Not the tart I had in mind …

Cherrytart1

I had white cherries in mind for this particular tart but life does not always work out the way I plan it. After seeing white cherries for weeks at the supermarket they were conspicuously absent the weekend I decided to make this dessert. The lady who was handing out cherry samples said that she had two boxes of white cherries that morning but they got sold pretty quickly. Hmmph..you snooze, you lose… I guess. So what to do? The nice old lady said the black cherries were very sweet and helped me picked the best of the bunch. I also managed to get the plumpest, biggest raspberries that I have ever seen. I just love raspberries!

            The recipes for this tart come from the charming book Mes Tartes by Christine Ferber. She advocates making the crusts entirely by hand, which is what I did. I was imagining myself in a farmhouse in France as I was gently kneading the dough– not quite sure if I did it right – but the crust baked up pretty flaky. However, there was a layer of grease at the bottom of the tart pan and the center of the crust was quite tough. I did not use the particular flaky crust she specified so this might be the problem, but again the verdict is still out on the perfect flaky pastry.

Black Cherry tart with Raspberries

            Adapted from Mes Tartes by Christine Ferber

Ingredients:

·         11 oz. [300 g] flaky pastry No. 1

·         2 cups plus 2 tbsp [500 g] almond cream

·         1 lb red cherries

To decorate:

·         3 tbs. [25 g] confectioner’s sugar

·         1 ½ cups [150 g] raspberries

To bake:

            A tart pan 9 inches square and 1 inch deep with removable bottom

1.      Roll your dough on a lightly floured work surface into a rough square a little less than 1/8 inch thick and about 10 inches a side.

2.      Butter your pan and carefully place the dough in it, pressing it gently against the bottom and sides with your fingertips. Roll the rolling pin across the top edge of the pan to trim off the small amount of excess pastry. Prick the bottom of the tart with a fork and refrigerate it for 30 minutes covered with plastic wrap.

3.      Preheat the oven to 350 °F [180 °C].

4.      Prepare your almond cream.

5.      Rinse the cherries in cold water and dry them in a kitchen towel. Stem, cut in half and remove the pits (or if you have a cherry pitter, pit and then cut in half).

6.      Fill the tart with an even layer of almond cream, perhaps with the help of a pastry bag with a plain tip. Arrange the cherries on the cream filling starting at the center moving outward , cut surfaces turned toward the center of the tart.

7.      Bake the tart for about 45 minutes. The edges of the tart should be browned and the almond cream slightly colored and puffed.

8.      Unmold your tart onto a rack and let it cool. Dust the raspberries generously with confectioners’ sugar and arrange them on top of the tart.

Flaky Pastry

Ingredients

·         3 ½ cups [500 g] national brand, unbleached, all-purpose flour

·         3 sticks plus 2 Tbs/13.4 oz [375g] softened butter

·         ¾ tsp [3 g] Salt

·         2 ½ tsp [10 g] sugar

·         5 oz [150 g/15 cl] cold water

Directions

1.      In a bowl, dissolve the salt in the water and set aside. Sift the flour onto your work surface. Make a well and put the butter and then the sugar in the center of the well and rub this mixture of butter, flour, and sugar gently between your hands until it has a texture that looks and feels like coarse meal.

2.      Make another hollow and pour the salted water into it. Gather the flour, butter, and sugar mixture toward the center, kneading the dough lightly. Be careful not to work it too much.

3.      Now shape the dough into a ball. Wrap it carefully in plastic wrap. Leave it in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Ideally, make it the day before and refrigerate it overnight.

Almond Cream

Ingredients:

·         1 stick plus 3 tbsp/ 51/2 oz [150 g] softened butter

·         1 cup [120 g] confectioners’ sugar

·         1 1/3 cup [150 g] finely ground blanched almonds

·         7 tbs. [60 g] flour

·         3 eggs

Directions :

1.      In a bowl, combine the butter and sugar. Beat until the mixture is lighter in color and silky smooth.

2.      Add the eggs and continue beating for a few minutes.

3.      Mix the flour and ground almonds with your fingertips. Pour the flour and almond mixture in a stream into the bowl with the butter, sugar, and egg mixture, stirring gently with a wooden spatula.

Cooking Notes:

            Almond cream is a very versatile tart filling. It is best used for stone fruits since it can absorb the fruit juices to prevent a soggy crust. At first I thought I overcooked the tart when the filling baked up like a creamy financier but after consulting my Daring Baker friends they assured me that this was to be expected with almond cream.

           This tart is not too sweet so it is quite fine to be liberal with the powdered sugar. The flavors also developed better the next day.

Cherrytart2

21 thoughts on “Not the tart I had in mind …

  1. Veron – This is really very pretty and super exciting. I love cherries and raspberries, and I think the frangipane (almond cream) is perfect in tarts like this. As always, your execution is dreamy and hunger-inducing.

  2. Simply stunning! That almond cream is very similar to the one grandma used in her apricot tart. I guess good things are universal, eh?!

  3. I love the shape of your tart, along with the cherries peaking their heads out in the various holes. I can smell it all from here.

  4. Beautiful!
    I can't wait until the cherries are ready at my Grandparents orchard, I'll be making this with white and black cherries!

  5. When I bake — not often! — I love using square tart pans. Not only does food look beautiful in them, but it's so easy to serve from the square shape.

  6. This look simply gorgeous. Like Bea said I love it for it's rustic look. I got a huge bag of white cherries over the weekend from some friends and I think I will give this one a try. Thanks!

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