Sunday, July 09, 2023

Tart Cherry Chocolate Tart

I made this tart to use up the cherries in the freezer, but I liked it so much that I will have to make it again! The name seems a bit redundant, but “tart” is used in two ways here – to refer both to tart cherries and to the dessert itself. 

I had to use vegan whipping cream, so I made a few modifications, which are written in parentheses below. If you want to make the tart gluten-free, simply use this crust instead and proceed with the recipe. 

For the cherry jam 
6 oz. (1 heaping cup) pitted tart cherries (fresh or frozen) 
¼ cup peeled and finely grated granny smith apple 
½ cup granulated sugar 

For the crust 
1 ½ cups chocolate wafer cookie crumbs (from about 7 oz. cookies) 
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar 
1/8 tsp. fine sea salt 
5 Tbsp. lactose-free butter, cut into chunks 
2 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped 

For the chocolate filling 
7 oz good quality dark chocolate (60-75%), finely chopped 
1 ¼ cup lactose-free whipping cream, divided
¼ cup lactose-free butter, cut into chunks 
1 tsp. vanilla extract 

For the jam 
Pulse cherries and apple briefly in a food processor until cut into mostly pea-sized chunks (do not purée). If using frozen cherries, no need to thaw them first, just throw them right in the food processor. 

Combine chopped cherries and sugar in a large saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, then continue to cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until very thick and jam-like. Be sure to stir fairly regularly to prevent scorching. Remove from heat and let cool. (Jam can be made a few days ahead of time; refrigerate until ready to use). 

For the crust 
Finely chop wafer cookies in a food processor. Add sugar and salt and pulse to incorporate. 

In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave butter for 30 seconds or until mostly melted. Add chopped chocolate and stir; the residual heat of the butter will begin to melt the chocolate. As needed, microwave the butter and chocolate mixture in 15 second intervals at half power, stirring well after each interval, until chocolate is just melted. Pour into cookie crumb mixture and fold until incorporated and crumbs are evenly moistened. 

Dump into a 13.75-by-4.5-inch rectangle or a 9-inch round tart pan with a removable bottom. Press firmly onto bottom and up the sides (use a tamper or a small flat-bottomed glass to help if necessary). Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or until firm. 

For the filling 
Place chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. The more finely you can chop this chocolate the better. 

(This paragraph is written for people using dairy cream. I’ve found vegan cream to react differently to heat, so my instructions are in parentheses at the end of this paragraph – skip to those if you are using vegan cream as well.) Heat ¾ cup of cream in a small saucepan until it just begins to bubble; do not let it fully boil) Pour warm cream over chopped chocolate. Let sit for 30 seconds, then begin to gently whisk, making small concentric circles in the center of the bowl, until chocolate is melted and smooth. Add butter, 1 chunk at a time, whisking slowly until incorporated before adding the next chunk. Stir in vanilla. (In my case, I started by melting the chocolate in a double boiler, then added ½ cup of vegan cream and stirred everything together, adding the butter and vanilla as instructed. In the next step, I whipped ¾ cup of vegan cream.) 

In a clean bowl, vigorously whisk remaining ½ cup cream until it forms soft mounds (you’re looking for a slightly softer consistency than typical whipped cream). Fold into melted chocolate mixture until smooth and no white streaks remain. 

To assemble, spread jam in an even layer in the bottom of chilled crust. Pour chocolate mixture over top and spread into an even layer. Place in the refrigerator and chill until set, at least 2 hours or overnight. Before serving, lift out of tart pan using removable bottom and slice into serving sized pieces.

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