Every year I plan at least one dessert around the advent of Rainier cherries. These golden yellow and blush cherries are sweeter than regular cherries, they have a shorter season, and are more delicate, so they’re a rare find in the marketplace. The story goes that a big percentage of the crop gets eaten by birds every year. Lucky birds. If you spot some, this frangipane tart is a good way to showcase their pale color and juicy sweetness, and almond and cherries just go together so well.
Frangipane is a luscious French pastry filling made with almond flour. It can be a gluten free dessert if you use a gluten free pie crust to line the pan. What’s wonderful about it, besides the heavenly almond scent and fluffy texture, is that it’s incredibly easy to make. It’s super chic but in an I just threw it together sort of way. Isn’t that so French.
I lined my tart pan with a basic pie crust dough, and then spread the luscious almond filling inside. I pitted and halved the large cherries and arranged the halves on top. As the tart bakes the filling puffs up around the cherries. It’s beautiful.
I used my 9 inch tart pan with the removable bottom so I could neatly slice the tart. It’s not overly rich, or overly large, you’ll get 6 to 8 pieces and it works for breakfast, coffee breaks, or full on dessert. I used (shhhh!) a pre-made pic crust, and the filling is utterly simple, just a stick of butter, 1/2 cup of sugar, a cup of almond flour and an egg. Almond extract brings the whole thing alive, and the texture is fluffy and wonderful. Another great thing is that you can use so many different fruits for the topping. The classic is pears, but apples, berries, stone fruit, etc. can be used.
- pie crust to line a 9inch tart pan
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 Tbsp all purpose flour (or use more almond flour for gluten free)
- approximately 30-40 cherries, pitted and halved
- Set oven to 375F
- Line the 9 inch tart pan or pie plate with the crust. Put in the refrigerator while you continue.
- Cream the butter and the sugar until fluffy.
- Beat in the egg, and then mix in the flours and almond extract.
- Spread the mixture into the pie shell and top with the cherry halves, laying them face down across the entire surface of the tart.
- Bake for about 35-40 minutes until golden and firm to the touch.