Easyyyyyyy Cherry Valentine’s Tarts

A trip to the grocery store usually goes something like this for me …

Grab the only cart in the store that has a wonky wheel which forces it to pull to the right all the time.  Get whatever “in the aisle” goods I need.  Turn right.  Head down to the dairy aisle and pick up whatever I need there.  I sometimes spend more time gazing at cheese than you would expect from a person who knows how to work a button up shirt.

Take a detour through the potato chip aisle and just sit and meditate for a while.  Wipe the goofy potato chip induced grin from my face and  head on over to the produce aisle.   As you may have guessed, I am forced to hang a right to do this.  Pick up leafy, crispy things.  I like leafy, crispy things.

Turn right at the broccoli and head directly towards the deli counter. Worry for a full 30 seconds about whether or not, when there is only 1 person ahead of me,  I really need to “take a number”. Decide the deli is too stressful and head over to the meat counter. Stand for what seems like hours deciding on what big, thick, hunk of meat I’d like to devour  (usually after cooking it).  I get all dreamy in the meat aisle.  I browse and I scan and I ponder while in the meat aisle. Turn right.

Then I quickly zip through that area where they sell pies and cakes and stuff without looking at a thing. Check out.

The point of this story?  Check the alignment of your cart before comitting to it.  There’s  nothing worse than a cart with a wonky wheel that always wants to turn right.  Except one that wants to turn left.  Second point to this story?  I’m not one for sweet, gooey baked goods.

And because I don’t like to eat ’em, I don’t like to make ’em.   Which is why I came up with this post.  Quite possibly the easiest Heart Shaped Tart on the planet!  Here we go ….  !!!


Pre-made tart shells (mini)

Cherry Pie Filling

Preheat oven to 375°

It occurred to me last week that I could probably smash those little premade tart shells into any shape I wanted.  I mean, nothing terribly complex.  Like I probably couldn’t squish the into the shape of a a small country or a mathematical equation but I thought I could definitely squish it into the shape of a heart.  I gave it a shot, and turns out I was right.  Very easy.  Just get a tart … I used the mini kind normally reserved for appetizers.

See?  They’re about half the size of a regular tart shell.

To turn the shell into a heart shape, just dent in one end of the tart’s foil.  Like so …

Then push that dent inwards to create the top of the heart shape.

Be careful not to squarsh the dough too much.

Once you have the top of the heart shaped, push the sides together a bit and pull the end down into a point.  This will finish off the shape of the heart.

Ta da!  Heart shaped tart shell.

Everybody needs to calm down now, because the most exciting part is coming up.

To fill the tarts, just use a can o’ this …

Cherry Pie filling.

I find that this particular brand is kind of “tart”.  Literally.  So I add a tablespoon or so of sugar to the can and mix it up.

Once you adjust the sweetness of the filling, spoon out a bit …

… and fill your tarts.

Try to add just a little to each tart at a time.  I added a few cherries to each tart and then filled up the rest of the space with the gooey filling.

Don’t overfill the tarts ’cause they’ll get messy once they bubble up and cook.

Now you can either stick your tarts in the oven

or …

You can tart up your tarts.

Now that you’re tarts have the look of something that took longer than 20 minutes,

stick them in the oven at 375° for 20 minutes.

Take ’em out … and eat ’em.

And there you  have it.    You’d normally have to cruise a bar close to closing time to come across a tart this easy.  Enjoy.


  1. Love it. I do believe even *I* could manage this one. Move over, smittenkitchen.

  2. An inspiration for my blogging technique. You crack me up at 12pm on a Monday nite. : ) What kind of camera do u use???? Great photos! U really capture the texture of that cherry pie goo.

    • Karen says:

      Jean! Thanks. The camera isn’t anything too fancy, a Nikon D40. I have quite a nice macro lens on it though! Plus cherry pie goo tends to look good no matter what. ~ karen

  3. Laura says:

    I don’t have a diary aisle in my store. I know if there was it would be full of embarrassing stories from my 7th grade dances.

  4. Norell says:

    If it wasn’t midnight with me in pajamas, I’d head for the closest grocery store and make some right now – and probably eat most of them before the family wakes up. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow!!

  5. Allison says:

    I am new to your blog and can tell I will be looking forward to your posts. I needed this dose of laughter tonight! Thanks! I think I may try to whip up these cherry tarts, too.

  6. Barb says:

    HeHe, I just found your blog a few days ago, you crack me up, I love your wit and style of writing. Great morning chuckle.

  7. Lori says:

    Brilliant! I’m always up for easy and cherry pie filling? Unlike you, I love my sweets.

  8. We got the cart with the squeaky wheel yesterday at Sam’s Club. After loading two kids plus diaper bag and reusable grocery bags, we were committed. It was a noisy experience.

    I don’t know which is worse- the squeaky wheel or the wonky wheel.

  9. Nitpicker Mike says:

    Wow. You have no-label cans. How do you know what’s inside? Could have been crushed tomato or kidney bean tarts. Exciting!

  10. Gretchen says:

    Enjoyed this sooo much,you really crack me up!!
    My hubby loves cherry so I think I will labor away and make these for him on Valentines day!


  11. anna says:

    Those tarts are so freaking adorable! As someone who also doesn’t care too much for valentine’s day AND who lingers a little too long at the cheese aisle, i can appreciate the simplicity. I love how you stepped it up a notch with the lattice-work 🙂

  12. shirley huang says:

    Great tips!!! Thanks.

  13. I literally gasped at this post!! Omg how cool is that! It’s a heart!! I have to do this!!! Ooo totally following & Bookmarking your post!!

    Melanie’s Randomness

  14. blake says:

    A: I love your blog!
    B: I too lay awake at night and think of ways to make things into things
    C: I adore sweets, never bake, and wish I was one of those moms that do. But the oven has been broken since we killed it on Thanksgiving therefore I need a post on how to fix a vintage electric oven circa 1965…

  15. Traci says:

    So very cute!!! I am not a very good baker, but I think I can do these…what are your thoughts on eggwash over the crust to make it more shiny? Ooh! How about those giant sugar crystals on top? Too much?

    • Pam says:

      Traci,I’m with you- more is more! How about also dumping some cream cheese in each tart before the pie filling? The sugar would be beautiful. Let’s also think of ways to add chocolate…

  16. Caitlin says:

    How many mini tart shells does one can of pie filling fill? That sentence sounds like a tongue twister. But seriously?

    • Karen says:

      Caitlin! I dunno. I did a “bunch” of tarts and didn’t even come close to using up the can. My official answer is “a lot”. You can fill “a lot” of shells. ~ karen

  17. Melody Madden says:

    Yummy…think I can manage this one..love cherries

  18. Rose campion says:

    Ought. So cute. I’ve never seen those pre-made tart shells before, but I’m going to keep an eye open for them now that I know such a thing exists. True confession time- even though I love to bake and can make just about any kind of cake or cookie, I’m just rubbish when it comes to pie crust. I’d never ever buy a cake mix, but always buy pre-made pie crusts.

  19. Amy says:

    Thanks for the quick therapy fix..I can always count on you for a good laugh.

  20. Liz says:

    Those look fantastic! I think I must make them.

    • Karen says:

      I know! LOL. I guess I shouldn’t say that about my own post, but I must say I was pretty impressed with myself for coming up with it! Today I bought some apple pie filling to make some quick, tiny apple pie tarts complete with tiny, little lattice tops. *Very* excited about them! Thanks. 🙂 ~ karen

  21. Nancy says:

    What I love the most about this and I am a second generation pie maker/lover is that I don’t have to write down a complicated recipe that I will file away with my other long recipes and then have to read it each time I want to bake it. Terrific. I think I’ll try a beach tart.

  22. Nancy says:

    peach not beach though maybe I can come up with something that is beachy

  23. These are adorable! I love the way your brain works.
    I think even I could manage to make this simple recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  24. Sue says:

    I will definitely be making some of these, and using a bit of cream cheese as Pam suggested! Then I will probably eat the whole batch myself….

  25. Stella says:

    My grandchildren would love to make these! Are those frozen tarts available in “the states”?

  26. Evalyn says:

    The cheese isle is where I learned to work a button up shirt, but that’s probably an entirely different topic.

  27. Erin says:

    OMG I love your spoon! its so cute, is there a name of a spoon like that or should i just start searching for scalloped/frilly spoon??

    I personally don’t like cherry tarts but my dad does, maybe ill make some for him for valentines. Great post!

  28. Michelle says:

    I’m so in love with this idea. Truly GENIUS.

    I’m making them tonight and trying not to eat them all!

  29. Lora says:

    What is the name of the company who makes these t tart shells? I looked everywhere for the yellow box of Tenderflake tart shells.

    I want to find them. These are so perfect..

    • Karen says:

      Lora! The company is actually Tenderflake. Where are you? In Canada they should be readily available. The tart shells are in the frozen food section with the other frozen pie shells. However, the “mini” tart shells aren’t in *all* stores. If you can’t find the mini/appetizer sized shells just use the slightly larger sized ones. The ones you’d normally use if you were to make butter tarts. I can’t imagine this sort of thing isn’t available in the States. Just browse the frozen food section. Lemme know how you do! ~ karen

  30. cred says:

    Hey Karen,

    Brilliant Idea with the premade shells. These are too darn cute- I had to make them yesterday, especially because my 11yo daughter likes your blog, too and she’d seen these tarts.

    So I made them for the kids & hubby yesterday~ heart shaped for the kids but my valentine is a bit more like Frankenstein when it comes to pie or tarts, shape is not a factor (Monster, Eat!).

    I shaped them just as you described- worked perfectly. But since I don’t like cherry, I made strawberry & custard. Excellent idea for Vday- thanks for the inspiration.

    • Karen says:

      Cred! Thanks! That’s great. I’m so glad you made the tarts. They’re so much fun. If you ever do anything like this again send me a picture! I like to post them on the Art of Doing Stuff Facebook page! ~ karen

  31. Terri-Lynn says:

    WOW!!! Smart. You sent me this pic on my phone a while ago, but I haven’t been on to read how they were done. nice work

  32. Erin says:

    I made these with strawberry rhubarb filling for my dad (its his favorite) and he loved them. I dont think I let the tarts defrost enough though. I was having some crumbling problems with the first few but after they were warmer they seemed much much easier. You need to let them defrost longer than what the box says.

  33. Gayla T says:

    I definitely see why you wanted to rerun this one. It’s a winner for sure. Too darn cute. I’m always looking for things my wonder grands can make and this will be one of them. They are going to love it. I’m especially glad it was a tart/pie thingy because it reminded me I put a Marie Callander single serving apple pie in the microwave and forgot to eat it. It was going to be a midnight snack but since it’s 5 am it can be breakfast. Now, can you see why we love you so much? I would have left it in there for a day or so and it would have been garbage and you saved the day. Old bags with early senility that I am denying need all the help you can give. Thanks

  34. Teri says:

    wow…you even use a pretty scalloped spoon to put the cherries in your tarts. Is there anything you can’t do that isn’t pretty? They look so yummy too…

  35. Barbie says:

    I know what I am doing today….but I think I will try the Strawberry filling as well….cause I don’t like cherry either. My family will love these!
    Diary/Dairy Rectum/ Rectify…..who cares?? LOL

    I don’t mind buying things in the diary section of my grocery store nor do I care to rectum that either!

    LOVE you Karen!

  36. LMAO! “You’d normally have to cruise a bar close to closing time to come across a tart this easy.” You need to open up a mini-tart shop and use that for your tagline. Awesome!

    And, by the way, I disagree with the assertion that posting blogs twice is gauche. It’s just smart! And it’s not like you just hit publish again… you did it with an intro, so it’s all cool. There’s nothing wrong with directing people to a popular post. I would have missed these charming mini-tarts if you hadn’t. So, thanks!

  37. sandy says:

    Just found your site and I am enjoying it. So now you are in my bookmark. Keep, keeping on. Thanks for sharing your many talents. Sandy

  38. Meagan says:

    Two weeks ago I started following your wicked blog.

    Yesterday I made these pretty and delightfully easy tarts. I placed them on a plate that I purchased from Dollarama (after reading your dollar store table setting post of course). I washed up the dirty baking dishes after squirting (or rather lightly drizzling…there is a bit of an issue with the stopper, hmmmm)dish soap, from my newly crafted glass soap container, into the sink. Then, while washing the dishes, I looked out at my snow covered garden and attempted to figure out how I could possibly run a cord from the one outlet in my yard to a place where one of your amazing garden orbs would work…because it quite simply must. be. done.

    All in all I would say I’ve been pretty inspired by your blog. It’s also been a couple of productive weeks. Very blogductive indeed! Never before have I actually done things I have seen on a blog. For that I say thank you! I hope to read many more funny, creative and just plain awesome posts from you.

    P.s. I adore that you are a fellow Ontarian. I live just a quick jaunt away from you and I frequent your lovely downtown. It’s oh so nice to recognize products and stores that are used and mentioned in your posts!

  39. Wendy says:

    Karen, I adore your blog, and I’m totally making these this week!!

    But a question…. Do I need to thaw the shells before filling and baking them??

  40. Love this idea! This is my new go-to recipe when I need V-day dessert in a hurry. The tart could maybe be reshaped into a flower too for spring tarts!

    Easier than a tart after happy hour! You always make me giggle, Karen!

  41. Chris says:

    So, there I was on Pinterest, looking for an easy dessert to help with the Vortex Blues. Thank you, Karen, for this easy recipe that looks so good, and better than eating the pie filling out of the can! You all are fibbing if you haven’t had at least one spoonful! 🙂
    The sad thing about the potato chip aisle is that there are two now! They snuck them into the organic section too. So cruel!

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  43. Elaine says:

    I have never seen the tarts in grocery stores in the USA. If anyone has stores they could recommend, I would appreciate it!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Elaine, they’d be in with the frozen pie shells. IF you can’t find the mini ones you might be able to find the regular small ones. ~ karen!

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  45. Haydée Skeet says:

    These look yummy. Although in general I hate cherry pie filling. You mention that this pie filling isn’t too sweet, but don’t hint at which type it is. Will it forever remain labelless?? Maybe I’ll give this one a try.
    Have you ever tried sour cherries??they’re kind of hard to find but oh so yummy

  46. Sandi says:

    Can you make these ahead and if so can you freeze them or refrigerate them! Hoping to make lemon ones too! Same technique you think?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sandi! I’ve never done it before but you might be able to make and freeze these ahead. The only issue really is the fact that you’d have to let your frozen tart shells thaw out so you can form them and then you’d have to refreeze them again (which you’re not supposed to do with any frozen stuff because of bacterial growth). As long as you thaw, shape and fill them quickly you should be fine. Good luck! Lemon ones sound great. ~ karen!

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