Cherry Frangipane tart is a classic combination of cherries and almonds.
This is glistening whole cherry compote set upon a buttery almond filling called frangipane in a crisp shortcrust tart shell.
Cherries are one of those beloved fruits whose season is too short, especially its peak season. Sour cherries are even more difficult to find, therefore I find myself buying them whenever I can at a decent price, then trying to figure out what to do to keep them well.
Later in cherry season, they will still look good, but start to lose their sweetness. Candied cherries or a cherry compote is a good way to use some and freeze. I have also frozen whole cherry pies and cherry cheesecakes which are very nice to find when it is pumpkin season.
Cherries are known to be very high in antioxidants and are a great source of fibre and vitamin C.
They have anti-inflammatory properties, to reduce pain, especially sour cherries.
They are a source of melatonin, which helps us with regular sleep patterns, again, especially the tart cherries.
One more thing about tart cherries is they do not keep well. Keep refrigerated for best results for about 3 days. Up to a week for regular eating cherries.
Almonds are a good source of fibre, protein and vitamin E as well as Magnesium and Manganese. They are also a source of calcium and B2 (riboflavin).
Most of the fat in almonds is the good fat. Monounsaturated fat, like olive oil, the kind that does not solidify at room temperature.
How to Make Cherry Frangipane Tart
For the Cherry Compote
I start with making the Cherry compote. he cherries need to be processed sooner than later and it will keep better this way.
Compote is a mixture using whole, or chunks of fruit cooked in sugar until syrupy, often with lemon, and maybe some spices. It is similar to preserves but they don’t keep like preserves. Fruit compote must be refrigerated and will keep for up to two weeks. This might depend on how much you reduce it, which will increase the sugar to fruit ratio. I have kept it frozen for up to three months.
Sour Montmorency cherries are softer than eating cherries like Bing cherries. The longer you cook the fruit the less plump it will be. Remove the fruit once desired doneness is reached and cook the syrup until reduced by half.
Wash, Stem and Pit the Cherries
Sour cherries are not deep red inside so there is a lot less staining which is really nice. Using a cherry pitter is probably the easiest, but because they are softer, you can use a skewer, chopstick or straw to poke it out, or simply make a small slice and gently pop it out.
Put the cherry compote ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, then let it simmer for 20-30 minutes.
A bit of foam will appear at the beginning. Skim off what you can from time to time for a clearer sauce.
The longer you cook the sauce, the more the cherries will shrink.
Remove the cherries with a slotted spoon, or sieve the juice. Make sure you drain the cherries a few times to reduce as they tend to hold the juice.
Boil the juice down to reduce it by about half. It will take about 30 minutes, then return the cherries.
The longer you cook the juice the more it will reduce and the sweeter it will be.
Since sour cherries are pale, to bump up the colour I add some eating cherries like Bing. While it reduces they will add a darker colour. Without adding, the sauce is still a beautiful ruby.
To thaw frozen compote, leave it in the refrigerator to thaw, it won’t freeze solid like ice due to the sugar, or you can heat it on the stove. Remember that once it starts to boil it will reduce more.
For the cherry frangipane Tart Pastry
Or Pâte Sucré is a sweet shortcrust that is like shortbread.
It can be used for many sweet fillings but usually made for tarts. It may be pressed into the pan like a crumb crust or rolled as regular pie pastry but I only add an egg yolk and the pastry is crumbly so I partially roll and then press it up the sides.
Cream the sugar with room temperature butter without aerating, which would make it a bit too crumbly. Add an egg yolk for stability and then the flour and a bit of salt.
Form it into a disc, wrap it and refrigerate for an hour.
Unwrap and roll the dough on a floured surface, or between plastic or parchment. Roll it large enough to fit in the bottom of a 9”(23cm) flan pan.
Press it outward using your fingers to go all the way up the sides.
This will be nice and crisp by blind baking it.
Dock the pastry with a fork and refrigerate while the oven preheats.
Line the pastry with non stick foil, placing the non stick side on the pastry, or use baking parchment. If using parchment, crumple the parchment a couple of times then open it up. It will be easier to fit into the corners this way. Fill this with pie weights, beans or rice. This keeps the pastry from shrinking. I keep beans and use them as many times as I can.
About halfway through baking remove the weights and bake for another 10 minutes for the crust to fully bake.
Whisk the egg white to brush onto the crust during the last 5 minutes of baking.
Watch for doneness. It may need more or less time and will brown quickly near the end. Remove from the oven.
Leave the oven at 350°F (180°C) to bake the tart filling.
Almond Frangipane tart Filling
Frangipane is called a custard, or cream. It is a custard like a pumpkin pie or cheesecake is a custard, and they are also baked custards.
Frangipane is simply creamed butter and sugar with eggs incorporated. The main ingredient, ground almonds, is combined with just a bit of flour to hold it together and I add baking powder to give it a bit of a lift as I do with my Bakewell Tart. Add pure vanilla and almond extract to give it a boost.
Spread into the baked crust and bake at 350°F (180°C) for 20-25 minutes.
Turn off the heat but leave the tart in the oven for about 10 minutes so it doesn’t sink too fast.
Remove from the oven and cool.
Place the cherries and lightly drizzle some sauce evenly over if desired, to soak in. Don’t dump the cherry sauce over or you will get pockets of too much sauce in some areas which will make it very sweet.
Serve with whipped cream if you would like.
Cherry Frangipane Tart
- 1 9"(23cm) flan pan with removeable bottom or a 9"(23cm) springform pan
- 4 cups Sour Cherries (620g)
- 1¼ cups water (315mL)
- 1¼ cups Granulated sugar (260g)
- 3 Lemon slices
- ½ cup unsalted butter (115g)
- ¼ cup Granulated sugar (50g)
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 large egg white
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour (185g)
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter (115g)
- ⅓ cup Granulated sugar (115g)
- 1¼ cup ground almonds (100g)
- 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Wash, stem and pit the cherries.
- Put the pitted cherries and lemon pieces in a medium saucepan. Add the water and sugar.
- Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 20-30 minutes.
- Skim off what you can from time to time for a clearer sauce.
- Remove the cherries with a slotted spoon, or sieve the juice.
- Reduce the sauce by about half. It will take about 30 minutes, then return the cherries.
- Separate the egg yolk from the egg white. Set the white aside.
- Cream the butter and the sugar well without whipping. You can mix by hand or use a hand blender.
- Beat in the salt and egg yolk.
- Add the flour and mix it in thoroughly. If it is dry and crumbly, add a tablespoon, or so of cold water.
- Knead the dough to bring it together. Form a disc, wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Unwrap the chilled dough and roll to almost fit the pan, then press it into the pan and up the sides of the 9" (23cm) flan pan.
- Dock the crust to prevent bubbling and refrigerate while the oven preheats to 425°F (220°C).
- Place baking parchment in the pie shell and fill with pie weights or beans.
- Bake at 425°F (220°C) for 10 minutes, reduce to 350°F (180°C) bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove weights and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Whisk the egg white to brush onto the crust during the last 5 minutes of baking.
- Watch for doneness. It may need more or less time and will brown quickly near the end. Leave the oven at 350°F (180°C) to bake the tart filling.
- Combine the ground almonds, flour and baking powder.
- Cream the butter and sugar together.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, making sure the first one is incorporated before adding the next.
- Add the ground almond mixture and combine, then add the extracts.
- Spread into the baked crust and bake at 350°F (180°C) for 20-25 minutes.
- Turn off the heat but leave the tart in the oven for about 10 minutes so it doesn’t sink too fast
- Remove from the oven and cool.
- Top with the cherries. Don’t dump the sauce over or you will get pockets of too much sauce in some areas which will make it very sweet.
- Place the cherries and lightly drizzle some sauce evenly over to soak in if desired.
- Serve with whipped cream if you would like.