Summertime is in full swing and with it comes delightful stone fruits. As my tastes have changed throughout my life, I have grown to truly love cherries. A symbol of summer, cherries are firm, plump, juicy fruits with gorgeous colors and a delicate elegance. From classic red Bings to yellow-tinted Raniers, what could make a better centerpiece for your Fourth of July picnic than a Summer Cherry Tart?
- 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 6 ounces sugar
- Teaspoon salt
- Juice of one large orange
- Zest of one orange
- Tablespoon butter
- 1 vanilla bean cut and scraped
- 2 ounces amaretto optional
- 2 pounds pitted fresh cherries
- Pre-baked tart shell
Pit and cut the cherries in half, reserve in their own juices.
Separately, combine everything but the cherries in a pot and cook, stirring frequently, to a boil. Reduce to medium high heat and cook until a thick creamy paste forms.
Remove from heat, strain, and stir in the cherries.
Ensure the paste is hot so as to gently cook the cherries.
Allow to cool in the pot until just above room temperature, stirring occasionally to coat the cherries evenly.
Fill your prepared tart shell and bake at 450F until the crust is completely baked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely prior to serving.
Alternatively, top with almond streusel prior to final baking for added crunch. If you choose black cherries you will want to add sugar to accommodate their strong flavor. Any remaining cherry filling can easily be blended into a cherry preserve or incorporated into a fresh cherry buttercream.