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Categories: Best recipes, Desserts

De Pomiane's country tart

One never hears of cherry gluts. Apples, yes. Citrus, also. There can even be too many pears. But cherries? Smack dab in the middle of cherry season, bang in cherry country, there are never more cherries than takers. Cherry trees ... Read more

Active work time: 15 minutes | Total preparation time: 1 hour | Serves 8
Note: No voice from the kitchen was more trusted or beloved in 1960s Europe than that of Edouard de Pomiane. Radio broadcasts from Paris found their way into English kitchens in the delightful 1961 book "Cooking with Pomiane." In the book, cherry pies were a recurring theme, every recipe offered with the instruction that the cherries be pitted with "a new metal hairpin." But the tart that de Pomiane evoked most richly was a country tart, handed down from the 1860s. This dish was probably conceived with sour cherries, Montmorency types or Morellos in mind, but it bakes fine with sweet ones, and the flowing juices demand a large dollop of vanilla ice cream or fresh cream. (Very sweet cherries will require less sugar, tart ones a bit more.) De Pomiane describes having discovered the recipe from a lady who made tarts whenever she baked bread and who made the crust by cutting bread dough with lard. He recommended getting a half-pound of fresh dough from a local baker and kneading in 3 ounces of butter. We asked Edon Waycott to supply this recipe for a leavened pie shell fit to absorb the flowing cherry juices.

Pastry

  • 1 (1/4-ounce) packet active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 2 cups flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
  • 2 egg yolks

Step 1Stir the yeast and the sugar into the warm water. Let sit until bubbly, about 10 minutes.

Step 2Meanwhile, combine the 2 cups of flour and the salt in a food processor; cut in the butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the yeast mixture and the yolks. Process just until the mixture forms a ball. Turn the dough onto a floured surface. Knead the dough until supple and an indention with a finger springs back, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle the dough with flour. Let rest for 10 minutes. Roll out the dough to fit a 9-inch pie plate. Transfer the dough to the plate and flute the edges.

Filling

  • 2 1/2 pounds cherries
  • 1/4 to 3/4 cup sugar (depending on sweetness of cherries), plus more for serving

Step 1Heat the oven to 450 degrees.

Step 2Pit the cherries, reserving the juice. Place half of the cherries in the shell and sprinkle them with half of the sugar and add the cherry juice. Add the rest of the cherries and top with the remaining sugar.

Step 3Bake the pie until the cherries darken, the juice is bubbling and the crust is browned, 30 to 35 minutes. Serve hot. The juices will run from the pie and hot cherries will "burst" when you serve it. De Pomiane advises sprinkling more sugar to taste on top.

Each serving:
431 calories; 158 mg sodium; 159 mg cholesterol; 21 grams fat; 12 grams saturated fat; 57 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams protein; 2.83 grams fiber.
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