My father is a fruit-pie lover, and this Father’s Day I’m baking a cherry tart that has an unusual, yet delicious, addition to the filling: goat cheese. The combination of tart-sweet cherries with a creamy, almond-flavored filling makes a memorable summer dessert.
If you don’t want to fuss with making the crust, you can use a prepared shortbread pie crust.
The goat cheese might seem like a mismatch, but the slight tang is delicious, and chefs have been adding it to sweet desserts for years. If you don’t want the goat cheese, substitute four ounces of cream cheese.
The tart is equally good with fresh blueberries or peeled and sliced peaches.
CHERRY, GOAT CHEESE AND ALMOND TART
For the crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons milk
4 ounces soft, plain or honey-flavored goat cheese
½ cup whipping cream
1 large egg
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
3 cups fresh cherries, pitted and cut in half
½ cup sliced almonds
¼ cup granulated sugar
To make the crust, combine the flour, sugar, lemon zest and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal. Add the egg and milk and pulse until the mixture just begins to form a ball. Scrape the dough into the tart pan. Press the dough to line the sides and bottom of the pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all of the filling ingredients – except the cherries – in a medium bowl. Stir filling until smooth, then fold in the cherries. Spread the filling in the crust, then combine the topping ingredients in a bowl and sprinkle over the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until filling is set.
Makes 1 tart, about 6-8 servings.