Gifts from the Kitchen, Healthier Heart Tarts

HH, aka Hungry Husband, has been hinting about cherry pie lately…


I saw a recipe for some cherry pie bars that looked totally decadent…OR!  I could always make a  Chocolate Strawberry Tart


But, I thought, the least I could do is honor his wishes, with Father’s Day coming up and all…he is such a great Dad~


So I asked my assistant  HHjr to get me some cherry pie filling when he went to the store…Super Boy and his assistant were busy helping HH in the yard


I was dreaming of what I could concoct with that bright, red, ooey, gooey pie filling…a cherry pie galette perhaps like this Berry Cheesecake Galette


and then I saw the cans sitting on the counter… where was the ooey, gooey, bright red cherry pie filling?

Screen Shot 2014-06-01 at 4.05.22 PM

Unsweetened Pitted Cherries….aghhhhhh….so NOT the sticky sweet stuff of my dreams!


HHjr laughed…“I guess you’ll have to do some work Mom!”




Actually, this is healthier than the ooey gooey bright red stuff that I wanted because it doesn’t have those unpronounceable sketchy ingredients and I used a lot less sugar


Just cherries, cornstarch to thicken and sugar to sweeten…


Oh and a lot of red gel food coloring to get rid of that sick pink color


I didn’t say they were healthy, I just said health-i-er…


I put a little dollop of cream cheese in the bottom of the tarts for a little creaminess


I forgot to mention that this was truly a labor of love


The first batch of sauce didn’t thicken enough so I grabbed some baking powder instead of cornstarch which caused it to bubble up and turn gray!   Yikes!  so I had to start all over again    🙁    this would also explain why there is cornstarch all over the place and why I didn’t spend a lot of time making these look fabulous because I was totally pissed  frustrated


Spray your pan so they will pop out easily or else you will be crying again


Ovens and pan size will vary the cooking time, but these took only 20 minutes at 400


The guys loved them, and they were actually good  because they weren’t overly sweet.  And I know, they weren’t particularly pretty either…hot mess comes to mind…


So, just between you and me, next time I would buy the pie filling…and make them round…and go outside and play…


Healthier Heart Tarts

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12


  • cupcake or muffin pan


  • 2 pie crust dough rounds
  • 2 cans unsweetened pitted cherries [I used Oregon Red Tart]
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup reserved cherry juice from canned cherries
  • 4 T cornstarch
  • red gel food coloring [optional]
  • 2-3 oz. softened cream cheese [optional]


  • Drain cherries, reserving juice. Place sugar and cornstarch in saucepan and stir to mix. Pour one cup of juice in saucepan and turn burner to medium. Cook and stir until mixture thickens, about 5-8 minutes. Add cherries and stir to coat. Add food coloring if desired.
  • Cut pastry into circles or triangles to fit individual tart or muffin pans.
  • Spray pan with cooking spray and gently insert dough pieces to form crusts.
  • Place 1/2 tsp of cream cheese in the bottom of tarts if desired.
  • Fill tarts with cherry filling and top with a dough shapes cut from remained pie dough round, if desired.
  • Bake at 400 20 minutes or until golden and done, watching carefully.
Keyword cherry pie, cherry tart

Psst…Next time HH has a craving for cherry pie…he’s getting white chocolate bread pudding with caramel sauce 🙂


I will be sharing with:

Posed Perfection

Glitter Glue and Paint

Love Bakes Good Cakes

Crafts a la Mode

The Gunny Sack

Memories by the Mile

3 Responses to “Gifts from the Kitchen, Healthier Heart Tarts”
  1. Happier Than A Pig In Mud says:

    Please forgive me but I LOL’d at your… frustration:@) Jenna if anyone understands, it’s me! Ya gotta love life’s little kitchen challenges… I hope you did get outside to play:@)

  2. Mary says:

    Your little heart tarts WERE a labor of love Jenna! We love small bites for dessert and I love when they’re not so cloyingly sweet so these sound perfect with the addition of the cream cheese especially in your adorable tart pan! I ♥ your ME cherry cookie jar too 🙂

  3. The assistants are so adorable on the tractor…they stoled the show my friend.

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