In a large pot, place cherries, sugar, tapioca, cornstarch and almond extract. Cook on medium high for 10 minutes, stirring often.
Prepare tart shells as per directions on box while you are cooking the cherries (thawing and baking takes about 25 minutes).
Add butter/margarine to cherries, decrease heat to medium low stirring often for 15 minutes.
Place cooked filling in tart shells and cook in oven an additional 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature. Add a whipped topping for that something extra.
I have cut the sugar back to 1 cup to get a zingier taste. I like it either way!
I have also used 5 cups of cherries and 1 cup of Saskatoons or 1 cup chopped rhubarb.
Used this same recipe to make 2, 9-inch double-crust pies. I used frozen piecrusts and it worked great. The crusts take about 15-20 minutes to cook with the pre-cooked filling.
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