Cherries and almonds make a great flavor combination that has been enjoyed around the world for many centuries. They still are. I love cherry anything and almonds are some of my favorite nuts, so for me, combining them is just a given. To borrow a phrase, it is “two great tastes that taste great together”. This time I combined them to make little cherry and almond bites. It was very similar to a cherry frangipane, which is like a cherry cake. They were part of this week’s feature for the coffee cart, along with some toffee scones and festive cupcakes decorated in green, purple and white for St. Patrick’s Day.
Cherry Almond Bites
I started with a pate sucre, or a sweet pastry dough. Once the dough was set, I lined a 9×13 baking pan sprayed with cooking spray and a sprinkling of almond flour on the bottom then formed the pate sucre on the bottom and sides of the pan.
Sweet Pastry Dough
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup almond flour
6 TBSP cold butter, cubed
2 TBSP powdered sugar
dash of salt
5-6 TBSP heavy whipping cream
Place the flour, butter, salt and powdered sugar in the food processor (you can also mix it together by hand or with a pastry cutter too) and pulse until it all resembles a course sand. Then add the egg and flour and mix again until it forms into a ball. Wrap the dough ball in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using. When the dough is ready, shape it how you like.
1 cup pitted cherries, quartered
1/3 cup orange juice or orange balsamic vinegar
2/3 cups + 2 TBSP sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups almond slivers, divided
1 stick softened butter, cut into TBSP portions
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 TBSP flour
While the dough is setting, cut and pit the cherries and mix them with either 1/3 cup orange juice or Cara-Cara orange balsamic vinaigrette. Heat in the microwave for about 1 minute, mix everything together once again, then let rest before using.
Preheat the oven to 350*F or 190* C.
Place 1 cup of the almonds and everything else in the food processor, except the cherries, and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
Add the cherries and the liquid and pulse again. I also added the additional sugar at this point too.
Once everything is combined well, pour it into the pasty shell and evenly spread it out to fill the shell.
Top the filling with the remainder of the almond slivers.
Bake for about 40-50 minutes or until the dough is golden brown and the center is set.
Allow to cool completely before adding the glaze and cutting into bite-sized squares.
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 TBSP heavy whipping cream
1/4 tsp almond extract
Combine everything together and drizzle over the pastry. Then cut into squares.
If you like the cherry and almond combination like I do, you are going to love this. Once again, it was a big hit. Everyone loved it. This was absolutely cherrilicious.
Stay well and stay safe Everyone. ‘Til next time.