Thursday, December 12, 2019

Cherry Tarts For A Special Holiday Treat


I always develop three original recipes for my Daisy's Tea Garden mysteries.  When I decided on the title MURDER WITH CHERRY TARTS for my recent release, I set about developing the recipe for Cherry Tarts.  My first attempt didn't meet my expectations, so I went back to the drawing board to make adjustments to the ingredients and how I integrated them into the recipe.  My second attempt was much better and with a few more tweaks, I felt I had a recipe that Daisy would serve in her tea garden.  The tarts are a favorite among Daisy's customers in the book, especially Mandy, the main suspect's daughter.

They are also a favorite of my husband's!  Needless to say, he was not upset when he had to test my numerous tries at a perfect recipe.  Our neighbors also didn't complain when I sent some their way.  I hope you enjoy these tarts as much as I did developing the recipe.  Be sure to add that dollop of whipped cream before serving!

Here is the recipe that is included in the cozy.

CHERRY TARTS
TART SHELLS


4 ounces softened cream cheese
1/2 cup softened butter
1/4 cup shaved almonds
1 tablespoon orange zest (from an orange)
1 1/2 cups flour
Cream butter and cream cheese with mixer.  Pour in almonds and orange zest.  Add flour 1/4 cup at a time.  
Divide dough into 6 balls.  Roll each ball to form a crust large enough to cover bottom and sides of tart pans.  I use 6-four inch tart pans.

SURPRISE LAYER
8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
1 egg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon juice
 Mix ingredients together with mixer until smooth.  Pour into each tart shell.

FILLING
1 can (21 ounces) Lucky Leaf Premium Cherry Fruit Filling and Topping
1 teaspoon almond extract
In a small bowl, mix almond extract with pie filling.  Spoon on top of cream cheese filling.
Bake all six tart pans at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  





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Keith Rebert is homeless with a sad story that includes the death of his wife and medical bills that decimated his finances. Daisy and her friend Jonas Groft meet him through one of Daisy’s employees and offer help. But soon Keith is caught up in a murder investigation. He was supplying the shop Pirated Treasures with antiques, including Gettysburg Battlefield memorabilia. The nephew of the shop’s owner, Barry Storm, was lowballing merchandise that Keith brought in. One day Keith and Barry vehemently argued. Soon after, Barry was found dead, killed with a marble rolling pin that held Keith’s fingerprints. Daisy’s special for the month, cherry tarts, was found spilled on the floor next to him. Keith is the number one suspect.

Keith finds a job on a farm where he can live in a cabin with his daughter Mandy. A friend of Barry’s lived and worked there before the murder, then suddenly moved out. As Daisy finds clues that give insight into Barry’s life and prepares for her daughter’s wedding, she faces danger, verbally battles with the detective on the case, and tries to figure out what part Jonas Groft plays in her life. When she finds the ultimate clue that tells her exactly what Barry Storm was involved in, she almost loses her life. 



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