On July 11, in celebration of National Rainier Cherry Day, Northwest Cherries commissioned one iconic restaurant in each US state to create a menu offering featuring Rainier cherries. Each chef received about 40 pounds (roughly $400 worth of Northwest cherries) to create their individual masterpiece menu items.
For those who haven’t indulged, the Rainier Cherry is that shiny golden cherry sporting a red blush seen at the market next to its dark red counterpart, Bing. It’s regarded for its crisp bite and pale yellow flesh bursting with exceptional sweetness. A premium niche variety that ripens after most other cherries.
This year, the Trapp Family Lodge, in Stowe, Vermont was chosen as the Green Mountain State’s renowned restaurant representative. The Trapp Family Lodge Executive Pastry Chef, Robert Alger and Executive Chef, Kim Lambrecht, created a special dessert with their batch of cherries, a cherry almond tart.
“Knowing that the Rainier Cherries were in Season,” said Lambrecht, “we featured them in our Chef’s Tasting Menu & in a Rainier Cherry Almond Tart for a full week. We are believers of using the freshest ingredients available during each season.”
1 ½ cups All Purpose Flour
1/8 tsp. Salt
½ cup Butter
¼ cup Sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
In a bowl, sift flour and salt together. Place butter in the bowl of your mixer and beat until softened. Add the sugar and beat till light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten egg, beating till incorporated. Add flour mixture all at once and mix just until it forms a ball. Flatten the dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 min or until firm. When it is chilled, roll out and place into 11 inch tart pan. Let chill again for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and par bake the shell with pie weights for 20-25 minutes. Let cool down and prepare your filling.
¼ cup Sugar
3 tbs .Unsalted Butter
1 Large Egg
½ tsp. Vanilla
½ cup Almond Paste
In an electric mixer beat the sugar and butter till creamy. Beat in the egg and vanilla until smooth. Add the almond paste and flour and beat until it forms a smooth paste. Spread the cream on the bottom of the tart shell.
¾ to 1 pound Sweet Cherries, pitted
Place your cherries evenly over the frangipane and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees F Let cool and then de-pan and dust with powder sugar and serve. Makes about 12 slices.
ABOUT NORTHWEST CHERRIES
Northwest Cherries are a part of the Washington State Fruit Commission, a grower's organization funded by fruit assessments to increase awareness and consumption of regional stone fruits. Founded in 1947, the organization is dedicated to the promotion, education, market development, and research of stone fruits from Northwest orchards, and has since grown to include growers in five states – Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Montana. Washington State alone produces 12 varieties of cherries, which make up 60 percent of sweet cherries in the country. The Northwest cherry season lasts from the first week of June until the end of August, generating one of the freshest produce items available – ripened on the tree, cherries are generally harvested, packed and on the shelf of your favorite retailer within two days. For more information, visit www.nwcherries.com or www.wastatefruit.com.