Pithiviers aux Cerises ~ Cherry Almond Torte recipe
It’s May in France and that means cherries everywhere! Here in Roussillon the tree in front of our rented home is heavy with beautiful blushing pink/yellow cherries. Just two days ago, as we drove through the small village of Aiguillon in the Lot-and-Garonne we stopped at a small roadside stand and bought a kilo of just-picked cherries for 4 euros. Although we ate quite a few along the route, we had enough left over to make this delicious cherry almond torte. Et voilà:
A pithivier is a traditional double-crust tart filled with frangipane (almond cream). In this recipe, pitted, fresh cherries are stirred into the frangipane.
Pronounced: pee thee vyer / oh / suh reez
• 1 full package of puff pastry, defrosted
For the filling:
• 9 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1/2 cup superfine sugar
• 1 egg
• 2 egg yolks
• 1-1/4 cup almond meal (ground almonds)
• 1-1/2 Tablespoons Flour
• 2 Tablespoons kirsch
• 1-1/2 cups cherries, pits removed
• 1 teaspoon confectioner’s sugar (to sprinkle on the top)
1. From one of the pastry sheets, cut out a 10-inch circle. Place on baking sheet.
2. Roll the other sheet out slightly and cut out a 12-inch circle. This is the top of the cake. Place it next to the other circle on the baking sheet and put in the fridge for 20 minutes.
3. To make the filling: Mix the butter and sugar together until fluffy and well combined.
4. Beat in the egg and 1 of the egg yolks.
5. Stir in the ground almonds, flour and kirsch. Fold in the cherries.
Preheat oven to 425F.
6. Place the smaller circle in the middle of the baking sheet. Mound the cherry filling in the center, leaving a 1-inch border all around the base.
7. Beat the remaining yolk together with 1 teaspoon of cold water. Brush this mixture on the 1-inch border.
8. Lay the larger disc on top and crimp the edges together between your thumb and forefinger to give it a more decorative edge.
9. Brush the top of the pithivier with the rest of the egg wash. Make a small hole in the middle of the cake to help release some steam. With the tip of a sharp knife, score radiating arcs from the center toward the edge. Don’t cut through the pastry.
10. Bake for about 15 minutes. Lower the temperature to 350F and bake for another 35-40 minutes. Be sure to check the cake; if it starts to get too dark, lay a piece of foil over the top of the cake.
Allow the cake to cool slightly. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, or lightly whipped cream.
Photo credit under Creative Commons License:
Provence cherries by ©Maxime Guilbot
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