I am not a summer person.

It’s the heat. I hate the humidity, the scorching pavements, and the funky smells of the city. While everybody else is having their fun adventures taking trips to the beach or upstate, I hole up inside in front of the air conditioner. The moment I step foot outside of its range, I immediately start sweating. All other attempts to stay cool are worthless: I don’t like the way my arms look in sleeveless shirts and I’m very mad about the fact that those off-the-shoulder blouses are the only shirts you can buy in stores these days. There is only so much ice cream I can eat, as a lactose-intolerant-person-in-semi-denial-about-her-situation.

Summer’s saving grace are the fruits and vegetables that come into season. After a dreary winter, the city’s farmers markets are now bursting at the seams with the prettiest flowers, luscious strawberries, and bright currants. All begging to be baked into pies and cakes.

It’s a pity that turning on my oven immediately ratchets our apartment’s temperature to 90 degrees+. So how do I balance my whims to bake with my need to stay cool?

I think the answer is this: I declare this to be the summer of rustic, fruit-based baked goods. There will be none of the elaborate layer cakes and time-consuming bakes of the winter — instead, I’ll be playing with recipes that are fast and easy, often one bowl in nature. The results might not be the prettiest or most elaborate, but boy, I hope they’ll be tasty.

Like this cherry frangipane tart. With almond in both the crust and the frangipane filling, it can seem a little boring in flavor. But the ripe and flavorful cherries are sweet and at the peak of their season, bringing a much welcome bold flavor to the otherwise one dimensional tart.

plate || bowl || knife || tumbler || pitcher
Some baker’s notes:
  • The frangipane recipe makes more than what’s needed for the recipe. It might not seem like you’re using enough for the filling, but trust the recipe! The frangipane will puff up when baked and take on a consistency halfway between a buttery pound cake and a sticky sponge cake.

Get the Recipe: Cherry Frangipane Tart

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For the Frangipane

    (makes around 1 3/4 cups)

    • 1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) granulated sugar
    • fresh zest from 1 medium orange
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick // 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 1 large egg, at room temperature
    • 1 cup (4.5 ounces) blanched almond meal
    • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon dark rum
    • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
    • a pinch of of kosher salt
    • For the Almond Crust
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick // 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (2.20 ounces) granulated sugar
    • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
    • 1 cup (4.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 cup (1.15 ounces) blanched almond meal
    • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

    For the Tart Filling and Topping

    • 1 cup (5 ounces) fresh cherries, stemmed, pitted, and halved
    • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 1/2 recipe frangipane
    • 1/4 cup raw unsalted pistachios
    • 1 teaspoon honey
    • confectioners' sugar, for dusting


    • a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom


    For the Frangipane

    • In the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar and fresh zest from 1 medium orange. Use your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar — doing so will help release oils from the zest that will infuse the sugar with orange flavor. Add 1/2 cup unsalted butter and beat on medium-speed until light and fluffy. Add 1 large egg, and continue beating until smooth. Lower the mixer speed to medium and add 1 cup blanched almond meal, 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon dark rum, 1 teaspoon pure almond extract, and a pinch of kosher salt. Beat until smooth. Use immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

    For the Cherry Frangipane Tart

    • Prepare a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom by spraying the sides and bottom lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
    • In the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine 1/2 cup unsalted butter and 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the bowl, and add 1 large egg yolk, beating on medium speed until incorporated. Lower the mixer speed to its slowest setting and add 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup blanched almond meal, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, continuing to beat on low speed until just incorporated.
    • Use a rubber spatula to transfer the dough into the prepared tart pan. Use your fingertips and the back of your hands to press the dough evenly across the bottom and up the sides of the pan to cover in a thin layer around 1/4-inch thick. Use a fork to "dock" the tart crust by poking holes evenly across its surface. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet, and transfer to the freezer for at least 10 minutes to firm up.
    • As the tart crust is freezing, center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350. Combine 1 cup fresh cherries and 3 tablespoons granulated sugar in a medium bowl; toss to combine.
    • Once the tart has firmed up, remove from the freezer. Use an offset spatula to spread 1/2 recipe frangipane evenly across the tart crust, making sure to spread all the way to the edges. Spoon the cherries and sugar on top of the frangipane, making sure to leave some gaps between the fruit to allow the frangipane to rise.
    • Transfer to the preheated oven and bake until the top is lightly browned, about 40 to 50 minutes. If the frangipane is puffy in some spaces, don't worry — it'll settle! Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes, before unmolding from the pan and cooling completely.
    • When ready to serve, combine 1/4 cup raw unsalted pistachios and 1 teaspoon honey in a small bowl. Toss with your fingers to form small clusters, and drizzle the clusters on top of the tart. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Enjoy!


    Adapted from Saveur
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