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These cherry pie tarts were inspired by two treats I really enjoyed in my childhood years. First, there were Pop Tarts. Frosted or plain, I didn’t care, I loved them all. I’m not sure if they ever constituted “breakfast” in my house or if they were more of a dessert, but I do remember eating them with some regularity.
Then there were the little apple pies and cherry pies at McDonald’s. Those were the perfect ending to a Happy Meal in my youth. It’s been decades since I’ve eaten either of these treats, and I wanted to create a healthier version.
As soon as I finished making these cherry pie tarts and I took them out of the oven, I knew I would burn my tongue sampling one. It’s been so long, I just couldn’t wait. The simple filling is made with fresh cherries and a little maple syrup, but you could also use jam or melted chocolate chips for the filling. Any pie crust recipe should work for these tarts, but I love this vegan, coconut oil-based crust (adapted from Food52). You can substitute butter for the coconut oil and gluten-free flour for the whole wheat flour if needed.
Cherry Pie Tarts
Ingredients for the Filling
- 4 cups cherries (about 1 lb., pitted)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tbs white whole wheat flour
Ingredients for the Crust
- 4 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 cup softened coconut oil
- 2 tsps salt
- 2 tbs maple syrup
- 1 cup cold water
- In a medium pot, simmer the cherries and 1/4 cup maple syrup over low to medium-low heat for 12-15 minutes, until the cherries are tender. Sprinkle in the flour and cook for another minute, stirring to thicken. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- In a food processor, mix all the crust ingredients except the water. Slowly add the water through the top of the food processor as it's running. Stop adding water when the dough comes together. You should be able to easily form a ball of dough.
- On a floured work surface, roll the dough into a large, 1/8-inch thick rectangle. Depending on your work surface, you may want to roll out half the dough at a time.
- Cut the dough into 24 rectangles (3 inches by 5 inches each). Alternately, you could use cookie cutters to make different shapes or you could cut it into smaller squares.
- Distribute 12 bottom rectangles on 2 cookie sheets. Add about 2 tablespoons of filling to the middle section of each rectangle, leaving room around the edge of the dough to join the top pieces.
- Place the remaining 12 pieces of dough on top of the filled bottoms, and press the edges with a fork.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, until the bottom of each tart is lightly browned.
- Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.
Cherry Pie Tarts Price Breakdown
This recipe makes 12 tarts and costs a total of $8.34 to make, or $.70 each. These cherry pie tarts are a delicious, healthy alternative to store-bought toaster pastries.