I love sour cherry season simply because they’re my favourite summer fruit. If you’re a prairie girl like me, you might even prefer them to sweet cherries.
The downside? Sour cherries are a lot of work. They’re hard to find in stores, and only available for a short time at the farmers market. Orchards are few and far between. Basically, if you want them, you have to grow them. Or know someone with a tree who has too many.
But despite the effort, sour cherries are worth it.
Once I’ve pitted them, these easy sour cherry tarts are my favourite way to enjoy them. This sour cherry recipe uses frozen tart shells to save time, but whipped cream, edible flowers, and sprigs of thyme to dress it up. No one will care that you cheated with the crust, and will be super impressed that they look so pretty.
I recently held an open yard for my blog readers, and everyone was delighted to get a treat that was tasty and beautiful.
As noted in the recipe, you can customize the amount of sugar you use and still get great results. Like tart food? Use a 1:6 ratio of sugar to cherries. Most people will like a ratio of 1:3, and those who like things sweeter will enjoy 1:2.
Related: Sour Cherry Pie
If you’ve never tried sour cherries before, I recommend using the 1:2 ratio, unless you’re the kind of person who eats lemons whole or chugs down lemon water every morning.
Finally, if you end up with extra cherry filling, serve it on pancakes or enjoy it with Greek yogurt for a delicious breakfast.
- 6 cups pitted sour cherries
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 heaping tbsp cornstarch
- 2-3 tbsp water
- 1 package pastry tart shells (approximately 30 in a package)
- Whipped cream to garnish
- Optional: Edible flowers and thyme for garnish.
- Pit sour cherries if you haven't done so already. The additional time in the recipe is how long you should allow yourself to pit the cherries.
- Combine cherries and sugar in a saucepan. Cook on medium high heat.
- Mix together the water and cornstarch in a small dish. Mixing with water helps to avoid lumps in the sauce. Add to the cherry and sugar mixture when it boils.
- Stir the mixture until it thickens, approximately 1-2 minutes. If it does not thicken, add more cornstarch and water.
- Let cherries cool slightly, then spoon evenly into tart shells.
- Bake for 375 degrees for approximately 30 minutes. The time will vary depending on your oven. The crust of the tarts should be a golden brown when finished.
- Let cool completely. Add whipped cream, edible flowers (I used violas) and thyme for garnish if you wish.
This recipe used two cups of sugar, but you can easily change the amount to suit your own tastes. I would use 1 cup if you like sour foods, 2 cups for most people, and 3 cups if you're making these for kids or don't enjoy sour foods as much. I personally do 2 cups if I'm planning on serving them with whipped cream or ice cream, and 3 if I think I'll be eating them plain.
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Kristen is a former farm kid turned urban gardener who owns the popular gardening website, Shifting Roots. She is obsessed with growing flowers and pushing the limits of what can be grown in her zone 3b garden. She also loves to grow tomatoes, but oddly enough, dislikes eating them raw.