Monday, July 7, 2008

Coconut Cherry Tart

While I did do a bit of cooking over the weekend, I mostly made myself stay out of the kitchen and enjoy the outdoors. But the two recipes I did break out both proved to be hits—my mom’s recipe for a crab appetizer (an “oldy but goody”—essentially a cheesy crab mixture spread on english muffin halves and baked in the oven…delicious), and a recipe for the coconut cherry tart, pictured above.

Knowing that I needed to find a way to use the cherries that Karen and I recently picked from our backyard, but also figuring that I did not have quite enough to fill a pie, I decided on the macaroon cherry tart recipe (below) that I found on Super quick and easy. The tart was immediately devoured and the coconut cherry flavor combo was wonderful—the tart cherries really balanced out the sweet coconut. A new summer favorite!

Macaroon Cherry Tart Recipe

1/2 pound cherries, washed
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (regular all purpose flour will work)
2 3/4 cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut (divided)
1 1/4 cup raw cane (or brown) sugar, lightly packed (divided)
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 large egg whites

Preheat oven to 350F degrees with racks in the middle. Butter an 8x11 tart pan (or rough equivalent) and line with parchment paper. Pit the cherries, tear each cherry in half, and set aside.

In a large bowl combine the flour, 3/4 cup of the coconut, 3/4 cup of the sugar, and salt. Stir in the melted butter and mix until dough is crumbly but no longer dusty looking. Press the mixture into the prepared pan (it should form a solid, cohesive base), and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and set aside.

In the meantime prepare the coconut topping by combining the remaining 2 cups coconut, the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and egg whites. Mix until well combined.

Evenly distribute most of the cherries across the tart base. Now drop little dollops of the macaroon topping over the cherries, and mush/press the coconut topping around a bit into the spaces behind the cherries. Be sure to let at least some of the colorful cherries pop through the topping for visual flair. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the peaks of the macaroon topping are deeply golden. Let tart cool, and garnish by sprinkling any remaining fresh cherry halves across the top.

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