Yes it’s cherry season. The beautiful ruby shiny skin is just a tease until you bite into one and you get sweet juiciness. I concurred (yesterday) that cherries are the perfect biteful. Working around the pit doesn’t bother me too much. After all I grew up eating bowlfuls of concord grapes which has way more many seeds and takes a lil bit more tongue work.
Although I am now enthusiastic about this season and thoroughly enjoyed my trek out to the Santa Monica farmer’s market last week, I have been slow to catch onto spring fever. I haven’t cooked seasonally in a while nor have I been on top of cooking out of my cookbooks.
With this teeny guilt I knew I had to turn back to the Sunday Suppers at Lucques cookbook and choose something glorious to remind myself why spring is great and how good it is to live in LA’s weather. For my sometimes m.i.a. sweet tooth I chose the Roman Cherry Tart with Almond Ice Cream.
I’ve been seeing cherries everywhere but just haven’t taken them up in fancy yet. But once I picked up a juicy bag from Marina Farms I was hooked. I refilled my supply of cherries at the farmer’s market and got to making the tart.
The tart shell was as simple as it was delicious, made just with ground toasted almonds, flour and melted butter. And the cherries, plump and juicy, were easy to pit while watching baseball with Boy to pass some of the time. My fingers were left ruby tinged with a trail of fruity stickiness – proof that I had done my job.
The cherries were cooked very lightly for a few minutes in a syrup mixture with half a vanilla bean. Now all I had to do was fill the tart and bake it off. The tart looked simply beautiful. Glazed like a French fruit tart, the shell evenly pressed along the edges. That alone was victory alone for me considering how bad I am with dough and matters baking related.
But that wasn’t the end of it all. Almond Ice Cream was to turn this tart dessert into something really special. The ice cream recipe is superb, creamy, nutty and studded with crunchy roasted almonds. The combination of the cherry tart and almond ice cream was soooo good. The almond flavor of the ice cream echoed in the buttery tart shell and the juicy plump texture of the cherries remained intact.
I confess, I indulged this weekend.