Just a bit naughty and a whole lot of nice, these tarts are laced with a little bourbon, which I used to plump up the sour cherries before baking. Add in the sweetness of honey, dark chocolate and a hint of spice, and you are in for a seriously decadent treat. Oh and the plus side? These are gluten free.
Inspired by a fellow Aussie foodie blogger, Not Quite Nigella, I wanted to find an alternative to traditional fruit mince pies. The NQN Chocolate Fruit Mince Tarts recipe sounded so delicious, I could not resist trying my own gluten free version.
Make your sweet shortcrust pastry in advance so it has plenty of time to chill out in the fridge before starting these tarts.
I used Bourbon to rehydrate and plump up my sour cherries. Don't have or like Bourbon? Brandy, Kirsch and Cointreau are liquors that compliment the flavour of cherries. Soak the sour cherries for at least an hour (or overnight) for maximum plumpness and flavour.
Makes 8-12 tarts.
Pastry one batch of Sass's Egg Free Sweet Shortcrust
100 grams dried sour cherries presoaked in 2-3 tablespoons of bourbon
2 tablespoons raw honey
100 grams dark chocolate (I used Lindt 70% Cocoa)
2 tablespoons flaked almonds, lightly toasted
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
Extra icing sugar for dusting
8-12 glace cherries to decorate (optional)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius
Pop a 12 cup muffin pan in the freezer to chill while you prepare the pastry dough.
Roll out the pastry dough and cut into 8-12 rounds to fit your muffin pan. Note: the amount will vary depending on the size of the muffin pan used.
Gently push the rounds of pastry into the chilled muffin pan, to create little pastry cases
Prick the base of each case with a fork
Line with baking paper and fill with baking weights to stop the pastry from rising. Note: Dried beans or rice are great to use as baking weights.
Pop the pan back in the freezer and chill for a further for 5-10 minutes. Chilling the dough will help stop the pastry from rising too much.
After chilling, pop the pastry in the oven and blind bake for 15 minutes until lightly coloured.
Remove from the oven and carefully remove the baking weights and paper.
While the cases cool, make the filling
Drain the excess bourbon from the cherries and set aside. You can this to some soda water for a naughty treat while the tarts cook (wink wink)
Mix all filling ingredients together and spoon into the cooled cases.
Bake 10-15 minutes until a lovely golden brown
Once cooled, push a glacé cherry into each of the tarts to create a pop of colour
Dust with icing sugar before serving.