Cherry Almond Torte

By • June 23, 2010 34 Comments

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Author Notes: This torte is my new go-to sour cherry dessert. The filling is like tart jam: not too sugary, and not at all runny, thanks to cooking it down a fair amount before adding the cornstarch. The crust, made with part almond flour, is reminiscent of linzer torte. It’s rich and flavorful, but only faintly sweet. It’s a bit more crumbly than pie crust — and, admittedly, a bit harder to work with — but sweet and tangy cherries sandwiched between two layers of this crust is like a grown-up, more sophisticated thumbprint cookie, and worth the effort. - RivkaRivka

Food52 Review: WHO: Rivka is a healthcare consultant by day, and a food blogger by night.
WHAT: A rich, delicious, and not-too-sweet way to showcase summer's sour cherries.
HOW: The filling is cooked down on the stove, then poured into an almond flour-based crust and baked.
WHY WE LOVE IT: As Rivka says, this is reminiscent of those thumbprint cookies we all grew up with -- but more sophisticated and, at the end, more fulfilling. If you can't find sour cherries, you can use dark sweet cherries and adjust the sugar to your taste. This would be great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or a cup of coffee.
The Editors

Serves about 10

For the crust

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup almond flour
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest

For the cherry filling

  • 2 pounds fresh sour cherries, rinsed and pitted
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  1. In the bowl of a food processor (recommended) or stand mixer (works too), beat together butter and 1/3 cup sugar at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat or mix egg into butter mixture, then add vanilla and mix to incorporate. Reduce speed to low and mix in flour, almond flour, salt, and zest until mixture just comes together to form a dough.
  2. Halve dough and form each half into a disk. Wrap disks in plastic and chill until firm, at least 1 hour, more if the weather is warm. (Dough softens quickly, and can be quite sticky; if dough gets soft at any point, a 20-minute stint in the fridge will make it more workable.)
  3. Meanwhile, make filling: heat 3 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium heat until foam subsides, then add cherries with juices and sugar and simmer, stirring, until sugar dissolves. (Cherries will exude more juices.) Transfer a couple tablespoons of the cherry mixture from the pan into a small bowl, and add cornstarch, whisking to form a thick paste. Continue to simmer cherry mixture until cherries are tender but not falling apart, about 8 minutes. Then stir cornstarch mixture and lemon juice into simmering cherries and boil, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes. Transfer filling to a heat-safe bowl and put in fridge. This will make more filling than you need; you can bake the rest in ramekins, or save it for next time.
  4. Put a large baking sheet in middle of oven and preheat to 375°F.
  5. While cherries are cooling, remove one piece of dough from fridge and roll out between 2 sheets of floured wax paper into a 12-inch disk. Remove top sheet of paper and invert dough into 9-inch tart pan. Trim overhanging dough so edge of crust lies flush with edge of tart pan. Prick shell with fork several times to dock in pan, then bake about 15 minutes (no need to weigh it down; it will puff slightly, but when you add filling it’ll shrink back into pan), then remove and set on counter. Spread cooled filling evenly in tart shell.
  6. Roll out second half of dough on floured workspace without wax paper to 12-inch disk, then use cookie cutter to cut scalloped circles (or other fun shapes) out of dough. Top cherry filling with dough cut-outs in overlapping pattern. Sprinkle remaining tablespoon sugar over top layer of dough.
  7. Transfer torte in tart pan onto baking sheet in oven until pastry is golden and filling is bubbling, about 30-45 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a rack, 1 1/2 to 2 hours, to allow juices to thicken. Serve warm or at room temperature. A scoop of vanilla ice cream would really put it over the edge.

Topics: Pie

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Comments (34) Questions (1)


29 days ago debbi dworin

What about using frozen sour cherries so you don't have to do all the pitting? They are always available in the grocery!


about 2 years ago babylemon

Made this and it was amazing!!!! Best dessert I ever ate. Documented here:


about 2 years ago loique

my new go to cherry pie/torte. two this week . I have a sour cherry tree in my yard.. might just have to pick on more pie's worth!!


over 2 years ago EM-MV

I have cans of sour cherries packed in water. Any idea how I can use them in this recipe?


over 2 years ago Rivka

Hey EM-MV, if I were using canned cherries, I would drain them of almost all the water, save a bit of it, and probably cook them just as you would the fresh ones, so they release a bit of the water they've retained. Let us know if it works.


about 3 years ago babylemon

Made this torte, and it was a huge success. Used sweet cherries, just because I ran out of time to search for sour. I only used 1/3 cup sugar to compensate. I also totally forgot to add the egg to the crust, and it was fine. Maybe a little more crumbly and harder to handle, but tasted fine. I wish I could upload an image, because it was lovely. :)


about 3 years ago Lady T Bakes

I just made this torte and the crust did not work out. In the end the top of the crust is burnt.
It sounded very different with the Almond flour and the lemon zest but I'm not sure why it did not work out.


about 3 years ago Rivka

Hi LadyTBakes, so sorry to hear this didn't work for you. How long did you leave it in for? In my old oven, it used to take almost the full 45 minutes, but at my mom's house, it was done in 35 minutes flat.


about 3 years ago Midge

What a stunning tart and well-deserved Wildcard!


about 3 years ago Rivka

thank you!


about 3 years ago sspm

In answer to the question about plastic wrap, what about using wax paper -works great for me and compostable or try a glass bowl that is pretty snug fitting but not quite touching upside down on a plate (no plastic cooties at all) or is you use those reusable bags like "reusies" you could try that too

Also, instead of the cute yet intricate stars, i do polkadots -roll the dough into tiny balls and flatten. The irregular sizes look cute too.


about 3 years ago Rivka

My question is for James Ransom. I've been following along with the recent posts on food photography, and looking at the picture you took of this tart, it just POPS. It's stunning. Can you talk a bit about what equipment (lens, flash?, bounces, windows, etc) you used in taking this photo? Would love to understand how to make my relatively muted photo (#2) more like yours.


about 3 years ago Winniecooks

I am jealous. I LOVE sour cherry pie but can only find sweet or Queen Ann cherries in Minnesota. Where DO you find sour cherries??


about 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Congratulations on the Wild Card. What an absolutely gorgeous tart!


about 3 years ago Rivka

Thanks, fiveandspice! The one that the Food52ers made is especially gorgeous, isn't it?

about 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Love this! If I use sweet cherries, any suggestions on the adjustment to the sugar amount? This is perfect for a BBQ we're having at the beach over the holiday weekend!


about 3 years ago Rivka

Hey ChezSuzanne -

If I'm not mistaken, someone tested this for an old-school editor's pick back when I first posted it, and used sweet cherries in lieu of sour. Can't remember who it was; she didn't say she cut the sugar, but if I were guessing, I'd probably reduce to 2/3. Enjoy!

about 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks Rivka! I'll start with half and work my way up. 2/3 sounds right, but since we're in season, the ones I've been getting have really been sweet. Can't wait to make it!!

about 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

And big congrats on the Wild Card!!!!


about 3 years ago MaryMaryCulinary

Full of sour cherries and not too sweet and gloopy? Sign me up!


about 3 years ago Bevi



about 3 years ago Summer of Eggplant

Gorgeous! This is my kind of dessert.


about 3 years ago realfoods

I would love to make a vegan version of this. Has anyone out there successfully made this without butter or eggs? If so, it would be great to hear your tips!


about 3 years ago babylemon

I totally forgot to add the egg to the crust, and it was fine. Maybe a little more crumbly and a teensy bit harder to handle, but tasted fine. I would definitely try it with a butter substitute. Maybe research out a few vegan crusts and see what they suggest?


about 4 years ago mjlandry

This looks amazing. I am def. going to make this:-)


about 4 years ago PFossil

Made this last night. It's gorgeous, and so delicious! I did the top crust with star shapes for the 4th of July. We were lucky to get sour cherries from the Greenmarket. And Rivka, we must have the same kind of oven, because my torte was done, done, done in about 40 minutes.


about 4 years ago Rivka

PFossil, I'm so glad you enjoyed the recipe! I, too, made it (serving at dinner tomorrow night), and was reminded about how much I love both sour cherries and this tart.


over 4 years ago Ordinary Blogger (Rivki Locker)

OOOOH, this sounds wonderful and I LOVE your photo. I've already bookmarked this recipe so it'll be ready and waiting in my recipe box for the summer. Sigh.... Summer is SO far off.


over 4 years ago Rivka

i know, sad that summer is so far away! this is one of my favorite ways to use cherries. Now I'm eager for summer too!


about 5 years ago Rivka

Apparently my oven runs VERY cold..this tart only took 35 minutes in my mom's oven. Go figure!


about 5 years ago WinnieAb

I saw this on your is so so beautiful!


about 5 years ago Rivka

thanks ladies!


about 5 years ago arielleclementine

this is so lovely! what a perfect summer treat!


about 5 years ago Lizthechef

I can't get sour cherries but I can dream - yum!