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Cherry Tart Recipe & Video

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Fresh cherries means Summer has finally arrived. This pretty Cherry Tart has an almond flavored sweet pastry crust that is filled with an almond flavored cream (Frangipane) and topped with sweet Bing Cherries. When it comes out of the oven, to make the tart glisten, and to add flavor, the entire surface of the tart is brushed with an apricot glaze and the edges of the tart are sprinkled with either pearl sugar (my favorite) or sliced almonds.

There are three main components to this tart. First the almond flavored sweet pastry crust that has a wonderfully crisp yet crumbly texture. It contains ground almonds (meal) and you can either buy the ground almonds or take blanched almonds and process them in your food processor until finely ground. The almond cream filling is also known as frangipane. This delicious cream is a combination of sugar, butter, eggs, and grounds almonds that has a wonderful sweet almond flavor that pairs well with the fresh cherries.

Finally the fresh Bing cherries. When buying Bing cherries look for plump and shiny fruit with a deep red color. They should be firm to the touch with no soft spots, and their stems should still be attached. Pitting of cherries is always a tedious job and the task is made easier if you have a cherry pitter. However, if you do not own such a tool, than you need to do it by hand. The easiest way I have found to do this, is to make a small slit in the cherry, with a small sharp knife, from the stem end to the bottom of the cherry. Then, using the tip of the knife or your thumbnail, remove the pit. The pitted cherries are halved and then evenly placed on top of the frangipane. Bake until the crust is golden brown. Once cooled, the tart is brushed with an apricot glaze. Glazing the cherries keeps them from drying out and to make them wonderfully shiny.

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Sweet Pastry Crust: Sift the flour with the ground almonds, confectioners sugar, baking powder, and salt. Then place in the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. (Can also use a hand mixer). Add the chunks of cold butter and beat on medium low speed until the mixture is mealy (grainy with no visible pieces of butter). Add the cold egg yolks and beat on low speed until the dough comes together.

Place the pastry onto your work surface and gather into a ball. Take 300 grams (about 3/4) of the pastry, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to chill for about 60 minutes or until firm (the pastry can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days or frozen for up to three months).

You will need a 9 inch (23 cm) tart ring or tart pan with a removable bottom. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Once the pastry has chilled, on a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry into a 10 inch (25 cm) round. 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. To make sure it is the right size, take your tart ring or pan, and place it on the rolled out pastry. The pastry should be about an inch (2.5 cm) larger than tart ring (pan).

Next, lightly roll the pastry around your rolling pin. Unroll on top of your tart ring or pan and gently press dough into pan. Use a knife to remove excess pastry. Prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork (this will prevent the dough from puffing up as it bakes). Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to chill the pastry.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven.

Frangipane: In the bowl, beat the butter and sugar until creamy smooth (can do this by hand or with a hand mixer). Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Add the ground almonds and flour and beat until it forms a smooth paste. Evenly spread the cream onto the bottom of the chilled pastry crust.

Place the pitted and halved cherries evenly over the frangipane. Bake the tart for about 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown (the frangipane will puff up during baking). Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

Apricot Glaze: In a small saucepan, heat the apricot preserves until boiling (can also do this step in the microwave). Remove from heat and strain to get rid of lumps. Add the alcohol or water.  

Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the top of the tart with the apricot glaze. If desired, sprinkle the edges of the tart with pearl sugar or sliced almonds.

The Cherry Tart is at its best the day it's made. But you can cover and refrigerate for about two to three days. The tart can also be frozen. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Makes 1 - 9 inch (23 cm) tart.

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Sweet Pastry Crust:

1 1/4 cups (160 grams) all-purpose flour

Scant 1/3 cup (30 grams) ground almonds (almond meal/flour)

1/2 cup (60 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar

1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) baking powder

1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) salt

5 tablespoons (70 grams) cold unsalted butter, diced

3 large cold egg yolks (52 grams)

Frangipane (Almond Cream):

3 tablespoons (42 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar

1 large egg (50 grams), at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup (45 grams) ground almonds

1 tablespoon (12 grams) all purpose flour


1/2 pound (225 grams) sweet Bing cherries, pitted and cut in half

Apricot Glaze:

1/4 cup (60 grams) apricot preserves

1/2 tablespoon Grand Marnier or Water

Garnish: (optional)

Pearl Sugar #ad or Sliced Almonds

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