Cherry-Almond Tart

July 26th, 2014

Cherry-Almond Tart 1


I have long heard that cherries and almonds have a natural affinity.  One of the reasons the French leave the pits in their cherries when they make clafoutis is because the cherry pits give the dish an almond-like taste.  As much as I like clafoutis, that pancake like batter, that surrounds fresh cherries, I like this cherry-almond tart even better.  The recipe came from Patricia Well’s book At Home in Provence.

Cherry-Almond Tart 2V The pastry is easy to prepare.  It has a cookie dough consistency and is just patted into the pan; no rolling required.  One of the ingredients used in this tart is finely ground blanched almonds.  I had a bag of almond flour in my freezer, which is basically the same thing.  You can find almond flour at most speciality stores like Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, The Fresh Market and some supermarkets.  The ground almonds are used in the pastry and in the filling.  The only change I made to the recipe was in the filling.  The filling calls for 1/2 teaspoon almond extract along with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.  I find that almond extract is too strong, so I used 1 teaspoon vanilla and then instead of the 1 Tablespoon of kirsch (cherry liqueur), I used Disaronno; a bitter almond liqueur.

Cherry-Almond Tart 3 better


Oh my, this is now my new favorite dessert.  It is well worth the time it takes to pit the cherries.  The combination of the sweet cherries and the almond infused filling and crust is perfection.  Cherries and almonds are natural partners indeed.  I can hardly wait to make this again.  It is already gone.

CHERRY-ALMOND TART ( Adapted from Patricia Wells )

One 9-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom

The Pastry:
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus additional for preparing the tart pan
1/2 cup sugar
A pinch of fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons finely ground blanched almonds (almond flour)
1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

The Filling:
5 tablespoons heavy cream
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon finely ground blanched almonds (almond flour)
1 tablespoon Disaronno, Amaretto or Kirsch

4 tablespoons finely ground blanched almonds (almond flour)
1 pound fresh cherries, pitted
Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter the bottom and sides of the tart pan.  Set aside

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the butter, sugar, salt, almond and vanilla extracts, and almond flour.  Stir with a spoon to blend.  Gradually incorporate enough flour to form a smooth soft dough. ( The dough should resemble soft cookie dough.)  Place the dough in the center of the buttered pan.  With the tips of your fingers, press the pastry evenly on the bottom and sides of the pan.  The dough will be quite thin. You do not need to weight or prick the shell.

Place the lined tart pan in the center of the oven and bake until the dough is just slightly puffy and turns a very pale brown, about 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and set aside.  Do not turn off the oven.

Meanwhile, make the filling:  In a small bowl, combine the cream, egg, and vanilla extract and whisk to blend.  Stir in the sugar, flour, ground almonds, and the Disaronno.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of ground almonds on top of the prebaked pastry shell. (They will prevent the crust from becoming soggy.)

Arrange the cherries in a single layer in the pastry shell.  Pour the filling over the cherries.  Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of ground almonds.  Place in the center of the oven and bake until the filling is firm and the pastry is a deep golden brown, about 45 minutes.  Remove to a rack to cool.  Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.  8 servings.

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Blueberry Galette and a Night With Friends

June 16th, 2014

Blueberry Galette 1


There are so many reasons that blogging is a rewarding experience, but one of the major reasons is because you get to meet so many special people.  Let’s backtrack a few years.

When a started blogging in 2009 there were not many of us doing it.  I put my blog out there and hoped that someone would find my voice interesting.  I clicked on other blogs and found Penny’s blog.  Oh my, same name.  Oh my, born and raised in Michigan like me,   Oh my, lives in North Carolina just 25 miles away from where I live.  It was meant to be.  I had to meet her.  I wrote about our first meeting here.  We have since become great friends.

Dinner at Penny's 1

We had dinner at Penny and her husband’s home last Saturday.  It was a lovely evening and we enjoyed dining al fresco under their new pergola.  Penny is a great cook.  Everything was delicious.

Dinner at Penny's 2Both Penny and I love Paris.  One of the delights of Paris food markets is the rotisserie chickens cooked over pans of vegetables.  The chicken drippings flavor the vegetables as they braise.  That was what she duplicated on their grill.

Dinner at Penny's 3

That is a beautiful plate of food.  It was a perfect meal for a summer evening.

Dinner at Penny's 4Here are our wonderful hosts, Penny and her equally talented husband.  Because we have so much in common, it should have come as no surprise to me that what she served for dessert was the very same dessert that I had made the previous week for my next blog post.  So although I did not get a picture of Penny’s blueberry galette, I had it covered with the one that I made.  We are definitely on the same wave length.
Blueberry Galette 3VI made this blueberry galette as part of a recipe testing exercise at the Food 52 website.  The editors of Food 52 pick worthy recipes that are submitted to their contests for other members to test and rate.  I chose to test this galette because of the uniqueness of the crust.  It incorporates rosemary and whole wheat flour into the pastry.  I LOVED it.  The pastry was easy to handle and the rosemary went so well with the blueberry filling.  The turbinado sugar just added to the rustic simplicity of this galette.  It will be repeated often in my kitchen.  Give it a try.  Thanks Penny and K for a great evening.

BLUEBERRY GALETTE (By Lisina at Food 52)

Rosemary Crust

  • 1 1/4 cup AP flour + extra for dusting
  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • tablespoons fresh rosemary, very finely chopped
  • tablespoons turbinado sugar + extra for dusting
  • teaspoon salt
  • 16 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4-1/2 cup ice cold water
  • 1egg, for glazing the crust

Blueberry Filling

  • pints fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • lemon (juice of)
  • tablespoons flour
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a kitchenaid mixer with the paddle attachment or a food processor, mix together the dry ingredients.
  3. Add the cubed butter, and mix or pulse until butter breaks down into pea sized pieces.
  4. With the machine running or pulsing, add the ice water until the dough JUST begins to come together.
  5. Turn the crust mixture out onto some plastic wrap, wrap it and flatten it into a disk shape. Refrigerate for about 10 minutes while you prepare the filling.
  6. Throw all the filling ingredients into a bowl, and mix well so that that the sugar and flour coat all the blueberries well.
  7. Remove the chilled crust from the fridge and unwrap it onto a silpat or piece of parchment paper large enough to cover your baking sheet. Dust it with flour, then roll the dough out until it is between 1/8″ and 1/4″ thick.
  8. Spoon the filling and its juices into the middle of the crust and spread it out leaving a 2″ border of crust. Fold the border of the crust over onto the filling, leaving the nice rustic edges.
  9. Brush the crust with eggwash and sprinkle the crust with sugar. Slide the galette on the silpat or parchment onto a baking sheet.
  10. Bake for about 40 minutes until crust is nice and golden.

Printable Recipe

Peaches n’ Irish Cream Crumble

July 15th, 2013

Peaches n’ Cream is a Southern tradition.  Fresh peaches, sliced and topped with whipped cream are hard to beat.  But I just entered the weekly contest over at Food 52 and we were asked to come up with a recipe for a cobbler, crumble, crisp, pandowdy or any other buttery topped fruit dessert.  Since peaches are in season here in the South, that was my fruit of choice.  The expression “peaches n’ cream” led me to the idea of cream in the dessert.  But not just any cream.  Bailey’s Irish Cream came to mind.

I really liked this combination.  The Bailey’s Irish Cream added a rich note to the peaches but was not overpowering.  The crumble topping was enhanced with a touch of cardamom and cinnamon.  And if you add a dollop of whipped cream flavored with Bailey’s and sugar you will be a very happy camper indeed.  No matter how well I do in the recipe contest, I am happy that I came up with this summer dish.  It is best enjoyed on a screened in porch after dark with a chorus of crickets serenading you.


For the Peaches:

  • 8 Peaches, peeled and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons Irish Cream (I used Bailey’s)
  • 2 tablespoons Sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
For the Crumble:

  • 2/3cups All-purpose flour
  • 2/3cups light brown sugar
  • 1/2cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cold, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9 to 10 inch pie plate or casserole. Place peaches in a bowl and mix with the Irish Cream, sugar and lemon zest. Turn mixture into prepared dish.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon, cardomon and salt. Add the cubed butter and with your fingers knead the butter into the dry ingredients until it is crumbly. Top the peaches with the mixture
  3. Bake the crumble for 30 to 35 minutes. Let rest for 15 minutes and serve topped with whipped cream.


Printable recipe

Onion and Bacon Tart

December 5th, 2011

This is a recipe that has been in my folder for a long time.  Unfortunately I did not write down the source.  I have found that it is a great recipe for a simple supper after Christmas shopping or on an appetizer table for the holidays.  You can make your own pizza crust or if you need one quickly, you can buy one of the crusts in a tube.
I love the sauteed onions and bacon on it.  Instead of a tomato sauce and cheeses it has a custard made from sour cream and an egg.  It is subtly seasoned with nutmeg and caraway seeds.  Perfect for this time of year.


8 slices Bacon, Chopped
5 cups onions, sliced
1 large egg
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 13.8 ounce tube refrig. pizza dough or your own home made pizza dough
1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. F.  Saute bacon in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp.  Remove to paper towels to drain.  Remove all but 1 tablespoon bacon drippings from skillet.  Add onions and saute over medium heat until onions are very tender, about 20 minutes.  Cool.

Whisk egg, sour cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in large bowl to blend.  Stir in cooled onion mixture and most of bacon.

Roll pizza dough out on lightly floured surface to 13 x 10 inch rectangle or into a circle to fit pizza pan.  Transfer dough to baking sheet.  Spread onion mixture over dough, leaving 1/2 inch plain border around edges.  Add remaining bacon and sprinkle with carasay seeds.

Bake tart until onion custard is set and crust is golden brown around edges and brown on bottom, about 25 minutes.

There is still time to vote in the eRecipeCards contest.  I am currently in 3rd place and I could really use your vote.  Just go over to the website and register.  Then go to the home page and follow the links to the O Olive Oil Contest.  Thanks everybody.

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Easy Pastry Shop Apple Tart

September 21st, 2010

We are still enjoying the Honey Crisp apples that we brought back from Michigan.  I thought about making a traditional apple pie, but the weather has been so hot this month that a pie seemed too heavy to be enjoyed properly.  Laura Calder to the rescue!  I am enjoying her French Food at Home show on the new Cooking Channel.  One of the things I’ve noticed about her is the simplicity of her recipes and the fact that she uses very few kitchen gadgets.  She whips her cream by hand in a copper bowl, she chops and dices without the aid of a food processor, and her kitchen always seems so serene.  Now I’m not saying that I am giving up my kitchen gadgets, but I love the sense of calm that she projects in her kitchen.  You can almost hear the birds singing in her yard.  But I digress (borrowed that one from My Year on the Grill).

Laura made this simple apple tart last week.  The crust is cookie-like, comes together simply and is patted into either a springform pan or a tart pan.  I considered using my 9 inch tart pan, but thought the filling would overflow, so I made it in my high- sided springform pan.  Next time, I will be brave and use the tart pan because the filling takes up very little space and I love the ridges that result on the crust.

But what makes this tart so special is the cream cheese filling.  It is what makes this “Pastry Shop” good!  You know those wonderful cream filled pastries that you get from the bakery.  That is what this tart tastes like.  It is so good that I had it for breakfast one morning with my coffee and I was enraptured.  The gilding on the lily of this tart is the layer of cinnamon spiced apple slices with almonds scattered about.  Simple and decadent at the same time.  A perfect tart.


For the crust:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vinilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour

For the cream filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the top:
3 apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup slivered almonds

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Make the crust:  Cream the butter and sugar.  Stir in the vanilla.  Finally, mix in the flour to make a smooth dough.  Press into the botton of an 8-inch springform pan (I used a 9-inch pan or a 9-inch tart pan), giving it about a 1-inch rim.  Bake 15 minutes, or until lightly golden.  Remove the tart shell from the oven.

While the crust bakes, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla for the cream filling until smooth.  Make the topping by tossing the apple slices with the cinnamon and sugar.

Spread the cream cheese mixture into the tart shell.  Arrange the apple slices on top in a spiral pattern and then scatter the nuts on top.  Bake until the apples are tender and golden, about 40 minutes.

I am submitting this recipe to the Hearth ‘n Soul blog hop.  Go over to Girlichef’s blog to see all of the wonderful “REAL” food entries this week.

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© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.