Cherry Tartlets and Cherry Pioneer Pie

Sep 3, 2013, 10:05 a.m.


Jan D’Atri

Antique shopping this week I stumbled upon a vintage Popeil’s Pie Maker and Sandwich Grill. Two small metal rounds close like a clamshell and are attached to a metal rod with wooden handles. Place two pieces of pie or bread dough with filling into the rounds and you have a vintage version of today’s Hot Pocket.

It got me thinking about my Aunt Mary’s Tart Tartlets. As a little girl I would look forward to visiting her because she always made kid-sized homemade cherry tartlets just for me and my sister. Because I didn’t have a campfire handy to bake up the tartlets with Popeil’s Pie Maker, I formed my little pies using a 3-inch cookie. Delightful and delicious!

For the second recipe, I’m sharing two versions of Pioneer Cherry Pie Filling Cake, both variations of a traditional Dump Cake. You’ll find that all three recipes are, well, just cherry!

Aunt Mary’s Tart Tartlets

For the Filling:

2 cups dried tart cherries (found in bulk bin at Sprouts, Whole Foods)

2 tablespoons honey

1 lime, juiced

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed into 2 cups hot water

For the Dough:

1 cup butter, softened but not melted

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons heavy cream or half and half

1 large egg

1 teaspoon almond extract

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons cream (or more if needed)

1 teaspoon almond extract


Cherry Tartlets

In a pot over medium heat, cook filling ingredients together until thickened, about 25 minutes. If filling becomes too thick, add more water as needed. Let cool.

In a mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add cream, egg and almond extract and blend well. Add flour, baking soda and salt, mixing well.

Roll dough out on floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick. Using a 3-inch cookie cutter, cut out rounds. Place on baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place small amount of filling on one round and top with a second round. Score a cross at the top with knife.

Pinch edges together and bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes or until golden brown. When done, mix together powdered sugar, cream and almond extract. Brush over top of warm rounds. Makes about 20 tartlets.

Pioneer Cherry Pie Filling Cake (Version No. 1)

2 cans of cherry pie filling

1 box of yellow cake mix

1 stick of butter, melted

Simply empty the cans of cherry pie filling in a 13 by 9 inch baking pan.

Sprinkle cake mix over cherry filling. Pour melted butter over cake mix and bake at 375 for about 50-60 minutes. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Pioneer Cherry Pie Filling Cake (Version No. 2)

Pour cherry pie filling in a 13 by 9 inch baking pan.

Prepare yellow cake according to package instructions

Pour cake batter over cherry filling. Bake at 375 for about 50-60 minutes.

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

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