Cherries. Cherries. And more cherries. I just can’t get enough! This year’s cherry season has been outrageously delicious. And so is this cherry tart.
What do you see when you look at the photo above?
I see a rustic cherry tart, and it makes me very happy. And I needed a bit of happiness this week. Anyone else feeling a little deflated or discouraged by the state of affairs lately? My outlook on life is usually super positive, and I tend to look at the bright side of things. Glass half full sort of thing. You know what I mean?
But this week has found me feeling a bit heavy in my heart and more cynical that I am used to being. I have been struggling to find a balance between staying informed about the world around me and keeping a peaceful vibe in my life. The crazy politics, the struggling environment, the polluted food sources, the violence, plus my own personal health issues. I feel like I have hit max capacity in my head and my heart. I’m starting to feel discouraged and defeated.
So how do we find hope in these challenging times? How do we continue to persevere in trying to create a better life for ourselves and our children? How do we stay positive when the world around us appears to be in such turmoil?
Well, I don’t have all the answers. I can only say what works for me. When life starts to feel overwhelming and I can’t seem to see the light, I turn back to what feeds and nourishes me. For me, it’s yoga, my family, and my creative space. Yoga has been constant thread in the fabric of my life for the past 20 years. When I feel ungrounded and my life seems to be coming unglued, the thread of yoga helps hold it all together. When I first moved to California, I took a psychology of yoga class in college. It was a major turning point in my life as this simple practice would help carry me through all the chapters of my life. The happy, the sad, and the unbearably challenging. The biggest lesson yoga has taught me over the years is to just breath. The simple act of breathing in and out while twisting my body into sometimes challenging positions has taught me to stay in my center even when life gets hard. Because it does. So when I feel discouraged and overwhelmed, I just keep showing up on my yoga mat. I just keep breathing.
My family is also a huge source of happiness for me. My sweet husband and beautiful girls are my heart. Being a wife and mother challenges me to show up in the best way possible every day. All of the experiences we share help me to grow as a person and fill my life with so much love. This extends out to our intimate community that I consider family as well. Having amazing, creative, loving people in my life inspires me and fills me with hope.
And finally, my creative space. When I am feeling overwhelmed or in need of inspiration, I turn to what makes me happy. And being in my kitchen, creating beautiful food, and taking photos of this food makes me happy. Creating easy recipes to inspire others to eat healthy makes me happy. Sharing this delicious food with my family and friends makes me happy. It’s really about the simple things, isn’t it?
OK, so now let get back to that cherry tart I was talking about. Because making this super easy cherry tart really makes me happy. And eating it with my family makes me happy. I mean, doesn’t it look good?
The crust is an unbelievably flaky combination of almond flour and butter. It only has 5 ingredients, but I spelled out the steps to making this lovely crust because keeping the butter chilled before baking is crucial to achieving the flaky consistency. I like to make the dough in advance as it will store in fridge for 1-2 days. Once ready in oven, allow to cool for at least an hour before serving.
The topping is a simple cashew “ricotta” with a hint of orange, a sweeter version of my savory herbed cashew cheese. It’s the perfect creamy goodness to hold the beautiful cherries into the crust. You can also just use regular ricotta cheese if you prefer (see note in recipe below.)
And the cherries are marinated to bring out their natural deep flavor. (Be sure to check out my video on how to easily pit your cherries at the bottom of this post!)
What I love most about this cherry tart is that it is super simple to throw together. You can make all of the elements (dough for crust, cashew “ricotta”, and marinated cherries) ahead of time. Simple bake the crust and cool before ready to serve. In order to keep the crust nice and flaky, wait until just ready to serve to assemble.
So, there you have it. My solution for creating a bit of hope and happiness in life: make a cherry tart. Share it with the people that you love. And give thanks for the amazing blessing of having fresh, clean food on a daily basis. The simple act of gratitude for the simple things in life gives me hope and reminds me of what is really important.
I have to admit, I am feeling much better now. Sometimes I just have to say what’s on my mind. Life isn’t always easy but having so many amazing, beautiful things in my life sure makes it easier. Thanks so much for stopping by.
- 8 tbsp of cold butter (one stick), chopped into ½ inch cubes
- 1½ cups almond flour (I use THIS brand)
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar (like this)
- 2-3 tbsp of ice water
- egg yolk and water for wash
- 1 tsp of coconut sugar for sprinkling
- ⅓ cup sliced almonds
- 1¼ cups raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 2 hours
- 3 tbsp full fat coconut milk (I use THIS BPA free brand)
- zest from half of an orange
- 1 tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1 tbsp honey
- ½ tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups cherries, pitted and halved
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar OR honey
- zest from half of an orange
- 1 tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice
- TO PREPARE CRUST: place chopped butter into freezer for 10 minutes. Then combine cold butter, almond flour, 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar, and salt in food processor. Pulse until well combined into a coarse mixture with only pea sized chunks of butter visible. Add 2 tablespoons of ice water and pulse until incorporated. Test mixture by pinching a bit. If it sticks together, it is done. If it does not, add tiny bits of ice water (one teaspoon at a time) until mixture sticks together when pinched.
- Place mixture onto a piece of parchment paper and form mixture into a round disc. Wrap into parchment paper and place in fridge to chill until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 375'F. Remove dough from fridge and place in between 2 sheets of parchment paper. Roll out into a rectangle shape about ¼ inch thick. Place in freezer for 10 minutes. Remove from freezer and brush crust with a mixture of one egg yolk and one teaspoon of water. Sprinkle on one teaspoon of coconut sugar and sliced almonds. Bake for 15-17 minutes, until golden and crispy. If edges begin to brown too much, place thin strips of tin foil around edges for remaining bake time.Allow to cool completely.
- TO PREPARE CASHEW "RICOTTA": Drain cashews and discard water. Combine cashews, coconut milk, zest, orange juice, honey, and vanilla in food processor. Process for several minutes, until creamy smooth. Be sure to scrape side a couple of time. Place in fridge to chill.
- TO MARINATE CHERRIES: combine halved cherries, sweetener, zest, and orange juice in a small bowl. Stir well and allow to sit for at least an hour.
- TO ASSEMBLE TART: Once crust has cooled, spread cashew "ricotta" evenly on crust. Using a slotted spoon, drain cherries and add to top of crust. Garnish with orange zest. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
- The cashew "ricotta" can be made 1-2 days in advance as well. Store in an airtight glass container in fridge.
- Regular ricotta cheese can also be used in this recipe. Simply whisk in the honey, orange zest, orange juice, and vanilla. Omit the coconut milk.
- Marinated cherries can be made 1 day in advance. Store in an airtight glass container in fridge.
Click HERE to PIN THIS!
Wondering how to pit a cherry? I have found that the easiest way to do this without a cherry pitter is to use a pastry tip. Here’s how I do it:
And this is how I keep my crust from getting too brown on the edges. Halfway through baking I loosely place thin strips of foil around the edges.