINCE TARTS

  • Pastry for single-crust 9-inch pie
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, finely chop0ped
  • 1/4 cup prunes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup frozen tart cherries
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tblsp. toasted walnuts, chopped
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 Tblsp. quick cooking tapioca
  • 1 tsp. milk
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Divide pastry dough into five portions.  Use four portions to line small tart/pie pans (mine measure 4 inches diameter across the top).  Set aside.

In a small pan, combine finely chopped apricots, chopped prunes and raisins along with the 1/4 cup of water.  Bring to a boil and then simmer until liquid is absorbed – about 4 minutes – stirring occasionally and keeping a close watch so the mixture doesn’t burn.

Remove from heat and stir in frozen cherries (no need to defrost).  Stir in cinnamon, 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, chopped walnuts, salt and tapioca.  Mix well and divide among the four unbaked tart shells.

Roll the remaining portion of pastry dough and with a 3-inch cutter, cut out a design and place one on each of the tarts.  Brush with milk and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Place tarts on a large sheet to catch spills and bake @ 400 degrees F

for approximately 25 minutes until the crust is brown and the filling is bubbling.

Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Makes four 4-inch tarts 

A nice treat when it’s cold, windy and snowy outside.