Summer has officially arrived, peeps! Which means…
Well, actually I’m wondering what do you think of when you think about summer? Do you usually do any activities specific for this season? Please share, let’s expand each other’s bucket list 🙂
As for me, summer is always about fruits. Here in California fruits are in abundance all year long, but back in my Ukrainian childhood it definitely wasn’t like that. The only fruits we could get in winter were bananas and oranges, but when summer came — that was THE time! First two strawberries of the season were sweeter than any candy in the store and cherries eaten right from the tree… oh my, I still remember their taste!
There were downsides to this fairytale though. In order to get tasty fruits, you needed to work in the garden. And I didn’t like doing that. Looking back, I think there might be a lesson my parents embedded into this activity: if you want anything in life, you have to work to have it. If such, I believe I’ve got the lesson! 🙂
Okay, enough talking about my childhood, let’s get back to the cooking stuff. Summer tart anyone?
Today we’re trying out another dough recipe. It’s a little bit sweeter and sandier, and it perfectly pairs with tartness of the cherries. Add vanilla and almond cream to the picture — and you’ll find yourself in a dessert heaven!
*makes 1 large (20 cm) and 6 small (8cm) tarts
For the almond cream:
35 g butter, at room temperature
35 g sugar
35 g eggs
35 almond flour
15 g flour
1-2 drops almond extract
Place the butter in a bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream on a low speed until the butter is very warm and fluffy. Add sugar, almond flour and eggs and mix all together until well combined. Then add sifted flour and a few drops of almond extract and give it a good stir.
Transfer the mixture to a clean bowl, cover its surface with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
For the vanilla cream:
250 g milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
50 g sugar
3 egg yolks
25 g cornstarch
100 g heavy cream, cold
20 g powdered sugar
In a heavy bottom pan combine milk and vanilla extract. Heat over medium heat until mixture becomes hot but not boiling.
Meanwhile in a separate bowl combine sugar and cornstarch, whisk well to avoid any clumps. In another bowl whisk egg yolks. Combine eggs and dry ingredients and whisk together until mixture becomes light and homogenous.
Once the milk is hot enough, pour 1/3 of it into the eggs mixture and whisk well until combined. Add another portion of the milk and whisk again. Pour the remaining milk and return the whole mixture back to the pan. Heat over medium heat stirring constantly until the mixture begins to thicken. Continue cooking for 2-3 minutes. If at any point the mixture starts to cook too fast, remove the pan from the heat and continue whisking. Return the pan to the heat and whisk vigorously at a boil for another 30 seconds.
Transfer the cream to a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap directly onto its surface. Let the cream cool to the room temperature and then place in the refrigerator.
In a few hours, whisk heavy cream with powdered sugar until it holds stiff peaks. Smooth chilled pastry cream with a whisk and then carefully fold heavy cream into it. Transfer vanilla cream into a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip and place it into a refrigerator.
For the dough:
120 g butter, at room temperature
90 g powdered sugar
30 g almond flour
1 small egg (approx. 45-50 g)
60 g flour (1)
175 g flour (2)
In a bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment combine butter and powdered sugar and cream on a low to medium speed. Then add almond flour, flour (1), lightly beaten egg and mix everything together. Finally, add the remaining flour (2) and combine on a low speed until a dough comes together.
Transfer the dough to a working surface, shape it into a disc and tightly wrap with a plastic film. Let the dough chill in a refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
When ready, remove the dough from the fridge and let it sit for 5 minutes to become more playable. Then lightly flour a working surface and roll the dough to be 2-3 millimeters thick. Try to work from the center towards ends rotating the dough during rolling, thus you can achieve the evenest thickness.
Preheat the oven to 175 C/350 F. Now to the fun part! 🙂
If you want to make O-shape tart cut the dough with a large cutter (I used 20 cm/8 in cake ring), it will be the bottom of your tart. Carefully transfer this piece to a tart ring, and using a smaller cutter (I used 7.5 cm/3 in cookie cutter) make a cut in its center. Take away the smaller piece of the dough but leave the cookie cutter inside.
Roll the remaining dough and cut it into long strings using a serrated knife. Carefully pull one string and tie it to the bottom of the tart. Working with one string at a time, finish both outer and inner (shaping sides around the cookie cutter) radiuses of the tart. Place this construction into a refrigerator for 30 minutes.
To bake and assemble the tart:
400 g ripe cherries
When the dough is chilled, carefully cut any leftovers with a knife. Poke the bottom of the tart with a fork and place the tart in the preheated oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven.
Remove the almond cream from the fridge and soft it with a rubber spatula. Spread an even layer of the cream onto the bottom of the tart. Return the tart to the oven and bake for another 15-25 minutes or until the dough becomes nicely golden in color and almond cream is baked through. Transfer the tart to a cooling rack.
When the tart is completely cooled down, fill it with vanilla cream and place cherries and other toppings of your choice on top. Enjoy immediately! 😉