Cherry–Pistachio Tart, or Paris is Bursting with Cherries
I love cherries. So, so much. Not in cherry pops or cherry-flavored gum, but the fresh, tart-and-sweet-at-the-same-time globes that burst in my mouth, leaving reddish stains and pits that I suck on until there’s nothing left.
In June, Paris’ markets burst with cherries, piles so high that I just want to lay my head down on them and never move again. When the stand owners display them next to the asparagus or the apricots, they look even more vibrant, like precious stones shining in the sun. What a shame that cherry season is so short.
Once cherry season hits the City of Light, cherries appear in all the bakeries and pastry shops, too—the magnificent clafoutis at the boulangeries and cherry tarts at the patisseries.
One of the best matches for cherries, in my opinion, is pistachio. The two make for a winning combination in terms of both color—the cherry’s deep burgundy with the pistachio’s light green—and taste—the pistachio’s rich nuttiness with the cherry’s simultaneous sweetness and tartness.
Here’s a recipe for a fantastic and not-too-complicated tart that’s filled with almond cream studded with fresh cherries and topped with white chocolate and pistachio ganache, more fresh cherries, and basil leaves for garnish. By the way, this tart is perfect without the ganache and the garnish, too—it’s slightly less festive looking, but the flavors and textures are just as divine.
Cherry Tart with White Chocolate–Pistachio Ganache
Makes a 20-cm tart
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry (Pâte sucrée):
170 grams flour
100 grams cold butter, cubed
20 grams almond meal
60 grams confectioner’s sugar
2 grams salt
30 grams egg (about half an egg), beaten
90 grams butter, softened
90 grams superfine sugar
90 grams almond meal
55 grams eggs (1 medium egg)
10 grams rum
About 300 grams cherries, pitted and halved
White Chocolate–Pistachio Ganache
250 milliliters heavy whipping cream
200 grams white chocolate, chopped
About 20 grams pistachio paste or more
10 whole cherries
Small basil leaves
1. Put the flour and butter in a medium bowl. Using your fingers or a pastry blender, mix the butter into the flour until you have a coarse, sand-like meal (sablage).
2. Add the almond meal and confectioner’s sugar, and mix.
3. In a small bowl, beat the egg and the salt. Pour into the flour mixture, and knead it until it comes together as a smooth ball of dough (try to knead as little as possible). Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
4. Roll out the dough to a thickness of 2 mm.
5. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay the dough in the ring on the lined baking sheet. Press the dough in and trim the overhanging edges using a knife. Gently poke the dough with a fork or make small cuts with a knife to prevent the crust from rising.
6. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
7. Beat the butter, sugar, and almond meal with a whisk or mixer. Add the egg and rum and stir together with a spatula (do not beat).
8. Once the crust is cool, pour in the almond cream (you’ll have a thick layer).
9. Lay the halved cherries cut-side down on top of the almond cream, arranging them so that every slice gets a bite of cherries. There’s no need to push them down—the cream will envelop them as it bakes.
10. Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated 170-degrees-Celsius oven. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
White Chocolate–Pistachio Ganache:
11. Heat the cream in a small pot until almost boiling.
12. Put the white chocolate in a bowl, and pour the hot cream over it. Let it sit for a few seconds, then stir gently until well combined into smooth ganache.
13. Add pistachio paste gradually until the ganache turns a light green (as green as you want it to be). Mix until smooth, preferably using an immersion blender. Refrigerate overnight.
Assembling the Tart
14. Whip the ganache until firm peaks form. Be careful not to overbeat so the ganache doesn’t split.
15. Transfer the whipped ganache to a pastry bag with your preferred tip (I used a wide serrated pastry tip). Pipe the ganache over the tart. Refrigerate the tart for 2 hours.
16. Decorate with whole cherries (Warn your guests about the pits!), sprinkle with small basil leaves, and serve.