Cherry Almond Tart
The fresh cherry season is very short, depending on the year’s climate. So, it is best to enjoy a variety of cherry recipes while possible. Bar none, fresh cherries popped directly into one’s mouth is ultimately the finest burst of cherry flavor. However, paired with almonds baked in a tart comes in an endearing second, that you will wait all year for that brief time to enjoy.
This recipe is inspired by a similar one by cookbook author Patricia Wells. Her traditional cherry tart recipe is made with white flour and sugar. It is truly delicious that way. Nevertheless, ground almond flour and honey bring that sweet cherry flavor forward in an extraordinary way. I even use a cherry blossom honey that adds a flowery note to the recipe, but any local honey will do. The use of cherry extract and almond extract highlight those flavors even more. Please note that it is recommended to only use organic cornstarch to avoid those controversial GMO’s. Grating cold butter on a vegetable grater is a way to easily incorporate the butter quickly without melting the butter, which will render a more tender crust. A little trick of the trade that makes baking magical.
1 tablespoon soft butter
2 cups finely ground almond flour
2 tablespoons organic cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons honey
⅛ teaspoon almond extract
⅛ vanilla extract
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter grated on a vegetable grater
3 tablespoons honey
¼ cup heavy cream
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon cherry extract
1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons finely-ground almond flour
1 pound fresh sweet cherries, pitted
4 tablespoons finely-ground almond flour (divided)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a nine-inch tart or pie pan with the soft butter.
2. In a mixing bowl combine the almond flour, cornstarch, salt, honey, almond extract, and vanilla extract. Quickly mix in the grated butter with your fingertips. Place in the prepared tart or pie pan. Press the dough with your fingertips evenly on the bottom and sides of the pan.
3. Place the pan on a sheet pan and into the hot oven. Bake until the dough is slightly puffed and turns a very pale brown on the edges, about eight minutes. Remove from the oven to a cooling rack. Do not turn off the oven.
4. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl slowly mix the cream into the honey until thoroughly combined. Whip in the egg, vanilla extract, cherry extract, cornstarch, and two tablespoons of almond flour until thoroughly combined.
5. Sprinkle two tablespoons of almond flour over bottom of the prebaked crust (to prevent the crust from becoming soggy). Arrange a single layer of cherries over the top. Pour the filling over the cherries. Sprinkle with the remaining two tablespoons of almond flour over the top. Cover the crust edges with foil.
6. Place in the oven and bake until the filling is firm, and the crust is deep golden brown, about forty-five minutes. Remove from the oven to a cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing and serving.