Several of you have written asking how the Slow Food Farm Day at my sister-in-law's organic farm went, since I had written about it in two previous posts (click here and here). I actually created a blog post for them recapping the day, on their new official blogspot, so check it out.
I have to admit that my pie did not win the prize; it was classified a "tarte" because it was in a square French pan and made with puff pastry (goodness, who knew?) but I still had fun making it, and the winning pie, a blueberry & strawberry mix with lattice top, was absolutely delicious.
The pie contest - mine is the square one with cherries
BING CHERRY FRANGIPANE TARTE
Make puff pastry. [Astuce (tip): the frozen version of puff pastry available in all supermarkets is really quite good, and a lot quicker than making it from scratch.]
Brush tarte pan with melted butter, and line pan, pressing the pastry up the sides. Prick dough all over with fork, but do not weigh down with pie weights. Pre-bake only until very light brown; then let cool. Then press down the puffed up crust. It will crumble, but be very flaky and light.
Pit 3 cups bing cherries.
Poach cherries until tender in the following mixture: 1 bottle red wine (I used a light Chianti), 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 handfuls of raw sugar. When cherries are quite tender, but still holding their shape, drain the extra liquid out of them, reserving the poaching liquid for later.
While the cherries are poaching, make the frangipane filling:
In a food processor, grind 1 + 1/4 cup blanched almonds, until they are a fine, slightly grainy powder. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, cream together 1/2 cup unsalted butter and a scant 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Beat for several minutes until quite light in color. Add 1 egg, the ground almonds, 2 + 1/2 tbsp. dark rum, 2 tsp. almond extract, and 1 tbsp. pastry flour (or regular unbleached flour).
Pour the frangipane into the cooled crust, spread evenly, and chill for one hour.
Preheat oven to 425*. Remove tarte from refrigerator and dot all over with the poached and drained cherries, carefully pressing them into to thick frangipane filling. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until both the crust edges and the top of the frangipane are light golden brown.
Serve at room temperature. (The flavor intensifies if it sits for a few hours.)
If you wish, reduce the poaching liquid to a syrup consistency. It can be drizzled around the tarte slices, and is also wonderful over vanilla ice cream.
The assorted contest entries all looked mouthwatering.
Finally, the public was allowed to join in the tasting.