Dessert for July 4th was cherry tartlets made with home-grown sour cherries.
We're so excited, the dwarf sour cherry tree we planted three years ago is finally yielding a good group of cherries! Not quite enough for a pie, but plenty for tarts.
Here's how I prepared them:
The crust was Almond Sweet Pastry Crust, left over from baking the Tuesdays with Dorie project for June 10, "La Palette's Strawberry Tart." These had been frozen after baking. They were still great!
On top of that I put a layer of sweetened cream cheese: cream cheese, heavy cream, vanilla-flavored powdered sugar, and a few drops of almond extract.
After pitting the cherries, I soaked them briefly in a warmed mixture of vino cotto, (recipe below), frozen concentrated cherry juice, brown sugar, vanilla sugar, and a touch of almond extract. Then I drained the cherries and thickened up the liquid with some potato starch. After cooling the glaze, I put the cherries on top of the tarts and poured the glaze over.
Yum! I was interested to note that although I felt the crust was too sweet when I served it with strawberry jam and fresh strawberries, it seemed "just right" when served with the tarter cherries and the tangy cream cheese.
Vino Cotto (Italian wine syrup): adapted from Nick Malgieri's "Great Italian Desserts."
one 1.5 liter bottle of inexpensive-but-decent red wine, fruity or spicy rather than oaky (I used Rosemont Grenache-Shiraz)
1 cup of granulated sugar (200 grams)
Place wine and sugar in large pot and bring to a boil, stirring often until sugar is dissolved. Turn down to a strong simmer or low boil and cook until it is reduced to about one-quarter of the original volume and is thick and syrupy. Stir it from time to time. It may be necessary to turn down the heat a bit as it reduces. Keep a close eye on it when it is mostly reduced, as it is easy to burn it at this stage. Cool and pour into a clean glass jar. Keeps a long time in the refrigerator.
I ended up with about 1 1/2 cups of the wine syrup.