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Dried Cherry Tarts with Pears

Dried, tart cherries and sweet, juicy pears make a jammy filling for our pear and dried cherry tarts. We infused the dried cherries in brandy for a subtle oaky flavor.

If you are not a fan of cooking with alcohol, you can swap the brandy for apple juice or grape juice. Either way, these little tarts make a fantastic dessert!

Six individual tarts with dried cherry filling.

These individual tartlets start with our flaky, buttery pie dough. The extra richness that the butter brings to the party is the perfect complement to the sweet and tart cherry and pear filling.

If you want to start with storebought pie crust, that works just fine as well, but we recommend purchasing extra dough to cut out circles for all six individual tarts.

If you don’t want to fuss with several individual tarts, you can bake the filling in a standard 10-inch tart pan.

Here is Why This Recipe Works

  • All butter pastry adds a rich flavor
  • Brandied cherries add an elevated touch
  • Freezes well!
  • Small tarts make a personalized dessert for every guest
  • You can adapt the recipe for one large tart

A 6-inch tart filled with dried cherries and fresh pears.

We eat a lot of fresh cherries in the summer and love to bake them in desserts like cherry clafoutis, cherry cake, and black forest cake. You can even use cherries in savory recipes like our lamb with red wine cherry sauce.

But dried cherries let you enjoy the fruit all year long. Bake them in our pistachio cherry cookies or replace the raisins in our oatmeal cookies.

The Ingredients

Here are the ingredients for these dried cherry tarts. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details.

  • Pears
  • Dried cherries
  • Sugar
  • Brandy
  • Cornstarch
  • Pie dough. We used our all-butter pie crust for this recipe. You will need to make enough dough for a double crust pie recipe.
A partially eaten tart.

How to Make It

Here is a brief overview so you can get an idea of what to expect with the recipe. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details.

  1. Make the pie dough and place it in the fridge to chill.
  2. Cook the dried cherries with brandy (or juice), sugar, and cornstarch.
  3. Peel and slice the pears. Stir them into the brandied cherry mixture. 
  4. Roll out the pie dough and place it in the tart pans. 
  5. Spoon the filling into the tarts, then place a top crust on each tart. 
  6. Bake until the juices bubble. 

Tips for Success

  • If you use storebought pie dough, purchase extra dough. Cutting shapes for individual tart pans will use a bit more dough than one large tart.
  • The brandied cherries are optional. If you want an alcohol-free dessert, substitute the brandy for apple juice.
  • Don’t cook the cherry mixture too long. If you overheat the mixture, the cornstarch will break down and lose its thickening power.
  • Make these individual tarts in advance and freeze them for up to 3 months.
  • A quick way to peel pears: Dunk the pears in simmering water for 15 to 20 seconds, then transfer them to cold water. The skin will rub right off!

    If you don’t want to bother with simmering a pot of water, we recommend using an ultra sharp fruit peeler. This one from Victorinox cuts close to the skin so you won’t waste any fruit.

A dried cherry tart on a dessert plate.

This recipe was adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook.

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Some Other Recipes We Are Sure You Will Love:

Our recipe for lobster in creamy tomato sauce gets an elevated flavor from brandy in the sauce. It complements the sweet lobster flavor and elevates the meal to restaurant status.

This butterscotch tart makes a decadent dessert any time of the year. The creamy, rich filling gets baked in a buttery shortbread crust. You need to make this one.

If you like chocolate truffles then you will love our chocolate caramel tart. The filling tastes like a rich gooey chocolate truffle and the sprinkle of sea salt balances out the sweetness.

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A dried cherry tart on a dessert plate.

Brandied Cherry and Pear Tarts

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

These individual pear and dried cherry tarts are the perfect dessert for fall. The tart, sour cherries get baked with sweet, juicy pears and create a jammy filling.

The cherries get soaked in brandy for a sweet oaky flavor. if you don't want to use alcohol, replace the brandy with apple juice.

Ingredients

For the Pastry Dough

For the Filling

  • 4 to 5 pears
  • 2 cups (10 ounces/284 grams) dried sour cherries
  • ½ cup brandy
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

Equipment

  • Six 4 to 4 ½ inch tartlet pans

Instructions

  1. Make the pie dough and let it chill in the fridge while you make the filling.

For the Filling

  1. Place the dried cherries, brandy, water, sugar, and cornstarch in a large saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Peel, halve and core the pears then cut them into ¼ to ½ inch chunks. Add them to the cherry mixture and toss well. Set the mixture aside while you prepare the tartlet pans.

Make the Tartlets

  1. Roll the dough out to about 1/6 to 1/8 inch thickness, if it is too firm from the cold refrigerator, let it sit on the counter for 10 to 15 minutes until it is easier to roll. Cut out 6 circles of dough about 6 inches in diameter and lay into the tartlet pans, push the dough down into the pans and cut the edges away.
  2. Fill each tartlet with a heaping ½ cup of filling.
  3. Slice the remaining dough into strips about ½ inch thick and lay the strips over the filling in a lattice pattern.
  4. Place the tartlets on a baking sheet and place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to firm up the pastry dough.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  6. Place the tartlets in the center of the oven and bake for 45-55 minutes or until the lattice tops are a light golden brown.
  7. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes before removing from the tartlet pans.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 356Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 160mgCarbohydrates: 59gFiber: 6gSugar: 27gProtein: 2g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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Ashley @ My Midwest Table

Friday 14th of March 2014

These tarlets are so pretty! And I love the pear + cherry combination. Flaky crust is the best, so I can only imagine how delicious these tarlets are!

Dahn

Friday 14th of March 2014

Thanks Ashley, it is a good combination and so perfect for a winter theme dinner.

Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch)

Friday 14th of March 2014

ok, that does it, I'm going to go and buy some of those little pans so I can make these beautiful pastries.

Dahn

Friday 14th of March 2014

Oh yes definitely do it Lea Ann, these pans are so fun and make the cutest individual servings.

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