My dad had a cherry tree that was speckled with juicy tart cherries, with that came his hankering for a cherry pie. I didn’t get quite enough cherries to make him a pie so I decided to make this tart instead. This particular tart has all the great features of a pie but takes less cherries and lot less time to prepare making it great for a week night baking adventure.
I have learned a very valuable lesson while making this tart. I will never ever attempt to make another cherry dessert without a cherry pitter! Even though using a paperclip does the trick , it takes forever and is quite messy. A cherry pitter is now on my wish list.
Cherry-Almond Streusel Tart
Pastry Crust Ingredients
1 cup AP flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon shortening
2 to 3 tablespoons cold water
Cherry Filling Ingredients
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
4 cups fresh tart cherries, pitted or frozen pitted tart cherries, thawed
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
Streusel Topping Ingredients
1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon slivered almonds
2 tablespoons cold butter
For the crust – Mix flour, sugar, and salt in medium bowl. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost leaves side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary). Gather pastry into a ball. Shape into flattened round on lightly floured surface. Wrap flattened round of pastry in plastic wrap and freeze about 20 minutes or until dough is firm and cold, yet pliable. Once chilled, press the pastry onto the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9-in. fluted tart pan with removable bottom; trim edges.
For the cherry filling – In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Stir in cherries; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in extract. Pour into prepared crust.
For the streusel topping – Combine the oats, flour, brown sugar and almonds. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over filling.
Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
Yield: 8 servings.