HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

galleygirl's tart with sour cherries

Caitlin McGrath Dec 13, 2005 04:52 PM

In a recent thread about sour cherries, galleygirl mentioned that Laurie, who is the originator of the famous pear "tart," had told her it works well with sour cherries. I had a couple of cans of tart cherries in water on hand, so I made this Sunday morning for brunch with some guests.

I drained the cherries but did not pat them dry, and pushed as many as I could fit into the batter. I didn't change anything about the recipe except to sprinkle some brown sugar op top before putting it in the oven (I would have added a bit of almond extract to play up the cherries, but I had run out). My cake was done in 45 minutes. When I removed the sides of the springform pan, I was a bit concerned about its being overdone because the sides were fairly well beowned and a bit crusty. As it happened, the cake was perfectly moist, thanks to the juicy, soft cherries, and everyone really enjoyed it. The sides and edges *were* a bit crusty and crunchy, in an entirely pleasant way that was a nice contrast to the soft center of the cake. The brown sugar added a pleasant, if only slight, crunch to the top.

It wasn't particularly sweet (since the sour cherries didn't add the sweetness pears would), but it was perfect for brunch or to have with coffee or tea. If I were to make the sour cherry version (or make it with another tart fruit) to serve for dessert, I'd probably up the sugar from 3/4 cup to 1 cup.

Here's a verbatim copy of the recipe galleygirl originally posted:

Laurie's Pear Tart

3 or 4 ripe juicey pears....
Peel,core and cut into sixths, or eighths

1 stick butter
3/4 c. sugar
1teasoon vanilla..

2 eggs, one at a time...

1 c. flour
1 teasoon baking powder
1/2 t. salt...

Add to butter mixture.

Spray an 8" (important) spring form pan with Pam...Spread the batter in it..Now, in a pinwheel pattern, press the slices of pear, peeled side up, into the batter...Cram in as many as you can; since the batter rises and covers the pears, there's no points given for style here(g)...The more pears, the moister the cake will be.

Bake at 350 degrees til a skewer comes out clean, about an hour...If you have any doubts, UNDERBAKE....This is a whole different animal if it dries out...Then it's just a cake; correctly done, you'll love it...It's just one of those recipes that is greater than the sum of it's parts. really. Ask my Dad...;)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. f
    freddie RE: Caitlin McGrath Dec 13, 2005 09:49 PM

    this sounds delicious, thanks. what was the quantity of sour cherries that you used? did you like that amount?

    4 Replies
    1. re: freddie
      Caitlin McGrath RE: freddie Dec 14, 2005 12:18 AM

      I didn't really measure. but it was probably around 2 cups. I just used as many as I could fit, covering the top of the cake.

      1. re: freddie
        Smokey RE: freddie Dec 14, 2005 09:20 AM

        Caitlin--Thanks for the report back! I was the person who queried about the sour cherries. I'm thinking that this might turn in to a xmas morning type thing...


        1. re: Smokey
          doctor_mama RE: Smokey Dec 14, 2005 10:50 AM

          If for breakfast, it might be nice made with all or part whole wheat pastry flour.

          1. re: doctor_mama
            smokey RE: doctor_mama Dec 14, 2005 11:07 AM

            Mmmm, must add WW pastry flour to shopping list...

            (thanks for the suggestion!)

      2. k
        kc girl RE: Caitlin McGrath Dec 14, 2005 11:53 AM

        It's good made with Trader Joe's chocolate covered bing cherries, too (and a little sweeter than what you report sour cherries provided -- not as moist, but not dry)

        1. s
          sudiepav RE: Caitlin McGrath Dec 14, 2005 01:54 PM

          I'm anxious to try this w/ sour cherries. The original recipe sounded so good, but I am no pear fan. I'll try it with cherries over the Christmas season. Has anyone tried it with any other fruits? TIA

          2 Replies
          1. re: sudiepav
            DS RE: sudiepav Dec 14, 2005 02:22 PM

            A few days ago, I tried it with apples (Granny Smith) and a handful of cranberries, sprinkling the top with sugar and cinnamon. Next time I would toss the apples with the cinnamon and sugar before jamming them in. I still think that this recipe works best with pears, with prune plums in second place. Never tried berries or cherries though.

            1. re: sudiepav
              smokey RE: sudiepav Dec 14, 2005 02:28 PM

              It's actually been tried with loads of different fruits. If you do a search on galleygirl tart (or Sir Gawain tart, a similar recipe) you'll find scores of posts over the past year as people have played and improvised the recipe.

            2. geminigirl RE: Caitlin McGrath Jul 13, 2008 05:24 PM

              Just found this long lost post after picking 11 lbs of sour cherries! First time I ever picked them so I made jam and made this cake - it was delicious. I did pretty much everything Caitlin did but with fresh pitted - not patted dry and added 1/2 tsp almond extract - nice touch. I only had an 8 1/2 springform so I used that and it needed about 55 min, could have gone 5 more and been fine. Thanks

              4 Replies
              1. re: geminigirl
                rose water RE: geminigirl Jan 2, 2009 04:52 AM

                this has been my go-to recipe for years, but i realize that i've never reported back about it. my tricks--i also always add 1/2 tsp almond extract, i bake for 50-55 minutes, and i make sure that i poke the sour cherries into the batter. they end up distributing nicely--some sink, some stay on top--giving the cake a beautiful appearance and keeping it super moist.

                1. re: geminigirl
                  MMRuth RE: geminigirl Jun 26, 2010 09:03 AM

                  Do you happen to still have the recipe you used for the jam? I think I'm going to make this cake today.

                  1. re: MMRuth
                    geminigirl RE: MMRuth Jun 26, 2010 07:52 PM

                    Hello, I was thinking this post would be poping to the top soon:). I don't remember the recipie I used but the jam was not all that good, one of my first jam experiments...how serendipity though that tomorrow I am trying sour cheryy jam again, this time going to try and use the Pomona low sugars pectin and see how it turns out, the other option is a recipe from the Ferber book, but I did not have luck with the strawenery recipe, way too runny....I will let you know how Pomona turns out..... This cake is delicious, I will freeze some sours to make this later in the summer, tomorrow is pie!

                    1. re: geminigirl
                      clamscasino RE: geminigirl Jun 27, 2010 07:31 AM

                      I'm thinking of making sour cherry preserves today too. I've never used pectin for it, and although I follow more or less the same recipe each year, the results can be hit or miss in the runniness department. For me, even when I feel I've achieved the perfect jell, it seems to turn runny again after the waterbath. Boo hoo...(I know I don't HAVE to put it through the water bath, but I'm kind of paranoid that way.)

                      BTW, we've never had cherries this early and the crop looks to be terrific. Yesterday, after Mr. Clam's first picking, I pitted 43 cups to freeze.

                      Can't wait to hear how your's turns out.

                2. Caitlin McGrath RE: Caitlin McGrath Jul 25, 2010 05:50 PM

                  Made it with fresh sour cherries for the first time, and it worked out great. All else the same, plus 1/2 tsp. almond extract per usual, and this time I sprinkled the top w/turbinado sugar instead of brown, and that's even better - gives it a nice crunchy crust. I was just now thinking, next time I might add some lemon zest to the batter.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                    MMRuth RE: Caitlin McGrath Jul 26, 2010 03:59 AM

                    Oh good - I never got around to it!

                    1. re: MMRuth
                      Caitlin McGrath RE: MMRuth Jul 26, 2010 10:14 AM

                      What did you end up doing with your sour cherries, MMRuth?

                  2. Candy RE: Caitlin McGrath Jun 21, 2014 11:14 AM

                    Thanks. I'm going to give that a try. I was also thinking about clafoutis.

                    Show Hidden Posts