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,