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Cherry Custard Tart with Sliced Almonds

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Serves 8

Yields enough dough for two 9-1/2-inch tarts.

  • To learn more, read:
    Cherry Season!
  • by Fran Gage from Fine Cooking
    Issue 45

This tart has everything going for it: a silky custard, sweet cherries, and a crunchy almond topping. This tart dough is more like a cookie dough because the butter gets mixed with the sugar instead of being left in pieces. Blind baking the tart shell keeps the bottom crust from getting soggy. This recipe makes enough for two crusts; divide the dough and freeze half for future use (defrost it in the refrigerator overnight before rolling it out).

For the tart dough:
  • 6 oz. (12 Tbs.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4-1/2 oz. (1 cup) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1-3/4 oz. almonds, finely ground in a food processor to yield just under 1/2 cup
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 9 oz. (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
For the cherry custard filling:
  • 1 lb. fresh sweet cherries, rinsed and pitted
  • 2/3 cup heavy or whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
To make the dough:

Beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar in a heavy-duty mixer with the paddle attachment until mixed together. Add the ground almonds, egg, and vanilla, and then the flour and salt. Mix until just combined. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface, shape into two disks, and wrap both in plastic. Refrigerate one disk for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days; freeze the other for future use.

To assemble and bake:

Heat the oven to 400°F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured work surface, roll it into a round 1/8-inch thick. (If the dough crumbles, it’s too cold; gather it into a ball, knead a few turns, and roll again.)

Transfer the dough by rolling it onto the rolling pin and then unrolling it over a 9- or 9-1/2-inch fluted tart pan that’s 1 inch deep and has a removable bottom. Gently ease the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. To remove excess dough, run the rolling pin over the top of the edges to cut it off. Put the pan on a baking sheet, line the dough with parchment, and fill it with pie weights, dried beans, or rice. Bake it in the middle of the oven until the sides are set, 10 to 15 minutes. Carefully remove the weights and parchment, return the shell to the oven, and bake until the bottom is set and the crust is light brown, another 7 minutes.

Cherry Custard Tart with Sliced Almonds Recipe
Unroll the dough over the tart pan...
Cherry Custard Tart with Sliced Almonds Recipe
...then press with the rolling pin to give the tart clean edges. Excess dough can be used to patch any holes, if needed.

Spread the cherries in the bottom of the tart crust in one layer (you can do this while the tart is still hot). Whisk together the cream, sugar, and eggs and carefully pour the mixture over the cherries until the custard comes just to the top of the pan; you may have an extra tablespoon or so of custard remaining. Sprinkle the almonds on top. Return the tart to the oven and bake until the top is brown and the cherries are bubbling, about 40 minutes. Let the tart cool until you can remove it from the pan.

Cherry Custard Tart with Sliced Almonds Recipe
A sweet, creamy custard surrounds whole sweet cherries. Pay attention as you pour so that you don't overfill the crust.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 560; Fat (g): 33; Fat Calories (kcal): 290; Saturated Fat (g): 17; Protein (g): 9; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 11; Carbohydrates (g): 60; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3; Sodium (mg): 105; Cholesterol (mg): 155; Fiber (g): 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

I love all things fine cooking so I guess that compelled me to review this tart which was not very tasty at all. Could have been the fact that I used frozen cherries- thawed them out but the whole texture changes. And just not much custard at all. The crust is very good though.

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