Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Cherry Creme-Fraiche Tart

It looked so delicious. And so easy. Hardly any ingredients in the custard filling, and the promise of that cookie-crust was very alluring. My track record when it comes to pie crusts and tarts had been pretty good until now. So I didn't hesitate at all when I decided to make this tart. With it's high sides and the ruby red cherries playing peek-a-boo, it was a no-brainer.

I was not prepared for the drama that would follow. I know, you're probably starting to get a little tense right now right now, "Oh no! Did it turn out? Is everything OK??". *deep breath* Everything turned out fine, but... *heavy sigh* ... I almost didn't make it. There were two very distinct moments where I almost threw in the tea-towel and threw out that tart. I'm sure, had someone else been there with me, the epic battle of wills would have shown clearly on my face. It's not worth it! Get it out of here and move on! Try something new - it's for your own good! No, I can't... "no man gets left behind", remember? I will not give up! COME ON soldier, fight!
 You may think I've gone on a tangent and maybe I'm talking about a movie now, but no. Those were the real thoughts rolling around in my mind.

Anyway, to dial down the crazy a little, the tart came out beautifully in the end, though not until I took that first bite was I convinced it would be any good. Follow the captions below to read the story, and despite my errors you really should try to make it. It's very much worth it. It's from Laura Calder's French Taste book. It can be found here. (Looks pretty different, hey?)

The crust was really tricky. It was basically a shortbread, and for some reason it just refused to roll out into one circle. I had to push it into the pan in pieces, fearing that when it came time to cut the dang thing it would crack and crumble like the walls of Jericho.

I had wanted to make a high sided tart for so long. I then realized I was going to need a BUTT LOAD of beans if I was going to keep this thing from collapsing while the crust baked.

The tart took twice as long in the oven as it was supposed to, hence the burnt crust. The first time I checked it and realized it wasn't even close to setting, I almost quit again.

BUT I didn't give up and when it had finally set and cooled I broke off the burnt bits and it actually gave the tart a very rustic feel!

Look at those gorgeous cherries peeking out!

I couldn't find regular creme fraiche, just a lemon one, but that turned out to be much better in the end! I would do it that way again next time.


  1. Very impressed with your stick-to-itness, and seeing the creativity for breaking off the burnt parts... it looks great! Was it good? I didn't get a sample :(

  2. If you ever need creme fraiche, you can make it yourself :) Mix 1/3 buttermilk with 2/3 whip cream and let it sit on your counter, covered with a cloth for to days. It will turn into creme fraiche!

    Ok, and that tart looks amazing.

  3. Or just use whipped cream...HELLO?! :)