...don't take it serious,
They say one must ask a child if he wants to know how cherries really taste. Probably because these mid-summer berries themselves are nothing else but a sweet childhood frequently prized with a naughty sourish refrain. One bite - and here you have a beautiful sunny afternoon with a couple of small barefooted rascals frisking in the yard. Near by, there is a luscious joy, glossy happiness and big radiant smiles reflected in every single raindrop lingering around that fragrant air. Another bite - another wicked laughter erupting in the pace of cherry pits that have been spitted out from still a few teeth missing mouth. And yet naive delight illuminating the whole thoughtless childhood ever since.
I love cherries. Black, Rainier or Sweetheart (which are leading as the sweetest) - I frequently savor them right from the shopping bag while strolling home after another prolonged visit to the the farmer's market. Usually, in this occasion, I am very lucky if there is at least half of the purchased berries ending up on my kitchen counter that could afterwards become a late evening snack or an early breakfast accompaniment.
While the simple sour or Morello cherries are treated in an absolutely different way. Being not that comfortable to eat, they are more often than not submitted to the liable custody of summer-infused pie or jam that is about to become one of the few refreshments during another long and melancholic winter.
About the jam - the next time. Now it's a tart time. Tart that is very simple, truly unsophisticated, rather modest, but quite expressive in flavor. First time it ended up on my dessert table three years ago, and since there there was no summer, no cherry season as well as no berry feast without it. Somehow it's worth being repeated.
But even if cherries are not the most welcomed flavor of yours, this tart can still be made. Just substitute cherries with anything else you have on hand - blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, nectarines, peaches, plums, apples, pears... well, you know, anything! The only thing that should be considered, at this point, is sweetness - if fruits are relatively sweet, use less of the additional sweetening, that is sugar, cause fruits will do their job perfectly fine by themselves. Besides, I'm almost sure that you'll be eating the tart with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream which is also a fine doze of sweetness.
adapted from Virtuvė (No. 5, 2009)
2 cups (250 g) all purpose flour
4 oz / 1 stick(100 g) butter, chilled thoroughly
1 egg yolk
2 oz (50 g) sour cream
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 lb (500 g) cherries, pitted
1/4 cup (50 g) brown sugar
1 Tbsp corn starch
3 1/2 Tbsp (50 ml) cherry liqueur, wine, or juice
Mix flour with baking powder. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Whisk together egg yolk and sour cream. Then mix in the flour to make a smooth dough. Using your hands, form a ball and refrigerate for 30 minutes (not more, because the dough will become too hard to roll).
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix cherries, sugar, starch and liqueur.
Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C) temperature.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the chilled dough to approximately 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out the circle a little bit bigger than the size of the tart pan. Transfer into the pan, prick all over with fork, and bake for 15 minutes until slightly brown.
Take out from the oven, spread the cherry filling on top , and continue baking for another 15-20 minutes.