When I first started blogging, I did not have a clue on how this blog would shape up. All I knew was that I loved baking and I wanted to have my little corner where I could share my experiences, as I experimented and expanded my baking repertoire. I wondered, at first, on how I would decide which recipe to tackle and worried that I would overload on chocolate-centric recipes. After all, I came into this blog with one chocolate cake, one chocolate brownie and one chocolate-chip cookie recipe in my baking kitty!
And what a revelation it has been .... apart from the baking experience, I just did not anticipate how much I would enjoy weaving these little stories around my baking, whether it be with my writing or with the photographs that would accompany them. I've amazed myself as I've found inspiration for my posts from food memories, places, books and the seasons.
I found myself repeatedly turning to the fruit in season for inspiration and searching for recipes that incorporated them. I suspect that has much to do with the changes that I have brought about in my own diet over the past few years, to increase my intake of fresh and seasonal produce, which brings me to today's post.
We are right now in the middle of stone fruit season which occupies a tiny space in India's fruit calendar. Much of India lies in the tropics, except for a few northern states that have the climate to grow these fruits. So when the plums, peaches and cherries make their annual appearance in the fruit market, you have to move fast or the season will just pass you by!!
The cherries from Kashmir, our northernmost state, have arrived and I knew I had to make something with them. I zeroed in on these tarts. Time and again, I have come across various frangipane tarts that have fruits in them and these juicy, deep red cherries called out to me!!
These tarts start off with a short crust base with a frangipane filling, which is essentially a mix of almond meal, vanilla, eggs and sugar. They are then topped of with pitted cherries which get immersed in the filling as these tarts bake!!
Before I go on to tell you how these tarts tasted, can I just to tell you that these tarts looked beautiful and dainty. They had me captivated the moment I pulled them out of the oven, with the dark cherries peeking out of the puffed-up golden brown filling, .
And they did not disappoint on the taste front either. The pastry was the same one I used for these galettes, a tried and tested one, that produces these lovely, flaky tarts. The frangipane filling with a slightly nutty taste and a delicate, vanilla flavour is a winner.
The juicy cherries, in my opinion, provide a balance of freshness as well as they lighten up a filling that could otherwise risk being a bit too rich, owing to the almond meal. And the best part, these tarts are not cloyingly sweet and the jam glaze on top finishes them off perfectly!!
What I would change the next time I make them and I ask you to keep in mind is to add more cherries. These are, after all, cherry tarts and you would want to encounter this juicy, beautiful fruit with every mouthful that you take. So, my suggestion, don't go stingy on the fruit!!
For someone who is increasingly enjoying baking with fruit, I can't stop praising these beautiful tarts that would make a perfect tea time treat. Pair them with cream or custard and they'd make a delightful dessert for a summer meal. Cherries are in season across much of the world right now, so try these before the season ends!!