Graham cracker crust, pastry cream infused with alcohol and chocolate liquor-soaked cherries create perfect Booze-Soaked Cherry Tarts.
If you ever feel like having a good cry, try making pastry cream for the first time.
But seriously, pastry cream, like the kind used in these Booze-Soaked Cherry Tarts is hard. As a baker, I tend to stay in my comfort zone that excludes sugar work (EVEN WORSE!) and tricky French patisserie. In fact, a few weekends ago I tried to make homemade salted chocolate caramels twice and failed.
The first time? I could have thrown it and it would have shattered a glass window easily, it was that hard. The second time? So, so close but just cooked slightly too much and left a vague taste of burnt marshmallows. Womp womp.
When I was making these cherry tarts, I had to throw out my first batch of pastry cream. My superheated gas stovetop curdled it when I heated the ingredients on medium as the original recipe stated. Oops. In the second and successful round, I turned it much lower and cooked it for a loooong time. Really. I hope it’s arm day for you folks because you will be whisking constantly for about 20 minutes.
On the plus side, you get a nice arm workout and you can turn on a podcast so it isn’t as boring. Oh, and wear something light. I was sweating like an tourist stuck in the middle of Parliament Hill on Canada Day (by the way, happy Canada Day!).
Trust me, that’s not a pretty picture.
But all the effort is so, so worth it. This pastry cream tastes similar to really good-quality homemade vanilla pudding. It’s just sweet enough and deliriously rich. To make these cherry tarts even better, I soaked fresh cherries in chocolate-flavoured liquor (I used the Laura Secord variety, but Bailey’s would work just as well) overnight, then topped each tart with one whole, dried-off cherry and some sliced cherries for decoration.
Aren’t they so pretty?!
They taste as good as they look, too. I brought them over to a friend’s house for a casual party and boy, can drunk people scarf down cherry tarts. It was the classiest sloppy night ever. Good memories.
PS: Happy Canada Day to all my lovely readers out there!
Check out CK on Instagram! If you try out one of my recipes, tag @CrumbKitchen so I can see your delicious creations. 🙂
Total Cost = $4.97 (Budget breakdown below recipe)
- 10-12 fresh sweet cherries, de-stemmed
- ½ to 1 cup chocolate-flavoured liquor*
- 15 graham crackers
- ¼ cup salted butter, melted
- 1 and ½ cups heavy/whipping cream
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp. salt
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 tsp. chocolate-flavoured liquor, room temperature
- Place de-stemmed cherries in a small glass or bowl and add enough chocolate liquor to just cover. Apply plastic wrap to the top of your glass/bowl tightly and store in fridge overnight or for at least 4 hours.
- After the cherries have soaked, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add the graham crackers to a food processor and pulse until they create a fine crumb. Add melted butter to the graham crackers and combine well until crumbs are moist. Press down crumbs into four 4.5 inch diameter fluted tart pans and bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes or until the crust is set. Set aside to cool.
- In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, warm the cream until small wisps of steam appeal. Do NOT allow it to boil. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix the sugar, flour and salt. Add the egg yolks and whisk well until thoroughly combined.
- Pour a small amount of the hot cream into the egg yolk mixture and whisk continuously as you slowly pour the rest in. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Set a strainer over a large bowl and set aside near the stove.
- Over low-medium heat, whisk the mixture constantly. You're going to be here for a while! (I whisked for about 20 minutes.) Soon the mixture will thicken to a pudding consistency. Pause whisking every few seconds to check if the mixture has come to a boil. Once you see large bubbles popping on the surface of the mixture, whisk for 2-5 more seconds then remove from heat immediately.
- Whisk in the 1 tsp. chocolate-flavoured liquor. Pour mixture into your set-aside strainer to remove any chunks. Cover the pastry cream with plastic wrap, ensuring the wrap is touching the cream itself to avoid creating a skin. Chill in the fridge until completely cool, at least 1-2 hours.
- Dry off the booze-soaked cherries with paper towel. Slice the cherries, leaving 4 whole ones. Set aside.
- Evenly divide the pastry cream among the tarts, then top with the sliced and whole cherries. Refrigerate until ready to serve, then eat with a spoon directly from the tart pans.
Pastry cream recipe adapted from The Kitchn. Original concept.
10-12 fresh sweet cherries = $0.35
1/2 to 1 cup chocolate-flavoured liquor = $1.80
15 graham crackers = $0.30
1/4 cup salted butter = $0.20
1 and 1/2 cups heavy/whipping cream = $1.50
1/2 cup granulated sugar = $0.09
1/4 cup all-purpose flour = $0.07
1/2 tsp. salt = $0.01
4 large egg yolks = $0.60
1 tsp. chocolate-flavoured liquor = $0.05