Thursday, July 2, 2015

Faux-Fancy 4th of July Fresh Cherry Tart

Ever find yourself feeling a little fancy right around the 4th of July?
Me, too.

Except my kind of fancy is always at least half smoke-and-mirrors. (The other half is patently unfancy, which is why if you ever meet me in real life, you'll think you probably just caught me on a bad day. ("This is me trying my best."))

I basically cancel myself out, every dang day.
But you didn't come here to provide free, invisible therapy.

This dessert combines five of the fanciest things I can imagine in life.
  •  A fluted tart pan
  • Fresh fruit
  • Cherries! (easily one of the fanciest fruits, since I'm stunned by even their on-sale price every. single. time I buy them. Worth it!)
  • Glaze
  • The color burgundy (“He had a voice that could make a wolverine purr and suits so fine they made Sinatra look like a hobo.”)

Despite its near-threatening elegance, this tart is a cinch to make.
It's the exact opposite of spending 45 minutes to look like you just woke up that way.
It's a natural, unfussy beauty.
It's Rachel McAdams (who is reportedly dating Tim Riggins, but that's for another day...)

And if you artfully arrange it on a blue towel, unlike myself, you could rock the whole patriotic vibe. (Or throw in a handful of blueberries! Omw.)

Here's how to pull this off, but first I need to warn you, there's a cost.
Fancy isn't free, man. Rachel still has a little maintenance work.

You have to pit those cherries.

Honestly, spend 15 minutes with a paring knife and a bowlful of burgundy stone-fruits and tell me it wasn't therapeutic.

From there you'll need:
  • 12 graham crackers (full sheets)
  • 2 Tablespoons plus 1/4 cup sugar
  • 8 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 8 oz block of cream cheese, room temp
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound fresh sweet cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1 Tablespoon seedless jam (any kind) 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, pulse graham crackers and 2 T sugar until finely ground. Add butter, and process until combined. Transfer to a tart pan with a removable bottom (mine is 10 inch. If yours is smaller, you might not use all of the crust crumbs.) Press crumbs into bottom and up sides of pan firmly. Bake until browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. 
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese, vanilla, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add cream, and beat until soft peaks form. Spread onto cooled crust.
  3. Lick beaters, bowl, and spoon. Hide in bathroom from children if necessary. 
  4. Scatter magical fruits on top.
  5. In a small bowl, combine jam and 1 teaspoon water; microwave until melted. (30-60 seconds) Brush across cherries. (Sometimes I skip this part.) 
  6. Refrigerate tart at least 30 minutes or, covered, up to 1 day.

I can't go a summer without making this at least once.

It's one of my fanciest traditions.

Festive Greetings to All,


  1. I tried to give your pie it's due attention, but my mind was all a blur after TIM FREAKING RIGGINS. #texasforever

  2. Love the look of this - thanks! I despise pitting cherries but I may try it anyway. My cherries always look raggedy and not elegant at all.

  3. I love that you included licking the spoons as an official step. It's a must.

  4. Ain't nothing faux about this- with butter, cream cheese, heavy cream and fresh cherries?? This is fabulously fantastic! I've gotta go get me some cherries to try this recipe out.

    Happy 4th to you and yours!

    1. You make a compelling point... :)
      It's just so easy that it seems unfair to stick it with the "full fancy" label. ;)

  5. I made this when you posted it before (last year maybe?) and loved it...and now I might just have to make it again!! yum!

    1. I need to make it again, too!
      I made a few adjustments to the original recipe and figured I might as well type it all out for posterity's sake. :)

  6. It looks lovely! If you want to make it even easier,why not use graham wafer crumbs and skip having to crush the crackers?

  7. Yum!!!!!!!!!!! I am requesting this for my next visit up to Indy. And you crack me up, I still can't believe the fabulous cook you have become. I still remember the kiddo that didn't want any part of working in a kitchen a FEW years ago.

  8. Oh, I love cherries and I love your recipe!!! Thank you for sharing!
    Happy days

  9. Just made this this weekend and the entire fam loved. I finished it for lunch the following day...whoops...loved every last bite. Thanks!

  10. Just love how simple and wholesome this recipe is. Just doesn’t get any better! Happy 4th and Happy Cooking!

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