An update on the classic French fruit tart with custard, this Instagram-worthy beauty from Anita Chu from Millbrae celebrates summer and the return to baking for those outside your cohort. Blogger Dessert First posted this jaw-dropping pie, sprinkled with Rainier and Bing cherries, on June 8 and it’s already a hit. The near-blue ink hue of the darker cherries contrasts with the red and white colors of the lighter peaks to create a sophisticated patriotic presentation for your July 4th festivities.
Shadow Cherry Pie
Makes 1 pie
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of sugar
Â¼ teaspoon of salt
Â½ cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon of cold water
Â¼ teaspoon of almond extract
1 cup whole milk, divided use
2 tbsp plus 3 tbsp sugar, divided use
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons of cornstarch
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Â½ teaspoon of almond extract
1 cup heavy cream
Â½ pound of cherries, a mix of Bings and Rainiers
For the crust: Combine flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Pulse to combine.
Add the butter and pulse until the butter is pea-sized pieces.
Combine the water and almond extract and sprinkle with the mixture. Stir until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs – it should not be completely combined into a ball.
Place the mixture on a clean work surface and squeeze gently. If you have trouble getting it to hold, add a few more drops of water.
Gently press the dough into a 4-inch by 13-inch rectangular pie pan and press down the sides to form a pie crust. Chill in the refrigerator while you heat the oven to 375 degrees.
Line dough with foil and fill with pie weights. Bake the pie shell for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove foil and cook until golden, 12 to 15 minutes more. Take out of the oven and let cool.
For the custard: Mix Â¾ cup of milk with 2 tablespoons of sugar in a small saucepan. Heat on the stove over medium heat, until the sugar has dissolved and bubbles appear along the edges of the pan.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and 3 tablespoons of sugar in a bowl.
Whisk together cornstarch and remaining cup of remaining milk in a small bowl, then add it to the egg yolk mixture, whisking to combine.
Pour the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from cooking.
Return everything to the pot and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens. Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts.
Scrape the custard into a bowl, squeeze a piece of plastic wrap over the surface and refrigerate until needed.
When you are ready to use the custard, use a mixer to whip the cream into soft peaks, then gently fold it into the custard to lighten it.
To finish the tart: Pour the pastry cream into the tart shell and spread it evenly. Fill the pie shell just below the top; you may have a little pastry cream left over.
Wash and pit the cherries, cut them in half. Arrange the cherry halves by color, from darker to lightest, on the pastry cream. Use immediately.
– Anita Chu, Dessert first