I actually wrote this post last year, but never got the recipe typed up from my notes. It’s like I was super pregnant or something! With the cherry trees in my yard just transitioning from blossom to little green fruit, I thought it was the perfect time to finally share these lovely tarts.
I’ve been devouring pounds of cherries for the past month, even climbing around 15 feet off the ground in a friend’s tree, like a pregnant monkey, gathering as many cherries as I could before the birds got them all.
Eric wasn’t exactly excited to see how high I climbed while carrying his child, but I was careful, I promise!
I wanted to use my first batch of bing cherries to create a healthy dessert, and decided on a tart. I work really hard on coming up with healthy versions of desserts, and my ultimate goal is for Eric to not say “It tastes healthy” when he tries my latest creation. I don’t have a problem with desserts tasting healthy for our family, but I know a lot of my cooking class participants and readers are looking for healthy substitutes that taste like the naughty versions they know and love.
Fortunately, this tart was met with nothing but mumbles of appreciation.
For the crust, I used a whole wheat French tart dough that is ridiculously easy to make. The filling was a bit of a challenge for me, as my midwife has forbidden me to eat cream cheese because of the risk of listeriosis. (Sidenote: Although none of my internet research said cream cheese is a risk for listeria, I decided to follow her instructions)
Since I couldn’t do a cream cheese filling, and I didn’t want to do a high fat cream filling since the crust was so buttery, I decided to experiment with greek yogurt. By mixing a little bit of gelatin with a little bit of water, I was able to make a creamy, rich, fat free filling for my fruit tarts. I’m not anti fat in food, but if you’re trying to lose weight, this can be a really great dessert option to make a pseudo panna cotta!
To come up with the rest of the recipe, I consulted my favorite “cookbook”, The Flavor Bible. I mention this book all the time because it really is genius and invaluable for someone trying to cook from scratch and save money. For example, I can look up cherries, and see that orange, maple, honey, and cinnamon are all great pairing ingredients that I already had at home. When cooking from a cookbook you often end up trying to buy ingredients to make the recipe, but with this book, you get to be creative but have some security in knowing your flavor choices will work.
Since I made these into three smaller tarts, Eric and I would share a tart, making a serving 1/6 of the recipe. That’s a very generous portion. You could easily make this 8-12 servings to save money and calories!
What do you plan to make with cherries this season?
- 1 1/2 cups nonfat Greek Yogurt
- 4 TBS real maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp gelatin
- 2 TBS water
- 1 baked and cooled whole wheat tart crust
- 20-25 fresh cherries, stemmed, pitted and halved
- 2 TBS orange zest (or zest of 1 orange)
- 1 tbs honey (optional)
- Put the yogurt, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl and stir to combine.
- In a small microwave safe bowl, whisk the gelatin into the water. Microwave for 10-15 seconds, then immediately stir the hot gelatin into the yogurt.
- Pour the yogurt into the tart crust and smooth it out to the edges. Top with cherry halves and sprinkle with orange zest. Refrigerate at least six hours or overnight.
- If your cherries are tart, you may want to drizzle with honey before serving.
Approximate cost/serving: Although I got my cherries for free, you can still save money by buying them in season and locally. I also saved by getting my yogurt in big tubs from Costco. The three small tarts cost me about $3 to make. That’s just 50 cents a serving for 6 BIG servings.
Gluten Free: You can adapt this recipe to be gluten free by either using a gluten free crust, or skipping a crust altogether and serving in ramekins like a custard.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 292Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 45mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 6gSugar: 28gProtein: 11g
Nutrition information is an estimate only.