Thursday, December 20, 2018

Rustic Mini Cherry Almond Tarts for Christmas - Made with fresh cherries and LESS added sugar!

I can't believe that there is only 5 more sleeps until Christmas! Wow!

Are we all Christmas-ready?

It's a YES for me but I must admit that I have not been doing much for the Christmas this year. It had been a difficult year for me as I was trying to look for a new job while juggling through this busy season. You know what? I survived and found a job!!!

So YES that I will be happy celebrating my Christmas this year.

To kick start the celebration, I have baked these Rustic Mini Cherry Almond Tarts. For our Christmas day, we will be driving to Sydney and stay there for a couple of days. Then, we will continue to enjoy our break at Inverloch beach before starting my new job in January 2019.

A full-time job for me? Most probably and this means that I will have to adapt my previous 4-days working life into a 5-days one. Does this means that I will have lesser time for baking and blogging? Most probably but I will not stop baking and blogging.

mini cherry almond tarts
It's Cherry Season at Down-under Australia!
And I'm baking these Rustic Mini Cherry Almond Tarts for our Christmas.

Let's talk less about me and more about baking.

Although these mini cherry almond tarts are delicious even with about 7g added sugar per tart, they can be quite challenging to bake as the almond pastry can be crumbly and difficult to handle!

Therefore, I won't be sharing a video showing how I baked these tarts and just sharing the recipe if you are interested... Sorry!

Despite the recent stormy weather...
We still managed to pick these juicy sweet cherries at Chappies at Silvan, Victoria.
Love love love these fresh and sweet cherries ^-^
mini cherry almond tarts
I have set aside 200g of these sweet cherries to bake these tarts.
mini cherry almond tarts
After cooled slightly for 10 mins, the tarts were transferred onto a wire rack to cool completely. 
mini cherry almond tarts
Then, I dusted the tarts with a tiny amount of icing sugar...
They are so YUMMY!!!

I have to say that these sweet cherry tarts taste so naturally sweet even with just 7g added sugar in each tart! Why 7g? Please allow me to explain... In my recipe, you will see that 50g dark brown is added to make the almond pastry and 80g strawberry jam (sugar content is 52g per 100g) is added to make the cherry filling. Thus, these 12 tarts contain a total of 90g added sugar and each contains 7.6g added sugar. 

Do you know that 7g of sugar is less than a tablespoon of sugar? Yet, these yummy tarts are still so nicely sweetened!

Before proceeding on to share this recipe, I just want to mention again that my family and I will be having a short trip to Sydney and Inverloch beaches for our coming Christmas and so I will take a break from baking and blogging from now to Jan 2019. If you wish to "come along" with us to see what we do and eat at Sydney, please follow me at my Instagram @zoebakeforhappykids 

Otherwise, I'm be back soon for some and hopefully "more" Chinese New Year baking. Hmmm... Wish me luck for my new job!

Like my blog and recipes? Appreciate if you can LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW me at either my Facebook at here or here or my Instagram @zoebakeforhappykids Thank you thank you for your support!

Here's the recipe.

Make twelve mini 7-cm round tarts

For the pastry dough:
100g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
50g (1/4 cup) dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
30g egg yolks, from 2 eggs but please use the exact weight
200g (1 1/3 cups) plain or all-purpose flour
80g finely ground almond / almond meal
1/4 tsp salt
2-3 tbsp cold water, if required

For the filling:
200g fresh or frozen cherries, pitted or other berries like roughly chopped strawberries
15ml (1 tbsp) freshly squeezed lemon juice
80g store-bought strawberry or raspberry jam - Mine contains 52g sugar in every 100g
1/4 tsp salt

Icing sugar for dusting.

Using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter and brown sugar for about 2-3 mins or until combined and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg yolks, then beat until combined.

Sift flour, almond meal and salt into the butter mixture. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix until mixture forms a dough. If mixture is too dry and crumbly, add and mix cold water into the dough with one teaspoonful at a time until mixture combines to form a dough. Wrap dough in a cling wrap and refrigerate for about 30 mins or until firm.

While refrigerating the dough, prepare jam filling:
Combine cherries, lemon juice, jam and salt in a large saucepan. Bring mixture to boil, then reduce to simmer and cook the mixture with no cover until the cherries (or berries) are tender and mixture is thickened like a jam, about 5-10 mins. Allow it to cool completely to room temperature.

Shaping and baking the tarts:
Line one baking tray with baking paper.

Use a rolling pin to roll into flat round with about 5mm thickness and cut them into twelve 8-cm round and twelve 7-cm star shapes.

Line one 12-holes patty pan with the 8-cm round pastry dough. Arrange the star pastry dough onto the lined baking tray with about 2.5 cm / 1 inches apart. Place all in a freezer for about 15 mins while the oven is preheating.

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.

Bake the briefly frozen round and star pastries at 180°C/350°F for 10 mins. Remove pastry from the oven.

While the tart shells are hot and freshly baked, work fast to assemble the tarts. Divide and distribute about 1 tbsp cherry filling in each tart shell. Then, place one star pastry on the cherry filling in each tart. 

Bake the assembled tarts at 180°C/350°F for another 15-20 mins or until golden brown and firm. Allow tarts to cool slightly for 15 mins or until they are firm enough to remove, then transfer the tarts onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Dust with icing sugar if desired. Serve and enjoy!

Happy Baking and Merry Christmas!
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  1. Congratulations on your new gig Zoe! Merry Christmas to you & your family.

    1. Thanks! Happy New Year to you and your family :)

  2. Yay!! So happy for you! Wishing you all the best in your new job for the new year! have a fab vacation :)

    Cant wait to try to make these cherry tarts altho they are mighty expensive in Singapore ��

    1. Thanks Sharon! Happy New Year to you and your family too! Hope that you like the recipe :)

  3. Hi Zoe,
    Congratulations to you on getting a new job! Hope you don't stop baking and blogging :)
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

    1. Hi Madeline,
      Happy New Year to you and your family. No worries! I will try not to stop baking and blogging. Big hug! XOXO