Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tartelettes For Your Brain / Des Tartelettes Pour Votre Cerveau


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.

cherry and almonds

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

cherry 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.

pot de cerises


Anh said...

Wonderful, wonderful tartlets. You have won my heart for these!

Lucy said...

Cherries and almonds are brain food - I love it. Just the excuse I needed...

Fantastic recipe and great tip for pitting cherries.

Such an enjoyable post Rose!

Nora B. said...

Such wonderful tarts! Cherries are not in season here, but i did fork out some money to buy USA cherries but i don't think I can wait to bake them since I can't sto eating them. :-)

Dolores said...

Gorgeous! I can't wait to try these -- especially your with your thoughtfully-provided cherry-pitting tips.

I lucked out growing up -- a cherry tree in the backyard presented my brother and I with yummy springtime after school snacks.

Meeta K. Wolff said...

These are so lovely looking! I love the cherries and almond flavor in this and perfect for the cherry season. Yummy!

Claude-Olivier Marti said...

Comme toujours un grand plaisir à te lire ^__^ Bravo pour cette très jolie recette et ton récit ;-)


Mingoumango (La Mangue) said...

Justement, je voulais faire des tartelettes aux cerises :-)
Tes photos sont splendides !

Cheryl said...

If cherries make you smart I should start feeding them to my employees by the ton.

Beautiful tartelette.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful tartlettes! They appeal to both my brain and my heart! :)

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Almonds and cherries must be great brain food that helped you write this post! AND they are perfect together.
You are a very smart woman Rose!

Anonymous said...

mon cerveau a aimé et mon palais aimerait bien lui, avoir l'occasion de les aimer ces tartelettes...

Brilynn said...

I can't wait until the cherries are ready here, that first pic is gorgeous!

Elle said...

What a clever way to bake with cherries. I eat so many fresh that it is difficult to find enough to bake with, but these tarts are beautiful and I love the combination of the orange blossom water, almonds, and cardamom. Mmmm.

Anonymous said...

quelle intro interressante;j'en apprends des choses!!!!!!!!! des tartelettes très réussies ,bravo,comme les cerises sont de saison autant en profiter.cette recette est bien dans mon cerveau !! très belles photos,c'est un réel plaisir pour les yeux aussi.en un mot tout est parfait .félicitations et boussa

Peabody said...

Fantastic looking tarts!

Anonymous said...

le commentaire ci dessus c'est mima;mais je suis sure que tu as deviné griffe!!!!!!!!!reboussa

Helene said...

Rose, elles sont magnifiques tes tartelettes. Je mange des cerise par le camion, je ne sais pas m'arreter!! La derniere photo est super!

LILIBOX said...

tu me prends par les sentiments avec tes superbes tartelettes !
J'adore !

Kelly-Jane said...

I had no idea cherries were so good for us! Your tartlettes look wonderful. Great post.

Anonymous said...

Superbes ! Mon problème avec les cerises, c'est que je les mange toutes à même le sac en papier avant d'arriver chez moi...

Patricia Scarpin said...

Rose, I had a laugh with you, sweetie - what a great excuse to indulge in such delicious fruit! :D

Your tarts are tempting!

SteamyKitchen said...

The first pic of the cherry looked SO juicy I just want to pluck it off the screen and eat!