While pie is my Achilles' heel, I can happily make tarts all day long, so I decided to try an epicurious.com recipe for "Sour Cherry Crostata." This tart has a cookie-like crust (butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, flour, salt, lemon zest) that you make in the mixer and chill before rolling out. The filling is cherries, butter, and sugar cooked together and thickened with cornstarch. You use quite a bit of cornstarch (three tablespoons to thicken less than two pounds of cherries), so the filling was very thick. After the filling is cooled, you spread it in the chilled tart shell and lay across strips of dough to form a quick lattice (no weaving is required), brush the strips with egg, sprinkle on sugar, and bake.
The lemon zest in the crust added a lovely bright flavor. The crust had a nice firm texture and was evenly cooked (I tend to have a problem with soggy or undercooked crusts whenever I make pies), and I loved the fact that the tart was so tidy.
I can't really complain about this tart, because it was gorgeous and tasted good. That said, there was nothing about it that made it special or particularly memorable. The day before I made this tart, I enjoyed a slice of cherry pie made by a colleague; his pie crust was more flaky, buttery and flavorful than my tart crust. But I have no regrets about putting all of my 2012 fresh sour cherry supply into a couple of these tarts!
Recipe: "Sour Cherry Crostata," from epicurious.com.
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