Cherry Tart

Recipe adapted from www.joyofbaking.com 

This is a recipe I’ve been planning to post for quite some time now. Coincidentally it has come up just as summer is arriving here, and the markets will soon be filled with cherries… those gleaming blood red fruits, plump and bursting with juices that stain your fingers and white tabletops. Well, in the supermarkets here, I’ve seen cherries throughout the year, thanks to a globalized world and superior agricultural skills. But there is something about waiting for seasonal fruits, looking forward to purchase the very first produce after a long time… just increases the value of those fruits and vegetables and you enjoy them even more. Anyone shares my sentiments?

K1600_20131126_110536When it comes to fruits, my daughter is crazy about strawberries. Her second love is cherries. So I try to experiment with these fruits and add them to different desserts. This cherry tart recipe was such a hit with her, I was glad I tried it. As mentioned, the recipe is adapted from www.joyofbaking.com . The site also gives helpful tips on pastry baking, picking good cherries and pitting them.

K1600_20131126_125122I prefer to bake mini tarts as it makes a perfect single serving size for cherry tart lovers and it is also more attractive to kids. I have accordingly made slight variations to the original recipe.

K1600_20131126_124116It is important to use all ingredients at room temperature. Beat the butter in a mixer until smooth. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add beaten egg till incorporated. Finally add sifted flour and salt and mix till it comes together as a ball. You may have to use your hand in the final stage.

K1600_20131126_104043Flatten the dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until firm. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry into a circle that is about 1/8 inch thick. Keep lifting up and turning the pastry as you roll to prevent it from sticking. Roll out the pastry to about an inch larger than pan. When the pastry is rolled to the desired size, lightly roll pastry around your rolling pin, dusting off any excess flour as you roll. Unroll onto top of tart pan.

K1600_20131126_111436Preheat oven to 210°C and place rack in center of oven. Line unbaked pastry shell with parchment paper or aluminium foil. Fill tart pan with pie weights, rice or beans, making sure the weights are to the top of the pan and evenly distributed over the entire surface. (I used rice as weights). Bake the crust for 20 to 25 minutes or until the crust is dry and lightly golden brown.

K1600_20131126_114153 Remove weights and let it cool completely on wire rack before filling. Re-set the oven temperature to 190 degrees C. For the filling, In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the sugar and butter until creamy. Again, make sure to use all ingredients at room temperature.

K1600_20131126_105119Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until smooth.

K1600_20131126_105438Add the almond meal and flour to this mixture. Almond meal can be store bought or easily make at home by grinding blanched, skinned almonds with 1 tblsp of flour.

K1600_20131126_105539Mix well until it forms a smooth paste.

K1600_20131126_105707Spread this cream on baked and cooled pastry crust till half filled.

K1600_20131126_120305Place the pitted cherries evenly over the frangipane. You can add more cherries if you like to completely cover the surface.

K1600_20131126_120458Bake for about 25 – 35 minutes or until the frangipane is puffed and light brown in color.

K1600_20131126_124108Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once cool, gently heat the jam in a small saucepan until of spreading consistency. Then with a small pastry brush, lightly brush each cherry with the glaze. The jam helps the tart from drying up and gives a shiny finish to the cherries.

K1600_20131126_124243Enjoy on a lazy afternoon with coffee and loved ones.

K1600_20131126_125317

Ingredients:
Sweet Pastry Crust
1 cup (200 grams) all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
¼ cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
1/3 cup (67 grams) granulated white sugar
1 egg – lightly beaten (room temperature)

Frangipane (Almond Cream)
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter  (room temperature)
1 egg  (room temperature)
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ cup almond meal (Blanch the almonds and grind in mixer with 1 tblsp flour)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Topping
250 grams fresh sweet cherries, pitted

Glaze
2-3 tblsp mixed fruit jam (I used this as a substitute for red currant jelly)

Directions:
Sweet Pastry Crust:

  1. In a bowl, sift or whisk together the flour and salt.
  2. Place the butter in the bowl of your mixer and beat until softened.
  3. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  4. Gradually add the beaten egg, mixing just until incorporated. (Don’t over mix or the butter will separate and lighten in color.)
  5. Add flour mixture all at once and mix just until it forms a ball.
  6. Flatten the dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until firm.
  7. Have ready two 5-7 inch tart pans with removable bottoms.( I used mini tart pans)
  8. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry into a circle that is about 1/8 inch thick.
  9. To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness,  keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll (always roll from the center of the pastry outwards to get uniform thickness).
  10. To make sure it is the right size, take your tart pan, flip it over, and place it on the rolled out pastry. The pastry should be about an inch larger than the pan.
  11. When the pastry is rolled to the desired size, lightly roll pastry around your rolling pin, dusting off any excess flour as you roll. Unroll onto top of tart pan.
  12. Preheat oven to 210°C and place rack in center of oven.(Oven temperatures vary according to the type of oven used. This was the temperature I could set on my oven)
  13. Line unbaked pastry shell with parchment paper or aluminium foil. Fill tart pan with pie weights, rice or beans, making sure the weights are to the top of the pan and evenly distributed over the entire surface. (I used rice as weights)
  14. Bake the crust for 20 to 25 minutes or until the crust is dry and lightly golden brown. Remove weights and let it cool completely on wire rack before filling.

The Filling – Frangipane:

  1. Reduce oven temperature to 190 degrees C.
  2. In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the sugar and butter until creamy.
  3. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Add the almond meal and flour and beat until it forms a smooth paste.
  4. Spread the cream on the bottom of the baked and cooled pastry crust till half filled.
  5. Place the pitted cherries evenly over the frangipane. Bake for about 25 – 35 minutes, or until the frangipane is puffed and light brown in color.
  6. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
  7. Gently heat the jam in a small saucepan until of spreading consistency. With a small pastry brush, lightly brush each cherry with the glaze.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

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4 responses to “Cherry Tart

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