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Jun 18, 2010 03:45 AM

rustic cherry tart

I would like to use a recipe for a rustic raspberry tart, free form, no pan or pie dish, to make a (sour) cherry tart. The question: in the recipe I'm using the raspberries are mixed with 3 tab of sugar and 2 tsp of corn starch. Will the cherries be too sour or is there another ingredient you would add - perhaps almond extract or?

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  1. I assume you're using fresh pitted sour cherries; you'll need substantially more sugar for these cherries, and probably some type of thickener as well, like a little cornstarch toss, as with your raspberries. You may actually need more cornstarch, as I think cherries are juicier when baked than raspberries, especially since you'll need to use a large amount of sugar, which will bring out the fruit's juice. The almond extract is a good flavoring choice for cherries. You may need to cook the cherries very briefly with the sugar and cornstarch first before baking, simply because of the large amount of sugar and cornstarch you'll need to use. I don't know if you can just toss the raw cherries with the sugar and cornstarch and top the crust. You might want to try it that way, using the recipe proportions for sugar and thickeners as a quide, or maybe other posters will weigh in on their experience baking a tart with a raw cherry filling. I've always cooked mine briefly first.

    Here's a link for an idea of the filling ingredients and technique:

    I mentioned pitted becasue I had a boyfriend who's mom picked many lbs of sour cherries and canned them, UNPITTED, and then turned them into a pie, still UNPITTED. It was an interesting concept and not easily eaten, although tasty. The experience has stayed with me all these years.

    2 Replies
    1. re: bushwickgirl

      I believe the French cook the cherries with pits to retain juice lost in pitting.

      1. re: serious

        "French cook the cherries with pits "

        Possibly, it sounds like a good idea, plus the cherries are easier to pit after they're cooked, but my boyfriend's mom wasn't French (and wasn't an American either; I believe it was her first attempt making a cherry pie.) I can see canning the cherries with pits, but not baking them into a pie...anyway, as Nyleve wrote, whatever method you try, it hope it turns out well, and let us know.

    2. Sour cherries are quite sour - much more sour than raspberries - so yes, the tart will require more sugar. And cherries also release a lot of juice - so would also need much more thickening to prevent the filling from totally dissolving out of the pastry. I would suggest - as bushwickgirl does - that you pre-cook the filling to thicken it and also to tenderize the cherries. They take longer to cook than raspberries also. This is all fresh in my mind because I just made a sour cherry pie last week and not only did it take ages to bake properly but it also needed almost 1/4 cup of cornstarch to make it sliceable. You could reduce the cornstarch somewhat but I wouldn't go less than 2 tbsp. for an 8 or 9-inch tart.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Nyleve

        I might experiment with a version of the above using the cherries but adjusting for sour quality with more sugar. (the result with blueberries was spectacular)

        1. re: serious

          That sounds like a fantastic recipe for blueberries (or strawberries or any other berry) but I wouldn't use sour cherries. Those really do need to be cooked to develop flavour and become sweetened. If you've ever bitten into a raw sour cherry you'll know exactly what I mean - I very much doubt that just being mixed with a sweetened syrup will do the trick. But please let me know how it turns out if you do try it. I'd be happy to be proven wrong.

      2. Made the 'rustic cherry tart'. Made a small crust, with one egg yolk and 1 c flour and 6 tbs butter and ice water, pinch of salt. I used 2 1/2 c sour cherries, total, pitted. w 1/2 c cherries cooked w 1/2 c water and 2 tab cornstarch and 1/2c sugar and added 1/4 tsp almond extract after removing from the heat. It was a lot, so used only 1/2 of that and mixed it with uncooked cherries and spread that on the crust, folded the crust over the edges, about 2". Baked for 30 minutes, until crust was golden. It was sweet enough, the cherries cooked fine and the whole thing very good and looked good.

        2 Replies
        1. re: serious

          I also squeezed a small amount of lemon juice, out of habit, into the cooking 'syrup'. I brushed the crust with egg white and sprinkled it with sugar before baking.

          1. re: serious

            Great! I think I got my thoughts mixed up in my earlier comment. OF COURSE you'd bake it after it was put into the crust. What was I thinking? Somehow I had the idea that the filling would be put into a baked crust and that would be it. Glad to hear it turned out. Fresh cherries are so absolutely wonderful.