Peach and Cherry Tarts

It’s time to Celebrate! Summer is a time of celebrations. There’s Independence Day (and Canada Day for my Canadian friends), Labor Day, and many birthdays of friends and family – including MINE (yes, I still get excited about my birthday, don’t you?). Summer is a great time to party it up! As much as I LOVE to make and eat cake, after a while I just need something different.  Too many cakes + bathing suit season = disaster.So when I found this Pin for a simple but delicious looking Peach and Cherry Tarts by Jo from Jo Cooks, I was all over it.

Pintesting Peach and Cherry Tarts - ORIGINAL PIN

Fresh peaches and cherries have been calling to me in my grocery store for a while now. I’ll walk past them, and the smell of those peaches calls me over, enticing me. “You know you want to buy us… We are your husband’s favorite…” It’s like the siren’s song. Then there are all of the wonderful health benefits to eating fresh fruit. Add the simplicity of the recipe… okay, let’s get started!


The Pintesting:

The recipe called for puff pastry, fresh peaches, fresh cherries, mascarpone cheese, cream cheese and a little sugar. I couldn’t find the mascarpone cheese, so I went with all cream cheese and a little milk and vanilla to help sweeten and loosen up the mixture.
Peach and Cherry Tart - Ingredients - Pintesting

Puff pastry comes frozen, usually in two sheets folded in thirds, and requires thawing before using. The instructions say to thaw overnight in the refrigerator or 30 minutes on the counter. Since I was making this early in the morning, I chose to thaw it overnight so I’d have one less thing to worry about before coffee. Seriously, who does ANYTHING before coffee? Exactly.

Peach and Cherry Tart - Puff Pastry - Pintesting

The pastry should unfold once thawed. However, mine was stuck together in two solid rectangles of dough. What to do? I just dusted the counter with a little flour and rolled it out to its intended size.

Peach and Cherry Tart - Roll it out - Pintesting

Once the dough was the right size, I cut it into thirds and put the pastry onto a baking sheet lined with parchment.

Peach and Cherry Tart - Cut into thirds - Pintesting

Now for the sweetened cream cheese. As I said before, I couldn’t get mascarpone cheese so I went with all cream cheese. Mascarpone cheese is a bit softer than cream cheese, so I added a little milk (maybe a teaspoon) and a little vanilla (1/4-1/2 teaspoon) to loosen and lightly sweeten the mix.

Peach and Cherry Tart - Sweet cream cheese - Pintesting

Mix together until smooth.

Peach and Cherry Tart - Mixed - Pintesting

Divide onto the pastry sheets…

Peach and Cherry Tart - Divide - Pintesting

…and spread it evenly.

Peach and Cherry Tart - Spread evenly - Pintesting

Slice the peaches thinly and pit and half the cherries. I like that you don’t need to peel the peaches. A note about fresh peaches; look for fruit that is just ripe but isn’t too soft. Peaches bruise easily and turn into mush if they’re too ripe. They should be firm enough to handle without indenting with gentle pressure.

I love fresh cherries but don’t care for the lovely purple hue they turn my fingers while slicing or pitting them, so I sliced the cherries under running water. That fixed the problem before it became one.

Peach and Cherry Tart - Arrange fruit - Pintesting

Arrange the peach slices on the pastries and the cherries down the center.

Pintesting Peach and Cherry Tart

Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes. (My convection oven compensates automatically, thus the temperature difference.)

Peach and Cherry Tart - bake - Pintesting

Done! That’s it. I brought these into work to be a morning tasty treat to celebrate my birthday. Make my own birthday treat? Yes! That’s just how I roll. Making people happy with food makes me happy.

Peach and Cherry Tart - Finished - Pintesting

So this is how the Peach and Cherry Tarts looked when I set them out mid-morning. They didn’t last long, though. Everyone loved the fresh taste from these that wasn’t super sugary.

Peach and Cherry Tart - Served - Pintesting

Oh, and those oddly shaped rolls on the left side are my way of using the other puff pastry sheet.

Bonus Recipe:

  1. Cut the puff pastry sheet into quarters and put a row of four miniature candies down the center of each section; I used Hershey Kisses and Rolos because that’s what I had on hand but you can use any kind of miniature candies. (Note: this is a PERFECT way to use up Halloween candy that didn’t get passed on to trick-or-treaters. You know – that extra bag that you got “just in case”.)
  2. Brush all the edges with egg wash and fold the pastry over in thirds like a letter. The egg wash will help seal the pastry so the chocolaty goodness doesn’t leak out.
  3. Place it seam side down on a parchment-lined sheet pan tucking under the edges.
  4. Brush the whole pastry with egg wash to make it brown and shiny and beautiful.
  5. I baked these with the tarts and they came out perfectly. Yes, there are only three. Yes, I made four. Don’t judge – I was testing for doneness.

The Pintesting Results:

Overall Rating: 4.55 Pins

5 Pins Overall

Accuracy: The recipe was thorough, well-written and simple to follow. I had to substitute for the mascarpone cheese, but that didn’t take away from the recipe at all. The tarts turned out fantastic. I love how the fruit took the spotlight and made a wonderfully fresh and naturally sweet dessert (or in our case, mid-morning snack) without a lot of added sugar. It was really spot-on with the recipe and presentation. 5 Pins

Rated 5 Pins

Difficulty: There are only 6 ingredients in the recipe, and normally they’re easy to find at my grocery store. (Sorry mascarpone.) When I make this again – and I definitely will – I’ll thaw the puff pastry on the counter rather than use the overnight method. A puff pastry novice might have been put off by the dough that wouldn’t unfold. And while I didn’t think that thinly slicing the peaches, and pitting and halving the cherries was any trouble, others at my office didn’t seem to agree. “Sure, it’s simple for YOU”. Of course, these are the people that think that I float through my kitchen and sing as I cook and bake, while woodland creatures come and do the dishes and clean my house. All I can say to that is… I wish!

Princess Wannabe

Yeah… In the real world, this gets 4 Pins.

Rated 4 Pins

Time: I whipped this up before work – including getting ready and without the help of any woodland creatures. The whole thing took about an hour. If I hadn’t had to roll out the puff pastry, it might have taken a little less time, so I’m giving this 4 Pins.

Rated 4 Pins

Cost: With only 6 ingredients, or 7 since I subbed the mascarpone by adding milk and vanilla, the total cost was still around $10, and we had extra cherries for lunches and snacks. 4 Pins.

Rated 4 Pins

Practicality: This recipe is simple, cost effective, delicious, healthy, and (in my humble opinion) quick and easy tart. It works equally well for dessert, brunch, lunch, or any other food option. 5 Pins

Rated 5 Pins

Bite-Sized Apple Pies

Summer is almost here. Depending on where you live, school is either already finished or nearly so. That means it’s time for summer vacations, and in my world that means lots and lots of snacks and foods in miniature sizes – perfect for taking to the park, to the beach, on a road trip, on an airplane, or just about anywhere.

I used to love having sandwiches cut up into quarters instead of just cut in half. Somehow that made them fancy and taste better. Little boxes of raisins, small packages of cheese and crackers, baggies of washed grapes, little bottles of soda (or pop, if you’re from Michigan), and individual bags of chips were some of the foods I remember on road trips. Mom was smart and did not let us have a bunch of sugary sweets when we would be stuck in the back seat of a car for hours, but sometimes we’d get Twinkies or cupcakes or Swiss rolls.

Now nothing can beat a good all-American apple pie, but they’re not very easy to eat when you’re on a road trip. Thankfully I saw this pin by Laurie from Cookin’ Up North who came up with a great solution. So let’s see if this is worthy of vacation food.

The ingredients are super simple; cinnamon, sugar, pie crust, butter and apples.

Mini Apple Pies - Ingredients - Pintesting

Mix the cinnamon sugar and slice the apples. Laurie wasn’t sure if the skins should be left on or peeled and chose the leave the skins on – this time. I decided to do both; one apple each way.

Mini Apple Pies - Prepped - Pintesting

Brush the pie crust with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Cut the crust into wedges. I used a pizza cutter for this step and it works like a charm!

Mini Apple Pies - Dough - Pintesting

Roll up the apple slices in the pie crust wedges.

Mini Apple Pies - Wrap It Up - Pintesting

Brush the outsides with butter and cinnamon sugar, then bake.

Mini Apple Pies - Sprinkle and Bake - Pintesting

Let them cool at least a little before trying to eat these.

Mini Apple Pies - Done - Pintesting

My oldest daughter and husband were there to give their opinion for the two varieties of the mini apple pies (with and without the peel). All three of us liked the peeled apple slices better than the skin-on apples. We found that the peel had a tendency to get stuck in our teeth, much like when you eat corn on the cob. The simple ingredients really showed off their flavors for both versions. I think I’d call these “Easy Peasy Apple Pies” because these cute little pies need a cute little name. Now, for the Pintesting results.

Overall Rating: 5 Pins

5 Pins Overall

Accuracy:  These little pies give a quick and easy way to enjoy the deliciousness of apple pies in a way that’s mobile friendly. BONUS – the built in portion control (IF you can eat just one). The crust was crispy and flaky, and the “filling” was perfect. 5 Pins

Rated 5 Pins

Difficulty:  This was extremely simple. It would be a great recipe for kids to do with minimal adult supervision. 5 Pins

Rated 5 Pins

Time:  The prep time was about 10 minutes, and the bake time was about 15 minutes for a total of 25 minutes. That’s really quick for home made apple pie. 5 Pins

Rated 5 Pins

Cost:  The most expensive ingredient was the store-bought pie crust, which I bought on sale at 2 for $5. You could easily make your own pie crust, which would increase the time, but if you have a favorite recipe go ahead and us it. The remaining ingredients were already in my kitchen, and you’re likely to find in most other kitchens, too. 5 Pins

Rated 5 Pins

Practicality: These little pies would be perfect for lunches, after-school snacks, a picnic, road trip or even as flight food. They’re also perfect for a quick dessert. I think served warm with vanilla icecream would be fantastic! 5 Pins

Rated 5 Pins

Sunday Reflections – April 28, 2013

Happy Weekend! I hope yours has been a time to recharge your batteries. This Sunday Reflections has a theme – Pies! This weekend was the Great American Pie Festival in Celebration, Florida. I have not entered any of the competitions (yet), but I’m an experienced sampler. All the pies you can eat at $10 for adults and $5 for children. What’s not to love? I’m including a few pictures of the festival, but also some of the pins from my Pies-Tarts-Crostatas board. One of these pins will be posted on this week. Have a wonderful rest of the weekend!


The Great American Pie Festival is put on by the American Pie Council

Welcome to the wonderful world of getting Pie-eyed!

Welcome to the wonderful world of getting Pie-eyed!

Part of the 2013 Competition

Part of the 2013 Competition

Cookie Dough Tart Crusts

These Cookie Dough Tart Crusts are from this pin and link to the Two Llamas and a Whole Lotta Drama Facebook page.

How to prevent your crust from shrinking

How to prevent your crust from shrinking

This pin is a great how-to on preventing crust shrinkage and links to Lindsey’s Hot Polka Dot blog.

How To Make Lattice Top & Decorative Pies

How To Make Lattice Top & Decorative Pies

This old-fashioned looking picture shows how to make beautiful crusts and decorative pies, and links to Tip Nut.

Lattice Lemon Pie

Lattice Lemon Pie

Here’s a new twist on an old favorite – Lemon Meringue Pie, but with a lattice meringue. This pin links to the Better Recipes’ Daily Dish.

Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Tart

Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Tart

I made this for a work pot luck. Do you want to know how to REALLY win friends and influence people? Feed them this and they’ll love you forever. This pin links to Rosie’s Sweetapolita blog.

Peach and Cherry Tarts

Peach and Cherry Tarts

This is a super simple dessert that allows the natural flavors of the fruit to take center stage. This pin links to Jo’s blog, Jo Cooks.

Bite Sized Apple Pies

Bite Sized Apple Pies

These are perfect snack-sized treats for lunches or after school or a light dessert.This pin links to the blog Six Sisters’ Stuff.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the pie theme this week. Let me know your favorite pie in the comments!

Blessings, Anne


Mini Peach Cobblers

My husband loves peach cobbler. It’s one of his all time favorite desserts. When I saw this pin for Mini Peach Cobblers, I knew I had to make it for him. I’m very fortunate and blessed to have such a wonderful man to call my husband, and love to spoil him in little ways like this. Much of my love comes from the kitchen. Last week he had a rough work day, so we had pan-seared scallops and steak for supper with steamed veggies and a Greek salad. On a Tuesday – just because. He felt the love.

My wonderful husband spoils me by cleaning the house. The man is gifted at cleaning. I mean, he puts Mr. Clean to shame. He can do in one hour what takes me all morning. So tell me, who wouldn’t make peach cobbler for the man who cleans? That ‘s what I thought. He was very excited about this pin test, so let’s get to it.

The original pin was by Melissa from Sugar Derby, who was guest posting on Alli’s blog, Alli-N-Son.

The Pintesting:

The ingredients called for a can of diced peaches. Melissa tells a funny story regarding this difficult-to-find ingredient, but I had no problem finding them at my grocer.


First I mixed the dry ingredients and combined with the milk until smooth. Melissa says to use a wooden spoon. I used a whisk and the results were perfect.

Mix until Smooth

I added the melted butter to the muffin pans, then topped with the batter.

Melted butter and batter in muffin cups

Next came the peaches, followed by a sprinkle of brown sugar and cinnamon.

Add peaches then sprinkle

The amount of brown sugar and cinnamon was omitted and left to the discretion of the cook. I did half with a lighter sprinkle and half with a heavy “sprinkle” to see if there would be a noticeable difference. We couldn’t taste a difference, but noticed that the cobblers with a more generous sprinkle were more nicely browned when baked.

I should note that the recipe yields 12 minis, but I had quite a bit of leftover melted butter and batter. I would recommend using 4-6 TBS of butter rather than the whole stick, and evenly divide up any additional batter.

Leftover butter & batter

I baked in a 350 degree pre-heated oven and set the timer for 12 minutes. Nothing was mentioned about using a convection oven, so I went with the conventional oven setting.


After 12 minutes the cobblers didn’t look quite done, so I gave them another 5 minutes. That seemed to do the trick.

Almost then Done

The directions say to let them cool almost completely before removing from the pan. After about 10 minutes, the cobblers had shrunk a bit from the cooling.

Shrink after cooling

Since it was a cold evening, we decided to test them with a cup of tea and skip the recommended ice cream. I’m sure it’s a delicious addition, but totally not necessary.


The Pintesting Results:

Overall Rating: 5 Pins

5 Pins Overall - LARGE

Accuracy: The recipe was easy to follow, and the blog post added clarity on the sprinkle question of the brown sugar and cinnamon. My husband, who considers himself a peach cobbler expert, said this was one of the very best he’d ever tasted. We both liked the light, crispiness and chewiness of the cobbler crust. It wasn’t doughy at all, which is his biggest pet peeve of cobblers. 5 pins

Rated 5 Pins - SMALL

Difficulty: This was a very simple recipe. Perfect for a novice baker. 5 pins

Rated 5 Pins - SMALL

Time: I found that it took about 5 minutes more than the time in the recipe, but it took roughly 10 minutes of prep time, 17 minutes of baking time, and 10 minutes of cooling. At just over half an hour, 5 pins.

Rated 5 Pins - SMALL

Cost: The ingredients are common to most kitchens. I only had to pick up the can of diced peaches for less than $2.00. 5 pins.

Rated 5 Pins - SMALL

Practicality: This makes a nice after school snack or week night dessert. The leftovers (if you have any) also make a yummy breakfast with a cup of coffee. 5 pins

Rated 5 Pins - SMALL