Sunday, 6 July 2014

Cherry-Poppin' Good!

Torta di Sfoglia Rustica di Ciliege Dolce Speziate & Limone Rustic Puff-Pastry with Sweet Cherries, Lemon & Spice 

It's that time of year, here in Frankfurt, Germany... The cherries are in-season, they are bug and beautiful and juicy... And even I couldn't resist bringing a little basket back home from the market with me yesterday!

These are the first cherries, the sweet cherries, which are maybe not everyone's favorite as most people tend to prefer the sour ones... So where's the problem? By keeping the sugar down, adding some lemon zest and some aromatic spices I managed to have the best of both worlds today... And then some!

To be honest, although I love basically all fruits, cherries are not really at the top of my list... Or even close to being there... Unless they happen to be in-season of course! You have to eat fruit when the time is right, when it's at it's best... Because when it's at it's best, you have to do precious little to it, to really enjoy!

To make this simple tart you will need a frying pan (you all know by now that I always make my pies and tarts in the pan!), enough cherries to cover the base of said pan, enough puff-pastry and a couple of inches more to cover the pan and some lemon zest, cardamom, cinnamon and coriander seed to spice things up a little.

Of course the cherries need to be pitted, so either cut them in half and pick out the stones or use a gadget like this is you have one... This is actually meant to be used on lives... Which we eat more of in Sicily, anyway  hehe

Pop those cherries into your little pan with cinnamon, ground cardamom and coriander, a drop of water and the lemon zest... The water will half disperse the flavored of the zest and spice, so that it can be absorbed by the cherries, which will in turn give off juices of their own as they heat up.

Give them just 3-4 minutes at a high heat, until the water has evaporated away and everything is looking plump and juicy.

Don't overcook the cherries, as soon as they begin to soften just a little, set them to one side to cool. Rinse your frying pan and get ready to put your pie together.

Allay the circle of pastry into the frying pan and don't worry about it being too large, soon enough you will be folding over those edges... But first... Time to fill 'er up!

Spoon the cherries into the pastry shell and make sure to let them drain off... You don't want the pastry getting soggy! Spoon the lemon zest over the too and get ready to get folding...

Fold the excess pastry over and sprinkle with a mix of cinnamon and sugar... So far I haven't added any excess sugar or sweetener of any kind as the cherries themselves were so sweet... And that's just fine by me! I am into fruit, not sugar!

Pop your frying pan onto the stove top for 3-4 minutes at a high temperature to get the pastry going from below, so that it will be nice and crisp and not soggy, the carry on baking in a pre-heated oven, at 200C for 10-15 minutes until the pastry has puffed-up wonderfully and become a beautiful gold-brown... Mmmm!

For me, this is about as good as it gets with cherries! After the short cooking/baking time, they are still firm and plump, have not given off all of their juices into the pan (or the pastry, thank goodness!!!) and together with the lemon and spice, just taste simply fantastic!

Many reasons to go for pre-made puff-pastry... So yummy, so easy and perfect every time! Why ever would you think of doing anything else when you just want to make small, quick pie from home?

Oh yes, Guten Appetit indeed my friends!

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