Frank Restaurant’s Cherry Tarts Recipe

Canada's richest man when he died in 2006, Ken Thomson shocked the art world a few years earlier when he donated his private art collection — considered the country's finest — to the AGO. These cherry tarts created by Anne Yarymowich, the executive chef at the AGO's Frank restaurant, were a favourite treat for Thomson. Yarymowich fills them with sour Niagara cherries which are packed full of vitamins A and C. Nutrient-rich indulgence!

Pastry Dough
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Pinch salt
4 oz. cold unsalted butter
4 oz. cold lard
1/2 cup ice water

Cherry Tart Filling
1 cup granulated sugar
Pinch salt
2-1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1 lb. pitted Niagara sour cherries (fresh or frozen)
1 small drop pure almond extract


Pastry Dough

Step 1: Sift flours and salt together.

Step 2: With box grater, grate butter and shortening into flour and incorporate well with fingers until mixture resembles coarse oatmeal.

Step 3: Add ice water a bit at a time mixing well, and adding just enough water to bring dough together. Form dough into 2 flat discs. Wrap well, and refrigerate 10-20 minutes.

Step 4: Roll 1 disc out into 10″ round, reserving second disc for another use. (Wrap and freeze or chill.)

Step 5: Line 10″ fluted tart pan with pastry. Refrigerate 10-30 minutes.

Cherry Tart Filling

Step 1: Mix sugar, salt and cornstarch well. Toss cherries with sugar mix.

Step 2:Place in saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture thickens, about 3-5 minutes. Add drop of almond extract, remove from heat and chill completely.

Step 3: Roll the pastry to 1/8″ thickness. Cut pastry with a 2-1/2″-round cutter, making 20 tart shell bottoms. Place each into a 2″ round tart shell mould. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Step 4: Cut 20 stars, hearts or circles with the remaining pastry dough, large enough to fit onto the top of the tart.

Step 5: Fill the pastry-lined tart moulds with cherry filling. Brush the tops with a little beaten egg, placing one shape on each tart and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Step 6: Place on bake sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes at 375°F.

Makes 20 tarts