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Sweet-and-Sour Cherry Tartlets

Photo: Jennifer Causey
Active time 30 mins
Total time 2 hrs, 10 mins

Serves 6 (serving size: 1 tartlet)

Fresh cherries simply shine in dessert, especially when enveloped in a flaky, buttery crust and baked until the juices are bubbly and syrupy. A mix of sour cherries (often called pie cherries) with sweet cherries is key for a balanced fruit filling. If you can’t find sour cherries, use all sweet and increase the fresh lemon juice to 1 tablespoon. Turbinado sugar replaces refined white sugar in the filling and adds a crunchy texture on top. Here, we call for each tart to get its own dough lid, but we also love the “naked” look of a few cutout stars atop the cherry mixture, as pictured.


  • 4.25 ounces unbleached all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
  • 2 ounces white whole-wheat flour (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/4 cup ice water
  • 2 tablespoons chilled vodka
  • 5 tablespoons plus 2 tsp. turbinado sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen sour cherries, thawed and drained, pitted and halved (about 16 oz.)
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh sweet cherries, pitted and halved (about 16 oz.)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten

Nutrition Information

  • calories 289
  • fat 9.3 g
  • satfat 5.6 g
  • monofat 2.3 g
  • polyfat 0.5 g
  • protein 5 g
  • carbohydrate 47 g
  • fiber 4 g
  • cholesterol 23 mg
  • iron 2 mg
  • sodium 173 mg
  • calcium 28 mg
  • sugars 20 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 8 g

How to Make It

  1. Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Place flours and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a food processor; pulse to combine. Add butter; pulse 6 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 1/4 cup water and vodka; pulse 6 times or until dough comes together. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; gently knead 1 to 2 times. Divide dough into 12 equal portions; shape each portion into a ball and press flat. Roll each dough portion into a 4 1/2-inch circle. Arrange dough circles on a baking sheet lined with plastic wrap; cover and chill 1 hour or until firm.

  2. Preheat oven to 375°F with oven rack in lower middle position.

  3. Unwrap dough circles; fit 6 circles into 6 (4-inch) tart pans. Using a 1 1/4-inch star-shaped cutter, cut a star from the center of each of the remaining 6 dough circles. Refrigerate tart shells and lids until ready to use; refrigerate stars, if using.

  4. Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 5 tablespoons sugar, and cornstarch in a large bowl. Add cherries and lemon juice; toss. Spoon about 1/2 cup cherry mixture into each shell; top with dough lids, pressing edges to seal. Brush with egg white; sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons sugar. Arrange tartlets on a foil-lined baking sheet; bake at 375°F for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Cool 10 minutes. Remove tartlets from pans; cool completely.