I am teaching (I use this term loosely) myself how to knit. Ah, the wonderful joy and frustration of
blindly finding your way in a new skill. I have a very hard time being a beginner and I mostly attribute
this to the Ira Glass quote about creative folk - that we have good taste, but when you are a beginner
your skills aren't producing your level of taste, thus leading to frustration and for many the end of the creative pursuit.
Not me though, I guess I rather enjoy some good old self-loathing. My initial take aways are that we should
all be damn grateful for every sweater or knitted item we own and what is up with the knitting patterns - apparently
for most of the instructions you need to be a cryptographer. Deciphering the codes and instructions of the patterns have
by far been the biggest challenge for me, but I will not be deterred (bless youtube). Luckily, I found a very simple
pattern for these vintage pixie knit hats for kiddos that I am slightly obsessed with. They are so cute (in a European, elfin way)
and I think I have a few more years before Hen is cognizant of his attire and/or he could possibly be a victim of ridicule
for wearing such a thing (muhahah).
Now let's get to the tart. As simple as this recipe is, I experimented with it for a little while to fine tune and to
practice an exercise from one of my pastry textbooks for pate sucree. For the frangipane, I attempted a few methods for making my own almond paste,
but in the end I preferred the store-bought version based on the difference in consistencies and heck it IS easier - so win, win.
Pear are the traditional frangipane accompaniment, but for me I am not sure how you can beat
the marriage of almond and cherry. Also, frangipane is very sweet, so I enjoy a little tartness for balance. This may be my new favorite way to welcome
summer (and cherry season).
Rainier Cherry Frangipane Tart
Recipe for easy cherry frangipane and pate sucree tart crust By Marysmaking
For Pate Sucree
- 7 T unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/8 t salt
- 1/2 t lemon zest
- 1/2 t vanilla
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1.5 cups pastry flour, spooned into measuring cup
- 4 oz almond paste
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1/3 pastry or cake flour
- 1 egg
- About 1.5 cups pitted whole Rainier cherries (or cherry of choice)
For Pate Sucree
Beat butter, powdered sugar, salt, lemon and vanilla together until smooth and pale in color.
Add egg and mix in fully.
With a spatula, gently mix in flour until just incorporated (don't overmix).
Form dough with hands into round disk, cover in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.
Remove dough from fridge, let rest about 15 minutes, then roll out and gently place over tart pan.
Be sure not to stretch the dough and gently press along sides and bend over dough over edges, then using rolling pin, roll across to
cut edges (see photo below).
Place tart pan with dough back in fridge for 30 minutes and preheat oven to 375.
Remove tart shell from fridge, cover with parchment and place pie weights (I use dry beans) in center to weigh down parchment and prevent
the dough from puffing up.
Bake for 15 minutes, remove from oven and let cool.
Beat almond paste and sugar until completely combined, then beat in butter and flour.
Add egg and beat until smooth.
Pour frangipane into tart shell and then press cherries evenly throughout the frangipane.
Bake tart for about 45 minutes or tester is clean.
A pie ring that guards the crust on the second bake helps the crust not get overly brown.