Cherry Frangipane Tart - taken from the Three Clever Sisters Blog
1c + 2T all purpose flour (5⅓ ounces)
¼c + 1T (1.25 ounces) powdered sugar (this is the same as 5T)
scant ¼ t salt
9 T cold, unsalted butter, in ½” dice (4.5 ounces)
12 ounces of fresh cherries, pitted
7 ounces almond paste
½ stick unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons sugar
⅛ teaspoon pure almond extract
½ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
To make the crust: stir together the flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter cubes and rub with your fingertips until no large butter chunks remain and the mixture begins to clump together.
Dump into a 10” tart pan with a removable bottom and press as evenly as possible up the sides and into the bottom of the pan. Use the sides of your palm to help press up the sides of the pan. Freeze the crust until firm while you preheat the oven, at least 15 minutes.
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350F. Bake the frozen crust until it is just beginning to turn golden around the edges, about 20 minutes. Let the shell cool off a bit before filling.
Pit the cherries and set aside. Beat almond paste, butter, sugar, extract, and salt in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed 3 minutes. Make sure there are no lumps. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in flour.
Spread the frangipane filling in the partially baked shell. Arrange the pitted cherries over the filling. Bake until puffed and golden, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer the tart to a rack to cool for at least 20 minutes.
Cut into wedges, and serve warm or at room temperature.
Foodie Notes: I can't remember how I ended up with so many cherries, but I remember they were in season and delicious so I decided I needed to make something with them. I thought I was going to make some sort of cherry jam, and then I came across this recipe for a cherry frangipane tart that used almond paste in the filling. I had recently purchased a can of almond paste at the grocery store, curious what it tasted like. I thought I would be killing 2 ingredients in one recipe.
The only flaw in my brilliant plan to feed my sweet tooth was I did not own a cherry pitter. I immediately took to Facebook and Twitter, asking my friends what they used to pit their cherries. I had suggestions of poking a single chopstick through the center, I was told to use the end of a paper clip or the metal tip of a pastry bag to push the pit out the other side. I decided to try them all . . .one at a time I wielded each make-shift cherry pitter attempting to see which one worked the best with my left-handedness.
The chopsticks missed the pit entirely and just kept going out the other side of the cherry. I was then left to just stick my finger up in the hole and digging the pit out by hand, basically destroying the shape of the cherry. I ended up with cherry slivers. The paper clip was no good from the start. Too little and flimsy, the cherry pit just laughed as the paperclip was inserted into the center and then began calling for the pit to jump in the loop to be removed. The pit was having none of that nonsense. The pastry tip might have been the best idea of all, but I had no metal pastry bag tips in my kitchen.
I ended up finding the perfect tool was a bottle opener. Not the end that opened bottles, but the silver loop located at the opposite end that was used to hang it up on a peg. It was the right size to snag a cherry pit, made of sturdy enough metal to get in there and snag it and pull it out the same end without puncturing it all the way through. With my tool selected . . . the messy work began. I ended up with blood red cherry juice all over my t-shirt, the cutting board, the paper towels and I stained my hands red. I had the blood of that fruit all over my hands. I could not deny that it was me who did the deed.
Once the fruit was pitted, the rest was a piece of cake, or . . .uh . . . tart, if you will. I did add a little crystalized ginger into the dough for my tart to give it a little kick. I am not a fan of pie or tart crust. To me it doesn't taste like anything except fat and flour, so I always try to kick it up with spices, salt or a spinkling of sugar. It gave the crust a really nice spicy undertones.
Almond Paste, which apparently is quite easy to make yourself, turned out to taste like ground almonds and honey. It reminded me of marzipan in both taste and texture. Blended with sugar and eggs it made the filling nutty and sweet . . .and there is just something about the classic combination of almond and cherries. They go together perfectly . . .they compliment each other . . .like dark chocolate and orange.
When I placed the cherries into the filling I took care to make sure that the open end of each cherry was placed in the tart face down, so the smooth pretty side was left sticking out. Just made for a prettier presentation. I also sprinkled a little raw sugar over the top of the whole thing when it came hot out of the oven for a little extra crunch and sweetness.
I ate this for breakfast every day with a cup of coffee for almost a week before I needed a bowl of cereal.
Get creative with the fruit you use in this tart . . .a month later I made this same tart with green apples that came from an apple tree in my girlfriends front yard in Boston with delicious results.