To me it never really feels like summer until cherries arrive in the markets. Cherries announce the beginning of the stone-fruit season and for me this kicks-off my favorite fruit season of the year. For a short time cherries are the stars before apricots, peaches and plums arrive and take over front row.
But in that brief period, cherries bring so many pleasures - fresh, juicy sweet, blood-red jewels of pleasure and nothing beats a giant bowl of cherries bursting with flavor. As much as we enjoy eating the cherries straight out of the bowl, I love creating desserts and cakes with them to enjoy them in a different fashion.
This tart somehow marks the end of my cherry season. There might still be a few available but they are becoming scarcer – they have to give way to the plums and mirabelles. Seems fitting, as the summer comes to an end, to say goodbye with a luscious tart. It has been an eventful summer and we have been enjoying the last few days relaxing and taking it easy at home.
Besides 3 weeks in India, the kid got braces, got his first mobile phone and turned thirteen just before he started school as an 8th grader. Having a teenager in the house is going to be fun. I have received all the warnings and helpful tips and gotten “that look” on several occasions. You know that look where people form an “o” with their mouths, sucking in the air with eyebrows raised. Even if there are no words that are exchanged, that look serves the purpose of several phrases.
We are doing pretty well so far. I keep expecting all those words of warnings to become a reality soon, especially as we have already had a few of the pre-teen tantrums surface on a few occasions. I am having fun in this new phase though as I have precise memories of my teenage years. We are in a new century now – it was the 80s back then – but discovering this new stage with him promises to be adventurous and riveting.
So while we peel each layer as we get to it we relish every bit of sweetness and savor the tartness. It’s all part of growing up – isn’t it? As for tarts – this one is of the sweetest kind – soft pillows of meringue, over boozy and syrupy cherries on flaky pastry. The perfect dessert for any stage of life.
Recipe: Cherry Pistachio Meringue TartMeeta K. Wolff
- For the shortcrust pastry
- 225g all-purpose flour
- 100g butter, cold and diced
- Pinch of salt
- For the filling
- 40g pistachio nuts, toasted
- 800g sweet cherries, pitted
- 1 tablespoon brandy
- 300g caster sugar
- 2 tablespoons Muscovado sugar
- 6 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- For the shortcrust pastry, sieve the flour into a large bowl, add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Sprinkle in the salt, then add 2-3 tablespoons water and mix to a firm dough. Knead the dough briefly and gently on a floured surface. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to about 5mm thick. Line a 25cm diameter flat tart pan. Press the pastry in firmly and leave the excess hanging over the edge. Prick with a fork, then line with baking paper and fill with baking weights or uncooked beans. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and weights/beans and bake for a further 8-10 minutes until golden.
- Place the pitted cherries in a saucepan, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar and drizzle the brandy. On a medium heat bring everything to a boil then reduce to low and gently simmer until thick and syrupy.
- Whisk egg whites in an electric mixer to soft peaks. With the motor running, add remaining 300g sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, allowing each to be incorporated before adding the next, until stiff and glossy. Add vinegar and vanilla seeds, then whisk briefly to combine.
- With a slotted spoon spread the cherries on the tart base. Transfer meringue to a piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm plain nozzle and pipe over the cherries. Alternatively, spoon meringue over cherries.
- Place the tart on a baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes until the meringue tops are golden. Scatter with toasted pistachios. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Hope you are having an exceptional summer too. We’ve still got very warm temperatures and it hardly feelings like September but I already see the pumpkins, parsnips, plums and blackberries all next to each other at the markets - tell-tale signs that autumn is almost here. My tomato and zucchini harvest has been magnificent again and my kitchen is overflowing with produce for jams, chutneys and sauces.
Dubai Food Photography & Styling Workshops
Coming up this October I am tempting you to join my for and awesome 2-day workshop in Dubai, UAE. We had a cancellation and now have a slot to offer - 2-days intensive and hands-on. Register while it’s hot!
If you liked my cherry tart I am sure you will like these cherry treats from my friends:
- Bina’s gorgeous cherry clafoutis
- Jeanne’s Self-saucing chocolate cherry puddings
- Regula’s beautiful cherry tart
- Tieghan’s Chewy Cherry, Almond and Cacao Nib Granola Bars
- Simone’s Chicken salad with orange dressing and cherries
You might like these cherry ideas from What’s for lunch, Honey?:
|Cherry and Roasted Almond Marzipan Tart||Dark Chocolate Cherry and Tahini Clafoutis||Matcha Cherry Swirl Ice Cream|
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