Friday, August 13, 2010

Black Cherry and Coconut Tart

I had just returned from a 2-day trip to Seattle, and on my answering machine was a message offering me a job as an RN on the unit that I'm currently casual on. "Finally!" I thought to myself, "I'll have a steady schedule, and be able to make plans with friends without having to say 'well, I'm casual and always on-call... so, I may or may not be able to come... we'll have to wait and see'."

Words cannot express my excitement!! And so, to celebrate a wonderfully sunny summer day, and me having a steady job (at least for the next 7 months), I decided to do some baking.

I'd always wanted to bake a fruity, tart-like, butter-cookie based bar... and with my black cherry tree producing an over-abundant amount of tiny, tasty cherries I thought that making a Black Cherry and Coconut Tart (with a shortbread cookie base) would be perfect. My friend works at a bake-shop (in Cloverdale) and they make the best almond-cherry tarts... so, this was my attempt to gain par with their tart... although I'm pretty sure that that would be an impossible feat.

Black Cherry and Coconut Tart

- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup cherries, fresh and pitted
- 1/2 tbsp corn starch
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut

1. Crust: By hand, combine the first 3 ingredients until a soft, crumbly dough forms. Press this crusty dough into the bottom of a lined baking pan (8x8 square, or 8-inch round). Bake at 350degrees for 25minutes (watch that the edges do not burn).
2. Filling: Combine the cherries and corn starch, mix until all cornstarch is no longer powdery white and visible. In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the cherries and mix until well combined. Beat in the egg, beating until uniform batter forms. Add in the coconut, continue to mix until well combined.
3. Pour the filling mixture over the warm crust, bake the tart at 350degrees for another 30minutes. Allow to cool, remove from pan, slice and serve.

This tart had the perfect balance of sweet and tangy. I loved the beautiful purple color that the freshly pitted cherries gave to the filling component of the recipe. Served with ice cream, this was the perfect treat for my summer-time celebration ^_^

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