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While Cherry season is in full swing, this Cherry Almond Tart is a must! The idea for this is a ‘Mash Up’ of 2 different desserts: Cherry Bake Well Tart and a classic Cherry Pie !
As shared on Good Day Sacramento in June for our “Bake of the Month”, and Tina Macuha and the whole Good Day crew for their honest feed back which helped me tweek the recipe for the best results. I then entered this delicious tart in the 2023 California State Fair Baking Competition, and it’s officially a BLUE RIBBON WINNER! (along with my Sticky Toffee Pudding Bundt, Peanut Butter Chiffon Pie, Sour Cherry Jam, and Raspberry Habanero Red Pepper Jelly)
And then, a special thank you to the State Fair crew, Michael Marks “Your Produce Man”, and all the Fair Goers who watched and tasted during my demonstration at the Save Mart Kitchen!
Blue Ribbon Winner: Cherry Almond Tart
3 hours, 55 minutes
- 1 deep dish, removable base, tart pan
- food processor with a standard blade
- Stand mixer
- Cherry pitter
- large saucepan
- • ⅓ cup blanched almond flour
- • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- • 1 tablespoon sugar
- • ½ teaspoon salt
- • ½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- • 1 large egg yolk
- • 1 to 2 tablespoons ice water
- Sour Cherry Jam
- • 1 cup pitted and halved fresh or frozen cherries
- • Lemon juice
- • Sugar
- • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons (4 oz / 113g) almond flour
- • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- • 1 stick (4 oz / 113g) unsalted butter
- • ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
- • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- • ½ teaspoon almond extract
- Cherry Pie Filling
- • 4 and 1/2 cups halved & quartered pitted fresh cherries (see note)
- • 1 cup (200g) and ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar (separated)
- • ¼ cup (28g) cornstarch
- • Juice of one lemon
- • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- • Slivered almonds for garnish
- Make ahead: Sour Cherry Jam
- 1 pound (450g) cherries
- 1 cup (200g) sugar
- freshly squeezed juice of one medium lemon
- Remove the stems, pit the cherries, and cut them in half. Put them in a large non-reactive pot with lemon juice and sugar. Stir well and let sit for about 10 minutes.
- Place the pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the cherries are wilted and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently until the mixture bubbles and thickens. (this could take about 15 minutes) Keep stirring until it’s about half the amount, you want about a cup of thick jam.
- When ready, turn off the heat and stir in the almond extract. Set it aside. (this can be made up to 3 days prior and refrigerated until ready to make the tart)
- Make ahead: Crust
- Add 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons (4 oz / 113g) almond flour, 2 tablespoons All Purpose Flour, 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar, and 1 tsp salt to a food processor; pulse to combine.
- Add 1 stick (4 oz / 113g) unsalted butter; pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
- Add 1 large egg yolk and 1 tablespoon ice water; pulse until dough just comes together, adding up to 1 tablespoon more water if needed.
- Shape the pastry into a disk and wrap it in plastic. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes (up to 3 days) before using.
- Macerate the cherries for the filling:
- In a large bowl, stir the cherries, sugar, and lemon juice together until thoroughly combined. Cover the filling and let rest for about an hour, or place in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
- Once the dough is chilled, press the dough into the tart pan:
- Unwrap the dough and pinch off a silver dollar-sized piece, flattening the piece between your fingertips and pressing it into the bottom of a 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan.
- Continue to pinch off pieces of dough and press them into the bottom and sides of the pan in a rough layer until you’ve used all the dough and covered nearly all of the pan (some gaps are fine).
- Use a flat hand to press the dough across the bottom and up the sides of the pan in an even layer to close any gaps, flouring your hand as necessary to prevent sticking.
- Once you have the dough pressed in, use a straight-sided glass or 1-cup dry measure to flatten and smooth the dough, flouring the bottom of the glass or measuring cup as needed. Continue to press the dough evenly up the sides until it extends just above the pan, then transfer the pan to the freezer and chill until the dough is firm, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Trim and line the crust:
- Remove the pan from the freezer and place it on a sheet pan.
- Hold a paring knife parallel to the sheet pan and slice horizontally around the rim of the tart pan, removing the excess dough and creating a smooth edge flush with the top of the pan (save the scraps of raw dough for patching any cracks in the crust after baking).
- Prick the bottom all over with the tines of a fork, then press a layer of foil directly onto the surface of the dough and up the sides, especially working it into the groove where the bottom and sides meet (this will help prevent the dough from slumping as it bakes).
- Par bake the crust: Bake the tart crust until the edge is golden brown (peek under the foil to check), 20 to 25 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and carefully peel off the foil.
- Return the pan to the oven and bake until the crust is golden all over, another 10 to 15 minutes.
- When the crust is done, remove from the oven.
- While the crust is still warm, spread the Sour Cherry Jam on the crust, completely covering the bottom of the tart. Set this aside while you make the Frangipane.
- Make the frangipane:
- Arrange an oven rack in the center position and preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Place the par-baked crust with the sour cherry jam layer, on a baking sheet or cookie sheet and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, all-purpose flour, and salt.
- In a separate medium bowl, with a hand mixer, beat the sugar and butter on medium-high speed until the mixture is very light and pale, pausing occasionally and using a flexible spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl, for about 4 minutes.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, until thoroughly incorporated, then beat in the vanilla and almond extracts.
- Stop the mixer and take a moment to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- The mixture may look slightly broken (meaning the liquid is separated from the solids), but that’s normal.
- Add the dry ingredients and beat on medium until you have a smooth mixture.
- Fill and bake the tart:
- Place the frangipane into a piping bag (without a tip) and pipe an even layer of Frangipane over the Sour Cherry Jam (carefully) in a single layer all the way to the sides. Carefully spread the frangipane to make one smooth and distinct layer. (not swirled)
- Place foil or a pie crust guard on the edges to avoid over-browning, and transfer the sheet pan to the oven and bake until the surface is puffed and golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the Cherry Pie Filling
- In a small bowl, mix the separated ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar and the ¼ cup (28 g) cornstarch until well combined.
- Add the macerated cherries and all the accumulated juices into a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook over medium-high heat, bringing the cherries and juices to a slow boil, and cook the cherries until softened and starting to break down. (about 15 minutes)
- Once the cherries are soft, add the sugar and cornstarch mixture, and bring the cherries to a boil again, stirring constantly until it becomes thick and translucent and glossy.
- Add the 1 tsp of vanilla, and ½ tsp of almond extract, stir until combined.
- Once the pie filling is done, pour the hot and thickened cherry filling on top of the cooked frangipane, filling the tart to ¼ inch before the top of the crust.
- Add the slivered almonds for garnish in a circle around the edge or however you want!
- Let the tart cool completely in the pan. Remove from the tart pan and serve.
- Tart is best served cold, it will slice easily when chilled. Enjoy!
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