Tuesday, July 14, 2009
cherry almond tart
[No TWD post this week, y'all. Instead, I offer up a little Martha goodness. But fear not, I'm a loyal Dorie acolyte (even if certain people in my family call me "Martha":)]
I have dreamed of such a tart (Martha calls it a galette, but I'm stuck on tart) these past three summers, ever since I moved back to a land where fresh cherries glisten and beckon during sunny, happy July.
Finally, this year, I committed to making said tart. In my mind, the tart was constructed in a rectangular tart pan, but the recipe calls for a more free form, rustic shape, made of puff pastry rather than a more conventional tart dough.
How positively providential that I had a block of homemade puff pastry stashed in my freezer. With a frisson of pride, I found the pastry and set it out to thaw.
Next, I toasted the almonds, and allowed them to cool while I set about pitting two pounds of cherries. Without a cherry pitter, I needed a little help. My tweeps Nancy and Wendy gave me swell suggestions, and I used one of my fancy chopsticks to pit the fruit.
After washing the crimson cherry juice off of my fingers, I whirled together the frangipane. My mini-prep motor strained and nearly died. Hence, the frangipane was not smooth and silky, but a little rough and rustic. No matter.
I spread the frozen crust with the frangipane and stuck it back in the freezer while the oven heated.
Next, I set about arranging the cherries in an alternating pattern (because i'm neurotic like that). I coated the sides of the tart with egg wash, and sprinkled the whole thing with raw sugar.
Last time I baked my puff pastry, it crisped but didn't puff. I kept checking the oven to see if puffiness prevailed, and...it did!
I removed the tart from the oven and compared my tart to Martha's. Is it totally egotistical and narcissistic that I thought mine looked better? Actually, as G pointed out, the tart had the same puffed and browned pattern as Martha's. Scary.
The tart was too ginormous for any of my containers, so I held the tart on my lap all the way to wine club. We were tasting Petite Sirah, and I thought the lush fruitiness would pair nicely with the earthy flavors of cherries and almonds. I was right. The tart was *good.* And pretty. And summery. And, though the cherries looked a little slumpy the next day, the leftovers were spectacular.