Cherry Lemon Tea Time Tart
by eat in my kitchen
I had a passionate discussion about ‘the best cherries’ with the owner of a vegetable shop in my neighborhood. He’s a kind and very hard working guy from Turkey who never seems to sleep. No matter what time I pass by his shop, the young man is always busy as a bee and he helped me out so many times when I needed a certain fruit or vegetable for a photo shoot that wasn’t in season. Calling his buddies from all over, he makes the impossible possible. He managed to bring red currants to my kitchen when everyone else laughed at me when I asked for the little berries weeks before their season. He always finds someone in Spain, Greece, or Turkey to make me happy and my photo shoot work. My private cooking follows the season but unfortunately, editorial schedules don’t.
So last week he told me that he has very good cherries at the moment, he praised their glossy beauty, but also their outstanding taste. He went even further and said that they are better than German cherries, which, in all respect, is quite a strong statement. In my eyes, I had the best cherries of my life in my granny Lisa’s garden and I don’t think that anything in the world is ever going to change that. Those fruits were not only packed with juices and flavour, but also with the most precious memories. And this is something I love about summer fruits. Take strawberries, blackberries, red or black currants, or cherries, almost everybody, at least in the northern hemisphere, seems to have childhood memories connected not only to these fruits but also to picking and eating them. And this is priceless, and also in a very beautiful way saved for a lifetime. For my vegetable man from Turkey, the Turkish cherries will always be the sweetest and juiciest and I understand why this is how he feels, and for me, the crop from Lisa’s garden used to beat every cherry in the world, because it was her tree – and I miss it.
When I tried my friends fruits at the shop, I had to admit that they were really good. So I bought a huge bag full of them, went straight home, and baked a cherry lemon tart. It’s a tea time classic in my kitchen and the sweet and sour filling can easily take a little summer-makeover – the cherries make it a bit sweeter and juicier. Next time I’ll make it with red currants, but they’ll have to be in season where I live.
Cherry Lemon Tart
For the pastry
flour 200g / 1 1/2 cups
granulated sugar 65g / 1/3 cup
a pinch of salt
butter, cold, 110g / 1/2 cup
organic egg yolks 2
For the lemon filling
organic eggs 2
organic egg yolks 2
heavy cream 100ml / 1/3 cup and 2 tablespoons
crème fraîche or sour cream 3 tablespoons
granulated sugar 100g / 1/2 cup, plus 1-2 teaspoons for the topping
a pinch of salt
ground cardamom 1/4 teaspoon
freshly squeezed lemon juice 3 tablespoons
lemon zest 2 1/2 tablespoons, plus 1-2 teaspoons for the topping
cherries, with their pits, 20 (plus a few cherries for decoration, optional)
For the pastry, combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add the butter and use a knife to cut it into the flour until there are just small pieces left. Quickly rub the butter into the flour with your fingers until combined. Add the egg yolks, set the mixer to medium speed, and mix until crumbly. Form the dough into a thick disc, wrap it in plastic wrap, and freeze for 12 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F (conventional setting).
Roll the dough out between cling film and line a 23cm / 9″ tart pan (preferably loose-bottom) with the pastry. Prick with a fork and bake for about 10-12 minutes or until golden and crisp. Take the pan out of the oven and set aside.
Turn the oven down to 180°C / 350°F.
For the filling, in a large bowl, beat the eggs, egg yolks, heavy cream, crème fraîche, sugar, salt, and cardamom for about 2 minutes until well combined. Stir in the lemon juice and zest and mix well. Pour the lemon filling on top of the pre-baked pastry, spread the cherries in the filling, and carefully transfer the tart pan back to the oven. Sprinkle with a little sugar and bake for about 40 minutes or until set.
Let the tart cool for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with a little lemon zest and decorate with the remaining cherries (optional). Serve warm or cold.