Well, we are in the middle of Summer and I am slowly going through of the fruit delicacies that comes with this time of the year. Berries are abundant and almost nearing the end of the season. Peaches and plums are beginning to peak into my pantry. But, through it all, I had cherries.
Cherries mark the beginning of the stone fruit season and usually overlap with the tail end of the berries, at least strawberries. I love the way Nature staggers her feasts, so one never has the option of gluttony!
Every year, when the cherries start their catwalk in market runways, I closely watch the pricing. At the beginning of the season, when everyone is starved for stone fruit, there seems to be a mad rush and the only winners are corporate grocery stores that sell the fruit under-ripe and over priced. Then, people get almost nonchalant about them and a market equilibrium reaches to the affordable mark. Usually, this is when I swoop in, picking up pounds of the gorgeous garnet colored fruit, plump and yielding and juicy when popped in to the mouth.
I run the first few pounds in snacking. When that tires, I then start baking and preserving in brandied forms, for after all, Winter always comes, a good Old Fashioned is the best way to stay warm!
This year though, I fell off the process and paid for it! LOL. I went in too early because there was a SALE! Oh well... As it happened these cherries were just under the sweetness that I like for snacking. When you have 'lemony' fruit, its best cooked. Or soaked in alcohol. In this tart, I did both. Because, hey, may as well go all in, right?!
Cherry tart is but a simple one yet an elegant one filled with the nuttiness of both the oat and almond crust as well as the marzipan creamed for the frangipane filling. To top it with fresh cream whipped with a pour of cognac was rather natural. Cherries and cognac have a relationship not exactly incestuous but yet very wicked and very very alluring. Then, I must needs macerate the fruit in cognac, after all. That was the final layer and it was decadent!
I don't think I need to elaborate how amazing this tart was. Light, fruity and indulgent all in a bite. It does happen to be gluten free, but I must insist that as incidental as it is, it is also essential; The crust made with simple ground oats and almonds enhances the flavor. It may not be quite as good if you replaced it with a rice and bean based gluten free blend as it would have no added flavor. You can certainly use a regular wheat crust if you are able to and it will be good. This crust, however, is perfect for this tart...
Oh, and this tart lasts for a while in the fridge, if you decide to make more of it or are too few to consume it. In the latter case, though, I would recommend sharing it with friends. They will love you more...
Oh also, I recently acquired a tripod with a three way swivel head! I am so so so thrilled! Mostly because, now I can overwhelm you with shots on my unmanicured, manicured and between manicure hands! Ha... No, really! I am super thrilled. To be fair, I know the last couple of posts would not have made you think that I did not have it then. But the photos in this and this post were taken as a balancing act of placing a bunch of books on the floor, carefully trying to adjust my camera atop and then play, play and play with the controls and the possibility of a falling camera to get them. LOL
Now, shooting myself is becoming a breeze, as is trying some new effects! For fun, I decided to drop cherries into water. I wanted to capture the splash. As you can see below, I did not succeed for my first attempt. I think it did not help that I did not use clear glass. Yet, it was fun and I can only get better.. (right?!)
Cherry Marzipan Tart With Cognac Cream
For the Tart crust:
1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1 T psyllium husk
1 tsp baking soda
3 T buttermilk
5 T room temperature butter
For the frangipane filling:
85 g unsalted butter, room temperature
100 g marzipan
pinch of salt
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Handful of cherries, pitted for the tart
For the Cognac Cream:
1/2 cup heavy cream (no ultra pasteurized)
1 T cognac
For the macerated cherries:
handful of cherries, pitted
2 T cognac
1 tsp honey
To prepare the crust, sift together the flours and the baking soda. Add the psyllium husk and mix well.
Rub the butter into the dry mixture until you get a crumbly meal.
Make a well in the center and crack the egg into it. Add the buttermilk as well and knead to make a dough. Work the dough until it just come together and do not over knead. It will be wet. The added liquid is needed for the psyllium to get to action
Let it rest in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, pulse the frangipane ingredients into a smooth cream.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Press the dough into the bottom and sides of a 6 inch tart mould.
Fill the crust with the frangipane creme and scatter the pitted cherries on top.
Bake the tart for 25-30 minutes until golden and puffed.
Remove and cool on rack until it comes to room temperature.
As it cools, whip the cream into stiff peaks. Drizzle in the tablespoon of cognac and gently fold in.
In a bowl, combine the pitted cherries, cognac and honey. Using a cocktail muddler, crush the fruit into the alcohol. Set aside for 10 minutes.
When the tart is cooled, spread the cream on top. Top with macerated cherries. Slice and serve with a touch of fresh mint.