A little taste of summer

5 03 2010

Last summer, I got very industrious and bought a huge crate of sour cherries at the public market and canned them, thinking it would be so great in the middle of the long, long winter to have some cherry-laden desserts.  Fast forward 7 months, and they are still sitting in the closet, waiting for *just* the right moment.  Well, winter is showing signs of letting up already–birds are coming back, ponds are thawing, the sun is shining and the snow is starting to melt.  So I think the “right moment” probably came and went already, but with a little baby at home, I didn’t have much time to bake.  Now I’m on a mission to enjoy these cherries while the weather is still a little bit unpleasant, so I have been looking for ways to use them.  Last weekend it was a clafoutis, and today, a cherry tart.  I have to say, the cherry tart was better. It was easy too.  Supposedly, the clafoutis is easy too, because you mix it in a blender, but I’m sorry, if I have to go digging through the cupboards to find all the blender pieces, assemble it, use it, and then wash it and put it away, no thanks.  Mixing in a bowl is just easier sometimes, especially when you have an eager helper who always wants to mix something, anything.  The tart would have been really quick in the KitchenAid, but as I said, I have a little human mixer who doesn’t want to do it that way.  The recipe is adapted from one on Chowhound, called Laurie’s Pear Tart.  And really, it’s more like a cake than a tart, although maybe it’s more tart-ish with the original pears.

Cherry Tart

Cherry Tart

In a bowl, cream:

  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract

Then add:

  • 2 eggs, one at a time

Then mix together the following, and add it to the butter/egg mixture:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt

Grease an 8″ or 9″ pan (original recipe says 8″, I used 9″ because it’s what I have), spread the batter in it (it’s thick), and then press the fruit into the top.  (The canned cherries I used are like the canned cherries you can buy in the baking aisle; make sure they are packed in juice).  Sprinkle some brown sugar on top.  Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or so, till brown on top and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Let cool, and enjoy!

I made this all the time last summer, and that’s saying something because I don’t really like to bake in the summer.  It’s a really easy dessert to make to use up all the fruit you buy at the market that is starting to go bad before you have a chance to finish it.  That happened a lot around here!  I made this with peaches, blueberries, raspberries, and combinations of those three.  I think the cherry variation is the best so far, though!