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Almond cherry tart

Almond cherry tart
Los Angeles Times

Call it the battle of the soft-shell crab. Quinn Hatfield, chef and co-owner of Hatfield's, didn't want them on his menu -- they're best eaten simply, he thought, and he knew that they'd be so popular that he'd be cooking ... Read more

Total time: About 1 hour, 40 minutes, plus chilling time | Serves 8

Tart dough

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 1/2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups plus 1 1/2 tablespoons flour, sifted
  • 3/4 cup almond meal, sifted
  • 1 egg

Step 1Using a hand-held or standing mixer, blend the butter and sugar just until almost smooth (don't overmix). Add the flour and the almond meal, then the egg. The dough should be smooth without any lumps or butter streaks, but be careful not to overmix. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Step 2Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll out on a lightly floured surface to about one-fourth-inch thick and about 12 inches in diameter. Roll the dough around the rolling pin and carefully lift it into a 9-inch round tart pan. Lift the edge of the dough with one hand; use the other to gently press the dough into the bottom and against the sides of the pan. Trim the edges of the dough against the edge of the pan, and chill the tart in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Step 3Put the tart on a baking sheet and bake with weights for 15 minutes. Remove the weights and continue to bake for another 15 minutes, until golden-brown. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.

Frangipane and cherry filling and assembly

  • 1 cup sliced blanched almonds
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 7 tablespoons butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons brandy
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 pound cherries, pitted and halved, divided
  • Unsweetened whipped cream

Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees. To make the frangipane filling, grind the almonds in a food processor with 2 tablespoons of the sugar.

Step 2Using a hand-held or stand mixer, mix the butter until creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add in the remaining sugar and continue to mix until fluffy and blended, about a minute.

Step 3One ingredient at a time, add in the salt, brandy, egg and milk, scraping the bowl after each addition. Beat in the ground almond mixture.

Step 4Layer 2 cups of the cherries in the bottom of the tart shell, spread the frangipane mixture evenly over the top and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of sugar, or to taste. Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes, until the top of the tart is browned all over. Slice the tart and serve warm, with a dollop of whipped cream and a few fresh cherries garnishing the top of each slice.

Note: From Karen Hatfield of Hatfield's restaurant.


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