A little sweet. A little sour. And definitely a bit cheeky. This timeless combination of tart cherries and toasty almonds shines in this buttery and chewy simple to make tart.
So maybe life hasn’t been a bowl of cherries lately. Some of us are returning to work while some of us are muddling through our third month in quarantine. The world feels incredibly different that it did a few months ago. I am still, as always finding comfort in cooking. I like to think we’re pretty good at cooking “seasonally” in our house. But honestly I think with everything going on we may have missed spring. Usually in the spring I’d be blanching peas and roasting asparagus or sautéing morels. Instead I’ve been playing Punxsutawney Phil and have mostly lived on potatoes for the last few months while avoiding my widening shadow. As stone fruit season marches towards us and summer is on the horizon I feel my tastes shifting. As cherries and warm weather produce began appearing in the grocery stores I’m excited for the food season ahead. I love the combination of cherries and almonds and set off to make a frangipane tart that would satisfy a craving while not taking too long to make. Frangipane is a French word for a sugar, egg, and almond filling originally created in the 16th century and rumored to once have been scented with flower blossoms also named after an Italian aristocrat Marquis Frangipani. The more your know! You can find similar fillings in desserts like pithivier, king cakes, and almond croissants. This tart does have a few components but lucky for us I’m a lazy baker who hates dishes so we’re going to make the crust and filling in THE FOOD PROCESSOR!!!!!!! (Pretend I yelled that last line like Oprah.) Feel free to sub cherries for blueberries, apricots, or poached pears based on your tastes and seasonality. This tart is great warm or cold and wouldn’t mind if you served it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a shot of amaretto. Cheers to this tart, Frangipani flowers, Italian aristocracy of the 16th century, and to the hopes this human groundhog will eventually emerge from its wintery hole (my bedroom).
Yield: 8-12 slices
- 1 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 Cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 Cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, chopped
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 Cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 Cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/4 Cup almond flour
- 1/4 Cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 Cup cherry jam or similar flavor
- 1 Cup fresh or frozen tart cherries, pitted
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- In the base of a food processor place flour, granulated sugar, butter, and salt for crust. Pulse until the mixture resembles a course/sandy crumb.
- Add egg and pulse until the dough can be pressed together in your hands. It took a few minutes to achieve this texture.
- Form a ball of dough and flatten into a disk.
- Wrap dough in plastic and chill for 1 hour.
- Assemble filling. I didn’t wash out the food processor base between crust and filling. Just shake any crumbs into the trash. It’s all going to the same place.
- In the base of the food processor place remaining softened butter, granulated sugar, extract, and eggs. Pulse until fully combined.
- Add both flours and salt and pulse until a thick paste forms. Scrape the sides of the base and blade.
- Chill filling until you’re ready to assemble your tart. If you make your filling the day before and it’s very firm in the fridge let it sit on your counter for an hour before assembling or you’ll have a hard time spreading it.
- Spray a 10” tart pan with pan release spray or lightly butter and flour.
- On a lightly floured surface roll the chilled crust into a 12” round 1/4” thick.
- Gently fold the crust in half and half again to transfer it easily into the tart pan. Position the crust into your pan with the center point in the center of the pan and unfold. Press crust into the edges of the pan. Trim any excess crust. This dough is brittle and can be challenging to work with, so if you’re having a hard time no worries. Just press the pieces of dough together in the pan like play-doh.
- Prick the base of the crust with the prongs of a fork. Chill assembled crust for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In the base of the crust spread cherry jam into a thin, even layer.
- Spread the almond filling into the crust, careful to not smear the filling and jam together.
- Dot the cherries into the filling.
- Bake the tart for 35-45 minutes until the filling has puffed and set and the rim on the crust has browned.
- Remove from oven and cool slightly.
- Dust the tart lightly with powdered sugar.
- Slice tart into 8-12 slices and serve.