Zune Ricotta and Cherry Tartlets

These delicious little tartlets make a dessert with a difference – or serve them as an extra-special snack treat with lots of fresh milk.

2 teaspoons butter

1 lb. Shortcrust Pastry II

8 oz. Ricotta cheese

3 oz. cream cheese

3 tablespoons sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon salt finely grated rind of

1 orange

1 tablespoon fresh orange juice

14 oz. canned stoned Morello cherries, with

2 fl. oz. of the can juice reserved and mixed with

2 teaspoons cornflour

Preheat the oven to moderate 350 °F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C). Using the butter, lightly grease 16 patty tins.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to ½ inch thick. With a pastry cutter, cut out 16 circles. Place the circles in the patty tins, taking care not to stretch the dough. Place the patty tins in the oven and bake blind for 12 to 15 minutes or until the pastry is pale gold and firm to the touch. ‘- ;

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Meanwhile, in a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the ricotta, cream cheese, sugar, egg, salt, orange rind and orange juice together until they are well blended. Remove the patty tins from the oven and spoon the filling into the dough cases so that they are two-thirds full.

Place the patty tins on a baking sheet and put the sheet in the oven. Bake the tartlets for 30 minutes. Remove the sheet from the oven and spoon the cherries over the top of the cheese filling. Sprinkle a little of the reserved cherry juice mixture over each filling. Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake the tartlets for a further 6 to 8 minutes or until the filling is firm and set and the pastry is golden brown.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the tartlets to cool in the tins for 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edges of the patty tins to loosen the pastry and turn the tartlets out on to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.

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