According to health magazines, cherries, along with almonds, apricots, plums and peaches boost our supplies of the antioxidants that protect against free radical damage, which can injure the brain.
Cherries are packed with melatonin, a hormone found in all living creatures, which has been shown to be important for the function of the immune system and the heart.
So, cherries make you smart and are good for your health. Why am I the last one to know this kind of information? I would have used it as an excuse when I was a kid.
“Rose! Is that you who finished all the cherries that were in the fridge?”
“Yes, maman. But I was just feeding my brain so I can grow up being a smart person”
I bet my parents wouldn’t be able to argue with such an elaborate excuse, right?
Instead, I drove them crazy, lying and accusing my younger brother of doing it. Yes, I admit that when it comes to cherries, I was one selfish little girl.
But look at me now. Eating a lot of cherries has paid off. I am a smart woman and…euhh! That doesn’t sound credible!
Let’s do it again. Blablabla…. has paid off. Everyone tells me that I am a smart person… Much better.
You see there are two ways to know how smart of a person you are:
First, if you can predict in advance that taking the shoulder of the road in the middle of traffic jam isn’t going to solve anything.
Second, if you can ask yourself: “Do I really need two telescoping back scratchers even if the second one is free?”
You are not sure again if you really need to boost your brain, memory and mental focus, then there are three symptoms to detect a hungry brain:
- Standing in the middle of the room and asking yourself: “why did I came here for again?”
- Calling your friend by your pet’s name.
- Asking yourself: “ what was the third symptom again?”. I am serious. It just happened to me while writing it.
Which brings me to my recipe for a smart, brain booster tartelette, although it is a bit high in calories. The idea of this cherries and almonds tartelette with orange blossom water, cardamom and cinnamon came about seven years ago while I was still living at my parents’ house. My mother had made us for lunch her incredible Tajine of meddler, stuffed with almonds, orange blossom water and cinnamon. I loved how the subtlety of the almonds worked with the sweetness of the fruits and the orange blossom water.
Up to this day, these tartelettes are my favorite way of making dessert out of cherries. I use ground whole almonds because you can really taste the almond flavor in the filling when you leave the skin on. The cherries are marinated for an hour in the orange blossom water, the cinnamon and the cardamom, and then I use the marinade for the filling along with the almonds. It gives it a nice subtle aroma with a smooth, silky body and a flaky, buttery crust. I pitted the cherries by using a hairpin bend, a clean hairpin bend, and it works wonderfully.
These cherries and almonds tartelettes are guaranteed to be a hit for a nice dinner dessert, and also a great way to feed your brain without giving up on sweets. But to make sure that no unnecessary calories will be ruining your summer, go for a long walk after finishing your dessert.
Cherries and almonds tartelettes
- 1 ½ lb cherries, pitted
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tbsp orange blossom water
- For the filling:
- 4 ½ ounces ground almonds, with the skin on
- 3 ½ ounces sugar
- 2 ounces butter, at room temperature
- 2 eggs
- For the pastry crust:
- 7 ounces of flour
- 3 ½ ounces butter, at room temperature
- ½ tsp sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp orange blossom water
- 3 tbsp ice water
- To finish:
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
Put the cherries, sugar, cinnamon, cardamom and orange blossom water in a bowl. Mix all the ingredients together and let it marinate for an hour in the fridge.
Meanwhile, make the pastry crust. Mix the flour, the butter and the sugar together. Rub them between your hands until it becomes sand like. Add the egg yolks and the orange blossom water and mix until it all comes together. Do not overmix the dough. Cover with a plastic wrap and chill for ½ an hour. Make the cream. Mix the almonds with the sugar until combined. Add the butter, the eggs beaten and the juice of the cherry marinade. Whisk all together until it looks like a smooth cream.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface and line your greased tartelette molds with the crust. Chill for another 10 min. Line your crust with foil, filled with dried beans. Prebake your tartelette crust at 400F for 15 min, then remove the foil, reduce the heat to 350F and continue baking the crust for another 5 min to dry it out.
Fill the crust with the cream and top it with the cherries. Bake it until it is golden brown, about 20- 25 min. Let the tartelettes cool on a wire rack then dust with the icing sugar.
Tartelettes aux cerises et aux amandes
In francais please:
- 700g de cerises, denoyautees
- 1 c.s de sucre
- 1 c.c de canelle
- ½ c.c de cardamom
- 1 c.s d’eau de fleur d’oranger
- Pour la crème aux amandes:
- 125g de poudre d’amande, avec leur peau
- 100g de sucre
- 60g de beurre ramolli
- 2 oeufs
- Pour la pate:
- 200g de farine
- 100g de beurre ramolli
- 1 jaune d’oeuf
- 1 c.s d’eau de fleur d’oanger
-3 c.s d'eau glacé
Mettre les cerises, le sucre, la cannelle, la cardamome et l’eau de fleir d’oranger dans une jatte. Melanger le tout et reserver au frais pendant une heure. Entre temps faire la pate. Melanger la farine avec le sucre et le beurre. Frotter entre vos main jusqu’a ce que le mélange resemble a du sable. Ajouter le jaune d’oeuf et l’eau de fleur doranger. Melanger mais sans en abuser. Mettre en boule, couvrir de film plastique et laisser reposer pendant ½ heure au frais. Preparer votre crème aux amandes. Melanger les amandes, le sucre. Ajouter le beurre ramolli, les oeufs battu et le jus rendu par les cerises.
Abaisser votre pate. Garnir vos moules a tartelettes de la pate. Remettre au frais pendat 10 min. Garnir vos moiles d’aluminium remplie d’haricots secs et faites cuire la pate a blanc dans un four prechauffe a 200 C pendant 15 min. Puis reduire la temperature de votre four a 180 C, enlever les feuilles d’aluminium et continuer a cuire pendant 5 min pour assecher la pate.
Garnir vos moule de la crème aux amandes puis avec quelques cerises. Faites cuire jusqu’a ce que les tartelettes deviennent dorees, environ 20-25 min. Laisser refroidir sur une plaque a patisserie puis saupoudrer de sucre glace.