Throughout France, during the month of January, Galettes des Rois (king cakes) take centre stage. These delicious puff pastry, almond filled pies adorn bakery windows. The glorious smell of buttery pastry and almond fills the air and it’s difficult to go home without a king cake or two in hand. However, by the end of the month, the flavours can become a little tiresome and repetitive. That’s where my Rustic Cherry Almond Tart comes in.
My Rustic Cherry Almond Tart, shares many similarities with a Galette des rois. Firstly, it has a buttery puff pastry base and secondly, it has a frangipane filling. Where it differs, however, is with its juicy, cherry filling. If a Galette des Rois and a Cherry Pie where to merge, this would be the result. Crispy pastry, creamy frangipane and juicy cherries, this Rustic Cherry Almond Tart is pretty darn good!
To make this recipe, I used frozen cherries, which I left for a couple of hours to completely defrost. You could use fresh if you prefer. I also used store bought puff pastry. I cannot recommend the puff pastry from G.Detou in Paris enough. It’s handmade and can be bought in large 3kg blocks. I cut mine up and freeze it so that I have good quality puff pastry on hand, year-round.
Rustic Cherry Almond Tart
- 2 sheets of good quality puff pastry
- 1 egg yolk
For the Crème Patissiere
- 125 ml of milk
- A pinch of vanilla seeds
- 3 tsp of sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp of cornflour
For the Almond Filling
- 50 g of butter at room temperature
- 75 g of sugar
- 1 egg
- 100 g of almond meal
- A few drops of almond extract
For the Cherry Filling
- 500 g of frozen cherries pitted and defrosted
- 2 tbsp. of cornflour
- 2 tbsp. of sugar
- A couple of drops of almond extract
- Start by making the crème patissiere. Heat the milk and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium/low heat. While that’s heating, whisk together the egg yolk, cornflour and sugar. Whisk until creamy. When the milk starts to boil, pour it over the egg yolk mixture. Whisk well, then pour it back into the saucepan. Slowly bring to a boil while constantly whisking. Once the mixture starts to bubble, count to 30, then remove from the heat. Pour into a shallow dish and place in the fridge to cool.
- In a large bowl, mix together the butter and sugar. Add the egg, then the almond meal and extract. Add 100g of the crème patissiere made earlier and mix until well combined. Place in the fridge until needed.
- To make the cherry filling, mix together all ingredients.
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Cut 2 large circles, 30cm in diameter, out of the puff pastry. Use a small heart shaped cookie cutter to cut several hearts out of one of the pastry disks.
- Place one layer of pastry on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Spoon the almond mixture into the centre, leaving a 1 inch border clear around the edge. Top with the cherry mixture (discard as much liquid as possible).
- Beat the egg yolk and brush a thin layer around the border. Place the second pastry disk on top and use a fork to seal the two layers together. Brush a thin coat of egg yolk over the tart and bake for 40 minutes.
- Allow to cool slightly before serving.