amarena cherry brûlée tart

Greetings! Once the beginning of February rolls around, I often look for Valentine’s Day dessert ideas. This recipe was based on a similar dessert that uses raspberries instead of Amarena cherries, from a book called Tarts: The art of baking irresistible sweet and savory pastries, by Maggie Mayhew, which was published 2002.

The crust was a little tricky for me. You may want to save some dough scraps for repairing any holes or cracks on the crust before adding the custard. That’s what I did, but some custard still managed to seep under the crust, but I was still able to fix it by scraping some of the custard off. I just used a cup of Amarena cherries so I wasn’t about to let this tart go to waste! It could’ve been a lot worse. It was a little bit of a pain, but so worth it in the end.

If you’ve not had Amarena cherries before, it will be hard to go back to regular cherries. Trust me, you will impress with this dessert!

amarena cherry brûlée tart

ingredients

1 and 1/4 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting

pinch of salt

1/4 cup confectioners sugar

3 ounces unsalted butter

2 egg yolks

finely grated rind of one orange

1 Tablespoon egg white

1 and 3/4 cup heavy cream 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 whole egg

3 egg yolks

2 Tablespoons sugar

1 cup amarena cherries in syrup, drained

5 Tablespoons confectioners sugar

method

To make the pastry, combine the flour, salt, and confectioners sugar into a bowl and stir with a whisk several times. 

Using fingertips, rub in the cubes of cold unsalted butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Mix together the orange zest with the egg yolks, then add to the flour mixture and mix until a soft dough starts to form. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and knead only for about 5 seconds until smooth. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Roll out the cooled pastry dough to about a 13-inch circle. Use it to line a 9-inch fluted flan tin that has been greased with butter. Wrap again in plastic and chill again for 30 minutes. Reserve any leftover dough in plastic in the refrigerator in case you need to repair any holes.

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

Prick the base of the pastry with a fork all over the bottom several times and line with parchment paper and baking beans. Bake for about 10 minutes, then remove the parchment paper with the baking beans and inspect for any holes, using the leftover dough scraps to repair any holes you find. Place back in oven to bake for about 5 minutes more.

Remove from oven and lightly brush the entire surface of the pastry with egg white, then return to the oven for another 3-4 minutes, then remove and set aside.

Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

For custard, place the cream and the extracts into a small saucepan and bring to a boil under medium heat. 

In a large bowl, place the egg, egg yolks, and sugar and whisk until pale, then slowly pour in the hot cream while continuing to whisk, until incorporated.

Arrange the cherries spread out evenly over the pastry. Pour the custard mixture over them then bake for about 20 minutes until just set. Set on a wire rack to cool, then chill in a refrigerator for at least 4 hours to overnight. 

After sufficiently chilled, for the brulle topping, sprinkle 5 Tablespoons of confectioners sugar over the surface of the tart and use a blowtorch to heat the surface until it turns golden brown. Alternatively, you can place the tart under the broil setting of the oven for about a minute. After bruleed, chill again for about 10-15 minutes before serving.

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