by Taryn Heubner
It’s early Sunday morning and I’m sipping a strong cup of La Colombe coffee, pondering how this day might unfold. I’m torn between lying under the covers another hour (or three) or puttering into the kitchen and putting these newly acquired cherries to use.
Both our Edgewater Farmers Market on Saturdays and the Andersonville Market on Wednesdays are havens for finding beautiful, local produce. I lucked out with these cerise beauties. And I’d give anything to re-create the tarts I found at a patisserie in Paris.
Crisp, slightly sweet pastry, studded with bits of crunchy raw sugar and stuffed with ruby red Bing cherries. I tasted them immediately after walking out of the shop and remember how juice dripped right down my chin, staining it red.
My usually highly self-conscious person just stood on the street, laughing aloud, licking my fingers, trying to savor every last crumb. Yes, this is what I want this morning! Sweet nostalgia and a bit of sugar addiction catapults me into the kitchen this morning.
Here’s how to do it.
– 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
– 1/2 cup of cornmeal
– 1/4 cup granulated sugar
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1 ½ sticks (6 ounces) COLD butter, cut into small pieces
– 1/2 cup ice water
– 3 pounds fresh cherries, pitted
– 2 teaspoons of cornstarch
– For glaze, 1 tablespoon melted butter
– 2 tbs of sugar in the raw
(freshly-whipped cream if desired)
In a bowl, mix flour, cornmeal and 1 tablespoon of the sugar and the salt. Add the cold butter and, working quickly, incorporate with your fingers until you have tiny pebbles of butter left – the mixture should feel like lumpy wet sand. Add the water and mix just until the dough begins to come together.
Gather up the dough and transfer it to a lightly floured surface. Knead briefly until it forms a smooth mass.
Pat the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling out.
(You can do the steps above a few days ahead of time so it’s ready to go when you get back from the market!)
Preheat the oven to 400°. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 15-inch round; transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Mix the cherries with 2 tablespoons of sugar and the cornstarch. Arrange the cherries in a bit of a mound on top of the dough, leaving a rim around the outside. Fold the edge of the dough up and over the fruit.
Brush the melted butter over the pastry and sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of raw sugar over the whole edge of the crust.
Bake 40 minutes, or until the crostata is golden brown and bubbly in the middle. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes. (If you can stand the wait!)
Top with a little freshly whipped cream if you like. Enjoy!