Sunday, May 30, 2021

Delightful Chocolate Frangipane Cherry Tart

During the late spring and on into summer when all of the berries and then stone fruits come into season, a frangipane tart is a lovely thing to make to highlight their seasonal ripe deliciousness. Today we had a BBQ on our back deck and invited neighbors who have recently moved here from San Francisco. Sweetie grilled the chicken sausages they brought and some turkey Italian sausages we already had. I made my favorite corn, black bean and tomato salad, and I wanted something special for dessert.

Costco had dark, ripe, decadent dark cherries this week, so I decided to make a frangipane enriched with dark cocoa and a touch of espresso powder (since espresso brings out the flavor in chocolate). I know that I love chocolate and cherry you?

I started with my trusty ReadyCrust pre-made pie dough, but instead of putting it into a pie pan, I put it in a 9-inch tart pan, folded the excess into the tart and tucked it down along the sides. Then I gently pushed the dough into the tart rippled sides, pricked it all over and froze it for 30 minutes. Once the oven was preheated, I added a circle of parchment and some pie weights, gently pushed up against the sides and smoothed out over the bottom. These keep the crust from rising up. 

For the filling I used margarine, salt, sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, flour and vanilla, beaten together for a couple of minutes, then a couple of eggs were added and, last of all, the almond flour. This mixture gets scooped into the baked and cooled tart shell.

While the tart shell was baking, I prepared the cherries. I like to cut off the fruit on both sides of the pit, but some folks prefer to pop out the pit with a hat pin or a gadget made for pitting cherries, then cut them in half. Either way, the prepared cherry halves get placed in a nice pattern on top of the frangipane, pushing down a bit into the batter.

Now all that is needed is about 30-40 minute of baking at 350 degrees F and you have a wonderful dessert! Let it cool before slicing. Add a bit of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if you'd like to gild the lily, but do bake this while cherries are available. You could also use fresh strawberries, fresh raspberries, or any kind fruit that is at its peak and goes with chocolate.

Chocolate Almond Fruit Tart

     Elle's recipe

Makes one 9-inch tart

 Use a already made pie crust, like Pillsbury ReadyCrust, shaping and baking as described below, or use the following recipe for the shell:

Make the tart crust:

Sweet Tart Dough from Dorie Greenspan's Baking; From My Home To Yours

 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 tablespoons) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk

 Put the flour, confectioners' sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. 

 Scatter the cold pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in. 

 Stir the yolk to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses, about 10 seconds each, until the dough forms clumps and curds. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and, very lightly and sparingly, knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that still exist in the mixture.

 Gather dough into a ball, then flatten it and put it into a 9-inch tart pan, using your fingers to push the dough into the corners and flutes of the pan, while keeping the thickness as even as possible. Use a rolling pin, rolled over the top rim, to clean the top. Gather up any leftover pieces and wrap in plastic wrap, and put in the fridge for patching, if necessary. Prick all over and freeze for at least 30 minutes, but longer is O.K.

 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Put the rack in the center of the oven.

 Remove tart shell from freezer. Spray a sheet of foil with cooking spray/oil and put, oil side down on the tart, pressing down to mold the foil to the tart shape.

 Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil carefully and use the back of a spoon to gently press down any puffed crust. If necessary, use the extra dough from the fridge to patch any holes, then bake another few minutes. Let crust cool.


Prepare the filling:

 4 tablespoons soft butter or margarine
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon espresso powder
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3/4 cup almond flour or finely ground almonds

1 1/2 cups fresh fruit ( berries, cherries, apricot halves, drained and patted dry) - about a pint of fruit


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

To make the filling:  Beat together the butter, salt, sugar, flour, cocoa, espresso powder, and vanilla extract.

 Beat in the eggs, then add the almond flour, stirring just to combine.


To assemble the tart: Spread the filling in the bottom of the crust.

 Place the fresh fruit, cut if necessary, in rows or a nice pattern on top of the filling, pressing them down gently so the bottom of the fruit is covered.

 Bake the tart in the preheated 350 degree F oven for 45 to 40 minutes, until the top is lightly browned. Cool slightly before serving. 




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