- Prep time
- 30 minutes
- Cook time
- 30–35 minutes
- 4–6 servings
Combining sweet Bing cherries and pastry cream topped with mint chiffonade, this elegant tart is easy enough for a beginner to assemble.
- 2 cups milk
- ¼ cup plus ⅛ cup sugar, divided
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 pound Bing cherries, pitted and halved
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 strips orange peel
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 puff pastry sheet, 5x10 inches
- 1 bunch mint, chiffonade, for garnish
- Whipped cream, for garnish
To make the pastry cream, heat the milk and ¼ cup sugar to just below a boil. Mix together the cornstarch, salt, egg yolks and ⅛ cup sugar. Slowly temper in the hot milk to the egg mixture, being careful not to add too much at a time as this may scramble the eggs.
Place the mixture back into the pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. While the mixture is on the heat, stir constantly with a whisk, scraping the bottom to prevent scorching. Lower the heat if the mixture begins to stick to the bottom of the pan.
When pastry cream has thickened, remove from heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla extract. Pass through a fine mesh strainer and press plastic wrap down onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming as the pastry cream cools. Place in refrigerator to chill.
To make the cherry topping, place all components for the topping in a sauce pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Strain the mixture, reserving the cherries and discarding the cinnamon stick and orange peel. Set cherries aside. Return the cooking liquid to the sauce pot and reduce until it coats the back of a spoon, then chill.
To prepare the tart, preheat oven to 400ºF. Score a ¾-inch border around the edge of the puff pastry. Bake the puff pastry at 400ºF until golden brown and puffed. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.
Once the pastry is cooled, gently press down the center section of the puff along the score lines to create a large well. Pipe a ½-inch layer of chilled pastry cream into the well. Arrange the cherries on top and then glaze with the reduced cooking liquid. Garnish with chiffonade mint and whipped cream.