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Author Notes: This recipe comes from my mother-in-law's grandmother...my great-grandmother-in-law? My husband's family makes this dessert for celebrations year-round. I have a bit of a vendetta with this recipe though, as I was always trying to impress a roommate with my dessert creations, and this one, not a creation of mine, became his #1 favorite! I could never win with any other dessert. The only brilliant idea I had was to dress it up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream while it was still warm, and I suggest you do the same! —gabsimonelouise
For the shortbread crust:
- 5 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cubed, at room temperature
- 1 cup flour
For the topping:
- 2 eggs
- 1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 jar dark Morello cherries (I use Trader Joe's 24.7 oz jar, but another brand of similar size will do, and if you use fresh cherries, let me know how it turns out!)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- vanilla ice cream (optional, but so worth it)
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Make the shortbread crust: Mix the 5 tablespoons powdered sugar and butter until sugar is incorporated. Mix in the flour slowly, until fully incorporated. Press evenly into the bottom of a 9X13 pan and bake for 15 minutes, until golden. Leave to cool completely.
- Make the topping: Beat the eggs and 1 1/2 cups sugar until pale and thick. Mix in the vanilla, then add the flour and baking powder. Stir until fully incorporated.
- Strain the cherries into a sieve, reserving their juice. Fold the cherries into the egg and sugar mixture, then pour evenly over the shortbread crust. Reduce oven temperature to 325, and bake for 40 minutes, until slightly golden on top. It will have formed a hard shell on top and a gooey center, so do not be alarmed when cutting into it and thinking it may not be done! It is, and the layers of crunchy top, gooey center, and flaky shortbread crust make this dessert special.
- Meanwhile, with the reserved cherry juice, make the cherry syrup. Place the juice and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, then add the cornstarch. Stir for another minute, or until thickened to your liking.
- No need to wait for the torte to cool all the way...wait till it's warm, spoon it out into bowls, top with vanilla ice cream, and drizzle the syrup on top. The torte keeps for at least 5 days, refrigerated.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Family Recipe, Part 2