Sunday, 18 July 2010

Cherries galore and a hodge-podge recipe


Oooooh... cherries are in season again! So I just had to get some for myself. They're really precious. I mean REALLY precious as we don't grow cherries here in Malaysia. They need to be imported in from the United States. This lot cost me a ridiculous RM45.70. That's a lot in a country where you can get a whole comb of sunny yellow bananas for RM5.00.

We get two types of cherries sold here during the season. The deep, dark Bing cherries and these blushingly lovely Rainier cherries. As you can probably tell, it's the Rainier cherries that are my personal favourite. Its' salmon-pink-beige skin and juicy-sweet flesh always keeps me coming back for more, year after year.


I got greedy with this bounty of cherries. I wanted to eat them fresh, straight out of hand BUT I also wanted to eat them in a tart. I wanted so badly to try Pierre Herme's Cherry Pistachio Tart but not that badly to go looking for pistachios.

So this is what I did. I took three different recipes, altered them a little and made a tart that's completely my own. I'm christening it the Cherry Streusel Tart. The original recipes for the base, frangipane and streusel can be found at Coco & Me, Joy of Baking and Dorie Greenspan.


CHERRY STREUSEL TART

Base
55g Butter
32g Icing Sugar
1 large Egg
15g Ground Almonds
100g Plain Flour
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Essence

Preheat oven at 140 Celsius and get a 23cm diameter tart/pie tin ready. 

Cream Butter, Sugar and Vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in the Egg until well combined. Fold in Flour and Almonds gently until just mixed through. Bring the soft dough together into a ball. Clingfilm and rest in the fridge for about 3 hours. Roll dough between two plastic sheets to fit the tart tin. Lift plastic sheet and overturn dough into the tin. Trim edges and even-out dough with fingers if necessary. Place the dough-lined tin into the fridge to rest for about 1 hour. Remove tin from the fridge, prick well and bake at 160 Celsius for about 25 - 30 minutes until it turns a light golden colour. Remove from oven and let it cool.

Frangipane
50g Butter
50g Caster Sugar
1 large Egg
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
45g Ground Almonds
12g Plain Flour

Cream Butter, Sugar and Vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in the Egg until well combined. Fold in Flour and Almonds gently until just mixed through. Set aside.

Streusel
50g Butter
50g Caster Sugar
50g Ground Almonds
50g Plain Flour
Pinch of Nutmeg
Pinch of Sea Salt

Cream Butter and Sugar until  light and fluffy. Fold in Flour, Ground Almonds, Nutmeg and Sea Salt. At this point, use your fingers to bring the Streusel together and break it into clumps. Set aside.

300g Rainier Cherries (halved and stoned)
4 tablespoons Greengadge conserve - or any tart jam you prefer

Assembly
Spread the Greengadge conserve on the bottom of the cooled base. Spoon the Frangipane over the Jam and spread to cover. Place the Cherry halves over the Frangipane and press in slightly. Sprinkle the clumps of Streusel over the Cherries. Bake tart at 160 Celsuis for about 45 minutes to an hour, until the top has browned and a skewer inserted into the Frangipane comes out clean. Serve slightly warm on its own or with unsweetened Whipped Cream on the side.

Thank you Daisy, for popping by at the right time to help stone the cherries while providing great conversation and a hungry-for-cherry-tart-stomach!







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