Olga, at my farmer's market this week had fresh picked cherries. How could I resist? These were tiny little jewels, each packed with the perfect combination of tart and sweet. After one entire box was inhaled by one of my girls, I was on a quest to find the perfect tart recipe for the last box I had left. What makes a recipe a "perfect recipe"? It has to be simple AND taste TOTALLY awesome. Of course, my latest romantic encounter, Giorgio Locatelli of Made In Italy, delivered.
Note I only used half the dough for this recipe, the other half is tucked away in my freezer, now, waiting for a day when I am needing to make another tart in a hurry. The recipe said to roll out the dough, then place it in the tart pan. My dough must have been too warm, after all it has been 85° outside and we have been living with the windows open since April, so I just grabbed it all with my hands. I could almost hear Giorgio in the background tisk, tisk, tisking me at the way I brusquely grabbed that dough. I made nice with it a little more gently once it was in the tart pan.
The next step was pitting those teeny weeny cherries. When I first started the process my brain was saying "canned cherries", "canned cherries". But Giorgio, oh how Italian men can affect aging latinas, was saying " P-e chhhance my love" I was about half way through all the cherries when I finally started getting into it and found my "rhythm". That little bugger, the cherry pitter, actually really works. I was feeling very domestic and somehow connected with all those Tennessee ancestors whom I am not related to.
Did I mention just HOW teeny weeny those local cherries were?
Moving on, Ta-Da.
The picture is quite blurry as I was doing all the camera stuff with one hand. The other was busy holding on to a handful of ice cubes. In my haste to get it out of the oven I only used one pot holder and it all started to get wobbly on me, I am still paying for that. I was feeling much better after the charry tart had been consumed. That is when I started sing (out loud, much to the chagrin of my girls) ... My Cherrrrry Amor. They said they had never heard of that song and that it didn't really exist. What do they know?
I am not a great recipe writer, in fact I really wanted to just send you to his cookbook, but I have made the effort to write it for you in case you have cherries (or peaches, or blueberries) in the house, that and a ton of butter. So here is Giorgio Locatelli's recipe:
For the pastry,
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 cups plus 2 Tblsp. flour
I put it in my greased pan ( I actually sprayed it with Baker's Joy) and stuck it in the fridge while I got the rest ready.
When I took it out of the fridge I lightly covered the pan with tin foil. I filled it with uncooked rice (you can use dried beans) and then I pre-baked it in the oven for 6 minutes at 340°. I then removed the foil and all the rice and cooked it for another 20 minutes (Giorgio says to do it for 15 minutes, so check and see how your oven is doing).
Once it is cooked you will add a layer of frangipane - this gives the cherries a delicious sweet counterpoint.
For the frangipane:
- 7 Tblsp. butter
- 1/2 cup superfine sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup ground almonds (I ground the almonds in the cuisenart, if you don't have one then you have to buy gournd almonds)
- 2 Tblsp. flour ( his recipe calls for 3 and 1/2 teaspoons)
And this is what is left:
That, and my never ending romance with Giorgio Locatelli.
Come on, sing with me .... "La,la,la,la,la,la ... La, la,la,la,la,la, ... My Cherrrrie Amour... lovely as a summer's day..."