Cherry shortbread crumble tart

A pie that’s as easy as it is delicious!

With its shortbread base, gooey cherry filling and crisp crumble topping, this tart is a trifecta of perfect flavours and textures. I like that it’s not overly sweet and is just as good a day or two after it’s been made. You can use either fresh or frozen sweet cherries to make this tart and still get the same results – just be sure to include the full amount of cornstarch if using frozen berries. This tart is delicious on its own, but also very nice with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It’s a great way to enjoy all the best things about cherry pie without having to fuss with pastry! If you love this style of pie you might also like this peach version.


For the crumble topping:

  • 1/2 cup (110 g) brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (75 g) butter, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon (.65 g) cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup (64 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (30 g) quick (not minute) oats

For the shortbread crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups (192 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (67 g) white sugar
  • 3/4 cup (170 g) cold butter, cut into 1/2″ pieces

For the cherry filling:

  • 3 cups (460 g) pitted cherries
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) almond extract (optional but delicious)
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) white sugar
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons (7.5 – 15 g) cornstarch *
  • 1 teaspoon (2.6 g) cinnamon

* use 1 tablespoon with fresh cherries and 2 tablespoons with frozen cherries


  • Make the crumble topping by creaming together in a medium-sized bowl the sugar, butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg until fluffy. Gently mix in flour and oats just until it comes together but is still crumbly, similar to cookie dough. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Preheat the oven to 375F.
  • Make the shortbread crust by combining the flour and sugar in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse sand.
  • Press mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom of a 9″ springform pan.
  • Put the pan in the middle of the preheated oven. Put a baking sheet (a round pizza pan works well) on the rack below, to catch any butter that sneaks out of the pan during baking.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until the crust just is just beginning to turn light brown.
  • Remove from the oven (don’t turn oven off).
  • While shortbread crust is baking, make the cherry filling by combining the sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  • Coarsely chop the cherries, either in a food processor or by hand. Put the cherries in a large bowl, drizzle lemon juice and almond extract on top. Stir gently to combine.
  • Sprinkle sugar mixture over cherries, stir gently to coat cherries evenly.
  • When shortbread crust has finished baking, spoon cherry mixture evenly on top of crust.
  • With your fingers, break the chilled crumble topping into small clumps and sprinkle evenly on top of cherry layer.
  • Bake for 45 – 50 minutes until topping is golden brown and cherry filling is bubbling.
  • Let cool in pan at least one hour before serving (refrigerate if needed to speed things up).

Serves 10.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

6 thoughts

  1. In your opinion Paula, if I were to substitute Splenda for some of the sugar which layer would be the best to do that with? Would using 50/50 in each layer work?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.