Lately it feels like I’ve lit both sides of my candle and they’re burning quickly toward the middle in the best way possible. Working in another country and another language makes me feel like I have two lives. I’m taken by the vertigo of it all and longing for my kitchen and all that represents home at the same time. In Mexico you cannot separate the landscape from the food and history. It’s sensory overload, abundance and wonder and while I’m indulging every minute with work and play, I’m aching to bring my thoughts back to their basic common denominator, shut off all my devices and find myself at rest, where happiness and identity is contingent upon small present realities like the sun burning out in the sky, the moonlight reflecting over water, waking up to the birds’ songs. That is what inspired this tart. The longing for simplicity and dreaming of straightforward, seasonal delights. This tart is a simple luxury and a time saver. If it were any easier it would be illegal (like the photos that I took in Frida Kahlo’s kitchen below).
Cherries have become a thing for me. I just love them. All year I long for cherry season. Cherries and churros can turn a “meh” day into a celebration. Very few things can turn a day around like one of those can. A simple range of players comprise the base of this tart. A sizable handful of cherries lays upon a bed of sweet dough like it’s a grand recliner. The pistachios are nestled right into the dough and then sprinkled on top. It’s a light and tart combo that’s a killer. I got the dough recipe from Darya, on her beautiful blog Tortore. If you don’t follow Darya, it’s a high recommendation. She cooks the way I always imagined I should. Here, I adapted the theme and created my own variation. I eliminated steps and made the dough even easier. The recipe contains nothing but the dough, cherries and pistachios. No almond cream base, no pre-baking, nothing. The result will be beautiful and sturdy even if you don’t bother arranging things perfectly. This is not just a kitchen goal, but a life goal. It’s really a win win, but you sacrifice nothing in flavor. The dough and nuts highlight the cherries perfectly. This is a tart to bring outside and share over a blanket while the sun beams over you and the wine flows. I made it while packing for Mexico. That easy.
I’m doing well down here and can’t wait to get home at the same time. Below are some photos from my nights out after long days, while I take advantage of everything this beautiful place has to offer. Happy hump day. Make this tart while you do your chores! Buen provecho!
CHERRY PISTACHIO TART
Inspired by the lovely Darya from Tortore
For The Sweet Dough:
- 200 gr. cake flour (8 oz) (if you don’t have cake flour, use all purpose flour. Remove 2 tablespoons of the all purpose flour and replace them with cornflour/cornstarch)
- 80 gr. (2.8 oz) icing sugar/powdered sugar, sifted
- 25 gr. (0.8 oz) chopped pistachios
- A pinch of salt
- 120 gr. cold unsalted butter, diced (4.2 oz)
- 1 egg, beaten
For The Cherry Garnish:
- 3/4 lb cherries, washed, and cut into halves
- 3 Tbsp sugar + 2 tsp for sprinkling in the end
- 4 Tbsp chopped pistachios
For The Sweet Dough:
This can be made up to a few days in advance or as little as an hour before.
In a bowl, stir together the flour, sifted icing sugar, ground pistachios, and pinch of salt. Add the cold butter, and rub it into the flour, until there are no large pieces of butter left. Add the beaten egg, and press the dough together without kneading it, until it comes together in a rough dough (kneading would cause the dough to retract when cooking). Flatted the ball into a disc, wrap it in cling film, and place in the refrigerator overnight (or for at least an hour).
The next day or an hour later, roll out the dough on a well-floured surface. Cut it into a disc the size of the tart pan and press the dough into the mold with your fingers, making sure there is no air left underneath. Prick the dough with a fork, and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
For The Cherries:
Preheat the oven at 180°C (355°F). Arrange the cherry halves snugly on the pie crust, making sure not to leave much space in between pieces. Bake for about 50 minutes, remove from the oven, and immediately sprinkle with a little sugar (optional, but it helps to bring out the flavor of the fruit) and a handful of chopped pistachios. Let the tart cool and eat either warm or at room temperature.