Simple Sundays | Morello Cherry Almond Tart

I tucked her into bed tonight and told her I was proud of her. As she nestled into her pillow surrounded by her stuffed animals, I had to give her another kiss and hug.

We have been blessed. Our children have been healthy. There are no late night trips to the doctor, allergy scares, or asthma attacks. We have been spared broken bones. So when the school nurse called me on Friday morning to let me know that my daughter got hurt in PE, it seemed like your average injury. Just your run of the mill whack on the head by an overzealous (but definitely brawny) classmate during a hockey game.

But it wasn’t. For some ridiculous reason, the third graders, including my own, were not wearing helmets. And he whacked her. Hard. As I began the drive home, it quickly became apparent that she was not well and it became an awful two days in and out of the ER. My baby had a concussion and was miserable.

My daughter, who teeters into the world of tweenhood, singing to her iPod and fashioning her own clothes, quickly became my baby girl again. And my heart was in pain for her as she grew more uncomfortable. But I was so proud of her, she was a trooper and a strong patient.

It was another one of life’s little reminders: be thankful. Be thankful for the important things. We were lucky. Just as quickly as the brain showed trauma, it began to heal. The CT scan came out normal. Relief washed over all of us.

It’s life’s sour moments that remind us of the sweet ones. When we returned home, it was such a good feeling to see a smile on her face, to hear her ask for soup. I began to cook for her. And as she rested, I started a tart. Pressing the dough into the pan was cathartic, familiar. Later, she wanted to place the morello cherries on top of the creamy mascarpone filling. I let her. She sprinkled the slivers of almond. As we worked on the tart together, the stress of the last two days slowly melted away.

It’s after bedtime. I peeked into her room and tiptoed in. Her favorite stuffed animal that spent the day with us at the hospital was newly washed and warm from the dryer. Baby Baa has been with us for 9 years – her fur is nubby, her nose a faded pink. As I tucked Baby Baa under her arm, I said another silent prayer of thanks. For both the sour and the sweet.


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Morello Cherry Almond Tart

Yield: 1 9-inch tart. Serves 8.

Prep Time: 1 hour (including chilling time)

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

I'll never forget my first taste of sour cherry pie. My face twisted in surprise, and I was not quite sure whether I liked it. It's one of those things that you have to be in the mood for. But I do love a jar of Morello cherries - it is, to me, the ideal cherry for a pie or a tart - dark, rich in tart flavor without being overbearing, and, the best part, it is already pitted. On top of this sweet creamy mascarpone filling, it is a nice balance of sour and sweet.

Ingredients:

Crust
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus 1 tablespoon melted
1 cup sliced almonds
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Filling
8 oz mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1-2 cups Morello cherries, drained
1/4 cup slivered almonds

Directions:

Prepare the tart pan by brushing bottom and edges with melted butter. Set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the sliced almonds with 1 tablespoon sugar until fine. Add the butter and pulse until it becomes a crumble. Add the flour, salt, remaining sugar and almond extract and pulse until it is combined and crumbly.

Press the dough into the tart pan using a dry measuring cup or your fingers and gently push up the sides of the tart pan. Chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the chilled tart crust for about 20 minutes, or until just golden brown. Let it cool completely on a wire rack.

Meantime, make the filling. In a medium bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese with an electric mixer. Beat in the sugar and heavy cream. Let it chill in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes. Spread the chilled filling in the cool tart crust. Top with the cherries and sprinkle the almonds around the edge. Return to the refrigerator to chill until ready to serve.

Gently remove from the tart pan and slice to serve.

Tart crust adapted from Fresh Almond Apricot Tart, The Martha Stewart Living Cookcook, 2000.

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by Liren Baker on May 20, 2012

23 Responses to “Simple Sundays | Morello Cherry Almond Tart”

  1. Brian May 20, 2012 @ 9:24 am (#
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    Yay for cherry season! This tart looks magnificent! And it’s so true: Sweet is never as sweet without the sour.

  2. Mary@siftingfocus.com May 20, 2012 @ 9:39 am (#
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    Liren, so glad your little one is okay. I had tears in my eyes by the end of your post. Both moved by your writing, and relieved that she is fine. And…the tart looks divine! Reading your blog is one of the “sweets” in my day.

  3. Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet } May 20, 2012 @ 10:11 am (#
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    Liren – SO happy that your baby girl is okay and on the way to feeing 100%. I bet with her laying the cherries onto this beautiful tart, you just knew that she was onto the road to feeling better. I agree that we need to cherish each and every moment we have. What a delicious tart you made and I bet everyone enjoyed it. Happy Sunday!!!

  4. Veronica May 20, 2012 @ 12:00 pm (#
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    Really beautiful post. How scary for your family. I’m happy your daughter is well. I love how you turned that experience into an opportunity to share an important reminder. Thankfulness is always important. Recipe looks amazing too.

  5. Holly May 20, 2012 @ 12:25 pm (#
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    So glad your daughter is healing! I had an adult student who’s daughter has a similar experience last year and I just remember the absolute fear on her face as she was rushing out the door.

    Baking can definitely be cathartic. I’ve been feeling that need too…

    This tart looks fabulous. I was going to bake cookies tonight, but I think I might need to wait and buy the ingredients to make this instead.

  6. Laura (Tutti Dolci) May 20, 2012 @ 12:41 pm (#
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    What a beautiful Simple Sunday refection on thankfulness. So happy to hear your daughter is on the mend (I’m sure your delicious cooking is helping to speed the healing :) ). As for the tart, what a stunner! Hope you have a relaxing day with your family, Liren!

  7. Magic of Spice May 20, 2012 @ 12:46 pm (#
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    Oh my goodness, poor thing. That must have been terrifying., I’m so sorry. But very glad that she is OK, they can be so resilient it amazes me at times.
    Your tart is stunning and no doubt equally delicious!

  8. Jennifer (Delicieux) May 20, 2012 @ 1:29 pm (#
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    So glad to hear your daughter is ok. That would have been a nasty scare but she sounds like a real trooper. Such a beautiful post reminding us we should all be thankful for our health.

  9. Oh no! Thank goodness she’s now alright! I feel you, Liren! As a mother myself, I know I’m going to go through these things. I pray that I will have the strength when the time comes. Love your sweet and sour analogy…I think it is YOU who has the makings of a novelist :) And oh, this tart looks soooooo good! I love the cherry and almond combination!

  10. Rowena @ Apron and Sneakers May 20, 2012 @ 2:28 pm (#
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    Oh dear! I already feel devastated for you! I’m glad that she’s fine and healing. That’s really a relief. The tart is so beautiful that I want to reach out to the screen and eat it.

  11. Priscilla - She's Cookin' May 20, 2012 @ 4:06 pm (#
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    I relived all the pain and joy of motherhood once again, Liren. So glad that your daughter is going to be OK – what an awful experience for both of you. Nothing is more comforting than a mother’s love – even when you’re 20 :) Lovely post, and pie!

  12. Sandra's Easy Cooking May 20, 2012 @ 7:18 pm (#
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    Oh Liren, I can imagine the moment you saw her! I have goose bums just by reading, but I am so glad that your baby girl is alright!
    Delicious tart, as always beautiful photos!!!!

  13. Nami | Just One Cookbook May 21, 2012 @ 12:58 am (#
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    I’m so glad she’s okay. You’re right, I can’t believe they were not required to wear a helmet! I easily worry about my kids so I can’t imagine what you and your family went through. When do we get to relax and not to worry about kids… I guess it’s a part of parenting. Hope she’s doing well. This is a very delicious looking tart!

  14. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen May 21, 2012 @ 4:45 am (#
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    I’m glad to hear your baby is okay, what a relief that must be. I hope she’s back to %100 very soon. It’s amazing how resilient kids can be.

  15. angela@spinachtiger May 21, 2012 @ 5:43 am (#
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    I’m pretty sure I just saw this on pinterest and thought how gorgeous.

  16. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts May 21, 2012 @ 6:39 am (#
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    Oh my, I am so glad your daughter is ok. How scary!!! My 7 year old is very cautious, and safe. We have never had any real injuries. I am so worried for the day we get a call like this.
    Glad you could work together on this tart.

  17. Judy@Savoring Today May 21, 2012 @ 7:11 am (#
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    Oh my, a concussion is serious stuff! I am so relieved to hear she is doing okay. Do keep an eye on her, it can take some time for the brain to “settle” and cognitive processes to return to normal after a blow like that. Our niece has been dealing with that this spring after an incident during a soccer game. So glad you got her to the doctor like you did!
    I am sure your soup and tart brought her great comfort, special she could help finish it with you. :)

  18. Jean May 21, 2012 @ 8:17 am (#
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    Oh, Liren. I’m so glad to hear your little one is okay. I’m such a worry wart even w/out kids I can only imagine what it must have been like for you. So happy she’s okay.

    Love the almond infusion in this beautiful tart–and of course the cherries. It’s just gorgeous!

  19. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes May 21, 2012 @ 8:55 am (#
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    Such a beautiful post! You and your daughter baking together after the scare had passed is a warm image. You cherry tart is yummy and your heartfelt post a sweet thing to read.

  20. Patty May 22, 2012 @ 10:08 am (#
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    Nothing scarier than a concussion, my son had one from PE in the 6th grade and he was taken to the hospital by ambulance. What a nightmare but happily, like your daughter his brain healed and he was okay. Your tart is beautiful and the perfect project for both of your healing after such a traumatic event.

  21. liren May 25, 2012 @ 11:22 am (#
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    I just wanted to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone for their thoughts and kind messages – that really meant so much to me, and my daughter (you know she does read my blog!). I am so happy to say that each day is better and better and she has recovered wonderfully. Thank you again.

  22. Krista May 27, 2012 @ 7:30 pm (#
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    It is so tough when they don’t feel good. I am so incredibly happy that everything came out clear! Beautiful tart. What a wonderful celebration of health and seasonal fruit.

  23. Joy June 5, 2012 @ 3:42 pm (#
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    )

    The tart looks delish.

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