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Author Notes: I Love LOve LOVE cherries. So much so that the only thing I want to do with them is eat them. So I decided to create a recipe that showcased cherries in all their shiny fresh glory. It’s still quite rich with an oat-almond crust and a cream cheese-crème fraiche filling. (You could lighten it up by using Greek yogurt in place of the crème fraiche, but I didn’t.) This dessert should be made several hours before serving so that it has a chance to chill and firm up. I made it in an 8x8 pan. Be sure and butter the pan and the parchment really well—the crust is sticky. Try and find cream cheese that doesn’t have a lot of stabilizers. Everyone has their own method for pitting cherries—I just split them in half with my thumbnail and popped the pits out. This is easiest when the cherries are very ripe, so look for the darkest, ripest cherries you can find.
Serves 8" x 8" tart
Oat and Almond Crust
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 pinch salt
- Prepare pan by buttering, lining with parchment, and buttering the parchment. Preheat oven to 375.
- Melt butter, and mix in oats, almond meal, sugar and salt, making sure that all ingredients are evenly distributed. Pat in over the bottom of the pan and bake for 10 minutes until bubbly and beginning to brown. Let cool on a wire rack to room temperature and refrigerate.
Cream Cheese Filling and Cherries
- ~1 pounds cherries, washed, dried, pitted and cut in half
- 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- 1/3 cup creme fraiche
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 pinch salt
- Split and pit cherries and set aside.
- Put cream cheese, crème fraiche, honey, salt, extracts, lime juice and zest into the work bowl of a food processor and blend thoroughly until completely smooth. Spread filling over crust, and smooth it out evenly. Arrange cherries on top, cut side down. Cover and chill at least 2 hours before serving.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe for Cherries