Cherry-Stained Photography & Dessert

28 Nov
Written and photographed by Rebekah Peppler

Is it just me or have the cherries never been better then right here right now? Firm, juicy and sweet as the heavens, these amethyst phenoenons demand a hot summer day, a seat on a concrete curb and a surfeit of garnet-stained hands and lips. A few weeks ago, when my eyes proved too big for my stomach and cherries threatened to overtake the house, I reached for my favorite sweet tart dough recipe, doctored it up with a bit of cardamom, a touch of almond and let those crimson delights do all the work. Let’s just say that tart never made it to sunset.

Since – as a rule – I don’t go a night without dessert, I switched out the filling for the probably the easiest custard known to man, dolloped it with lightly sweetened whipped cream and sat back as the sky turned from day to night, my lips and hands perfectly matching the cherry-red sky.
Cherry-Cardamom Tart
Serves 8-10

For Cardamom Sucrée Crust
For one 9” tart, six 3” tartlettes … and a bit extra for a rainy day
• 125 g powdered sugar
• 250 g butter; unsalted
• 3 eggs
• 500 g cake flour
• ½ tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp almond extract
• 1 tsp cardamom; freshly ground
Cream together butter and sugar until lightened and doubled in volume. Add eggs and almond extract gradually, mixing to combine after each addition. Sift together cake flour, baking powder and cardamom. Add all at once and mix just to combine. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill till firm.
For Almond Cream
• 125 g butter
• 125 g powdered sugar
• 125 g almond flour
• 3 eggs
• 1 tsp almond extract
• 20 g pastry cream powder (25 g cornstarch can be substituted)

Cream together butter, sugar and almond flour. Add eggs and almond extract gradually until completely combined. Add the pastry cream powder and mix tocombine.

For Tart
Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Roll out the sucrée and line a 9-inch tart shell, chill for at least 30 minutes. Dock the bottom of the shell and place an even layer of almond cream into the unbaked tart shell. Line with pitted Bing cherries and bake 40-50 minutes until the crust is browned and almond cream is set. Allow to cool.

Custard Tartlets with Sweet Cherries
Makes six 3-inch tartlettes
• 100 g vanilla sugar
• 2 eggs
• 50 ml heavy cream
• 125 ml milk
• ¾ tsp cardamom; freshly ground
• ¾ tsp vanilla extract
• ¼ tsp almond extract

• Cardamom-Sucrée
• Bing cherries; pitted
• Crème Chantilly

Line six tartlette molds with cardamom sucrée and chill. Dock the bottom of the tartlettes with a fork, fill with baking weights and blind bake till lightly browned. When cooled, whisk together the eggs and sugar. Add the heavy cream, whole milk, cardamom and extracts until incorporated. Strain custard, fill tart shells with pitted cherries and fill with custard. Bake 300˚ for 20-25 minutes or until custard is set. Cool and serve with crème chantilly.

For the Crème Chantilly
• 100 g heavy whipping cream
• 25 g powdered sugar
• ½ tsp vanilla extract

Whip heavy cream to a soft peak, add in sugar and vanilla and whip to medium peak

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