Cherry season is in full swing, and that’s really good news because I love cherries. I can eat cherries like children eat sweeties. I also like cooking with cherries. Quiches have been a thing in our family in the last few weeks, with the family WhatsApp chats highlighting some great looking savoury tarts. I made a caramelized onion and olive quiche a few weeks ago that worked very well. But today is all about a sweet dessert tart. Almost exactly a year ago I wrote this post about cherry pie. Those pies were made with sour cherries, but today’s tart is made with sweet dessert cherries.
Frangipane or sometimes frangipani, is a filling for many different tarts, and is made from eggs, butter, sugar and almonds. It’s rich.
I find making pastry very relaxing. Although many people buy pastry ready made I rarely do, unless it is puff pastry which is a bit of a bind to make yourself. Many people make pastry in a food processor, and for years I did too. Then my old one broke, and the new one does just not mix it like it should. So I have gone back to the old method of rubbing the fat into the flour with my fingers, and mixing it together with a knife. And it is a very calm process. You cannot hurry it or else the whole thing blobs up. (Two family members share a guilty pleasure – eating raw pastry. Yuk. My left over pastry goes in the bin or is rolled and cut into shapes and baked into little biscuits.)
Stoning cherries is also very meditative, and easy with a cherry stoner tool thingy. Making a tart is not difficult but it does take some time, as each element has to be made, and then the whole thing assembled. But the satisfaction when it’s finally done, and sitting on the table ready to serve makes it all worth it!
I used this recipe from the BBC GoodFood website, which worked very well. I did do some very slight tweaking. I didn’t have any cherry liqueur, as used in the original recipe, but I did have a bottle of homemade damson vodka. I used 2 tablespoons of that in the frangipane and also to loosen up the damson and cherry jelly (also homemade but not by me), that I used for glazing the cherries at the end. I think the damsons give a certain depth of flavour to the cherries.
I served the tart with ice cream and (or) creme fraiche. It was delicious!