After a brief hiatus, we are back with yet another recipe for something sweet… and something tart… and something rich. All in one. The beginnings of this recipe were conceived when Marc brought home two very random ingredients, a jar of Morello cherries and a tube of almond paste. These two things sat in our pantry for over two months as we contemplate how to use them.
Then one day I found this recipe for a fig tart, and then this one for a pear and cherry tart. The wheels started to turn and we starting thinking about making some type of cherry and almond tart. However, that idea was soon shelved because we a) don’t have a good recipe for a tart crust and b) we don’t own a tart pan.
Then Marc had a brainstorm… we could make the go-to sour cream pastry dough that we have used with great success for previous galettes. We decided to spread the dough with the almond paste mixed with a little flour, sugar, butter, and eggs. We topped the almond mixture with the drained cherries, folded the dough over and baked it until the dough was browned, the almond mixture was puffed, and the cherries were bubbling.
This galette is a mix of sweet and sour, rich and fruity. The almond paste is sweet, the cherries are tart and fruity, the pastry is rich and buttery. Together, they make for a complex dessert that is sure to impress your guests. Make sure to save the juice you drain from the cherries. We reduced it until it was thick and syrupy and drizzled it over the finished galette.
Cherry Almond Galette
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup frozen unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup ice water
6 ounces almond paste
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp almond meal (you can substitute with all-purpose flour)
3 ounces butter (salted or unsalted) cubed at room temperature
1 large egg plus 1 egg white at room temperature
1 27.4 ounce jar Dark Morello Cherries in Light Syrup (Trader Joe’s sells these, if you can’t find them, you need about 12 ounces of sour cherries), drained with syrup reserved
2 tbls heavy cream
1 tbls granulated sugar
softly whipped heavy cream (optional)
Put the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and, using a pastry blender, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal. In another bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice, and water and add half of this mixture to the flour mixture. With your finger tips, mix in the liquid until large lumps form. Remove the lumps and repeat the process with the remaining liquid and flour-butter mixture. Pat all the lumps into a ball; do not overwork the dough. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Using a mixer, beat the almond paste, flour, and sugar until crumbly. Gradually beat in the butter, until smooth, and then beat in the egg and the egg white.
Lightly flour a pastry board or other work surface. Roll out the dough into a rough circle about 12 inches in diameter and about 1/4 inch thick. This does not need to be perfect, part of the charm of galettes is that they are rustic.
Spread the almond mixture on to the pastry, leaving a 2 inch border. Place the drained cherries on the almond mixture. Fold dough border over the cherries and almond mixture, pleating as necessary. The center will be open. Brush the exposed edges of the dough with the cream and sprinkle with the sugar. Bake on a lightly greased baking sheet for 35-45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the cherries are bubbly. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Remove to a cutting board.
While the galette is cooking, pour the reserved cherry syrup into a small saucepan. Set the heat to medium-high and boil until the liquid is reduced by 3/4 and is syrupy. Watch it closely as it gets to the end as it can go from syrupy to burned pretty quickly.
Cut the galette into wedges. Serve topped with softly whipped cream and drizzled with the cherry syrup. Serves 8.