This Fresh Cherry Tart Recipe is beautiful and delicious and perfect for your next party or special occasion. You won't regret making this impressive and tasty treat!
So by now, you have probably heard me talk about the copious amounts of cherries we purchase every summer and I was determined to use them all. But, to be honest, I had no idea what to make until I started seeing cherry tarts recipes.
I adapted this recipe from Martha Stewart (of course), and the result was pretty impressive if I do say so myself. This recipe does take some time and has quite a few steps, but the result is worth it, I promise!
- Why I Love This Cherry Tart Recipe
- Step by Step Instructions
- Start with the Cherry Syrup
- How to Make a Basic Sweet Crust for Pastries
- Other Uses for the Pâté Sucrée Crust
- Make the Simple and Delicious Pastry Cream
- Make Fresh Whipped Cream
- How to Prepare the Cherries
- Assemble the Cherry Tart
- Can This Tart Be Made with Other Fruit?
- Can I use Frozen or Canned Cherries?
- What Steps Can Be Done Ahead of Time?
- How to Store A Pastry Tart with Cream
- Fresh Cherry Tart Recipe
- Did you make this Fresh Cherry Tart Recipe?
Why I Love This Cherry Tart Recipe
I love this recipe for its vibrant color and perfect balance of sweet and tart flavors. Fresh cherries pair perfectly with the sweet pastry cream and flaky crust.
Preparing this recipe is a true culinary experience right at home. The result of the steps in this recipe creates a stunning dessert that impresses both guests and loved ones, making it a cherished go-to option for any occasion.
Step by Step Instructions
This Fresh Cherry Tart Recipe will make you feel like you can make anything in the kitchen! There are several steps in this cherry tart recipe but they flow pretty easily.
Start with the Cherry Syrup
Add all of the syrup ingredients to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat stirring and smashing cherries until boiling. Boil for 1 minute and then remove from the heat.
Smash the cherries a little more to release the juices and then allow the mixture to cool completely. Once cooled, strain the cherries from the syrup and keep them in the refrigerator until ready to use.
And since I hate to waste anything, especially beautiful fruit, I use the mashed fruit for a cocktail or add it to popsicles for my son. See my recipe for Homemade Luxardo Cherries if you want to add liquor to your syrup!
How to Make a Basic Sweet Crust for Pastries
This is a pretty basic sweet shortcrust pastry crust (a.k.a. "pâté sucrée" which translates to sweet dough in French). Once you have made it a few times, it will be a staple in your kitchen.
Place the flour, sugar, and salt into a bowl and combine. Next, add butter pieces and incorporate them with a pastry cutter until the mixture becomes crumbly.
Add the ice water and then the egg yolks until you have a wet, sticky dough. Place the dough on a floured surface and roll it into a ball.
Divide the dough in half and pat each half into round discs. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour.
Roll the dough out on a floured surface to about a 12-inch round and about ¼ inch thick. Gently place the rolled-out dough onto your tart pan and pat it into place using your fingers.
Place the tart pan in the freezer for 15 minutes and preheat the oven to 375°F. After 15 minutes, remove the crust from the freezer and pierce it all over with a fork to ensure the crust doesn't bubble while cooking.
Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the crust and fill the bottom with pie weights or something heavy. Bake the crust for 20 minutes.
Remove the parchment paper and weights and bake for an additional 10 to 12 minutes. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool.
Other Uses for the Pâté Sucrée Crust
Since this is a basic sweet shortcrust, you can use it for all kinds of tart-like desserts. You could fill the crust with chocolate ganache or a mousse or you can use this dough to cut out cookie shapes and make buttery cookies.
Make the Simple and Delicious Pastry Cream
Some call it pastry cream, some call it custard. Whatever you call it, this stuff is amazing!
Place the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan and whisk together. Add the milk and the egg yolks to another bowl and whisk together and then add to the saucepan.
Finally, add the butter to the saucepan and cook over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
Place the pastry cream in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the pastry cream to prevent skin from forming. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.
Make Fresh Whipped Cream
Pour cold whipping cream into a mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer until you get stiff peaks, about 4-5 minutes. There is no need to add sugar as it will be folded into the pastry cream.
Fold in the freshly whipped cream to the pastry mixture to make this one of the best pastry creams you have ever tasted. Place the cream back into the fridge until you are ready to assemble the tart.
How to Prepare the Cherries
Using a cherry pitter or a straw, remove the pits from each of the rinsed fresh cherries. Cut each cherry in half until you have enough to fill the top of the tart (about 40-50 cherries).
Assemble the Cherry Tart
Remove the tart shell and pastry cream from the fridge and fill the crust with the cream just to the top edge of the shell.
Arrange the cherries on top and then carefully pour the cherry syrup on top. Chill one more time for at least an hour before serving.
Can This Tart Be Made with Other Fruit?
Absolutely! If you don't have cherries, you could always use blueberries or raspberries or whatever fruit you like. That's what's great about fruit recipes, they are usually pretty versatile.
Can I use Frozen or Canned Cherries?
It wouldn't be my first choice and the presentation would not be the same if you used canned or frozen cherries. Using fresh cherries ensures they are full of flavor and nice and firm.
Canned cherries don't have the same structure. However, if you wanted to make this beautiful dessert for the holidays or didn't have fresh cherries, frozen or canned cherries will work in a pinch.
What Steps Can Be Done Ahead of Time?
This Fresh Cherry Tart Recipe has quite a few steps and takes some time, but don't run away yet. Most of the time in this recipe is spent chilling things in the fridge or freezer.
Here are a few things you can do the day before or even a few days before so it won't be so overwhelming (or you can be like me and do it all in one day!).
- Make the crust dough ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to roll it out.
- You could also make and bake the crust, leave it in the fridge, and have it ready for the next day.
- Make the pastry cream and/or the whipped cream ahead of time and chill in the fridge.
- Make the cherry syrup ahead of time. Not only is this the easiest step, but you can also use the cherry syrup for other things like desserts and cocktails!
How to Store A Pastry Tart with Cream
Store any leftover cherry tart tightly covered with plastic wrap or in a sealable container in the fridge for 1-2 days.
Fresh Cherry Tart Recipe
- 9-12" tart pan
- pie crust weights or beans
- cherry pitter (optional)
- mesh seive
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups cherries, pitted
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry Crust
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces (2 sticks)
- ¼ cup ice-cold water
- 3 large egg yolks, beaten
Pastry Cream and Cherry Topping
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 2 cups whole milk
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream, cold
- 3 cups cherries, pitted and cut in half
- Add water, sugar, and cherries into a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring and smashing cherries until boiling. Boil for 1 minute and then remove the pan from the heat.
- Smash the cherries a little more to release the juices and then allow the mixture to cool completely. Once cooled, strain the cherries from the syrup place the syrup into the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Place the flour, sugar, and salt into a bowl and stir to combine. Add butter pieces and incorporate them with a pastry cutter until the mixture becomes crumbly. Add the ice water a little at a time, mixing in each time until all of the water is incorporated. Add the egg yolks last, and mix in until you have a wet, sticky dough.
- Place the dough on a floured surface and roll it into a ball. Divide the dough in half and pat each half into round discs. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour.
- Once chilled, place the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll it out to about a 12-inch round that is about ¼ inch thick (it doesn't have to be perfect because you will cut off the excess).
- Gently place the rolled-out dough onto your tart pan and pat it into place using your fingers. Form around the edges and use your fingers to push the excess dough off using the sharp edges.
- Place the tart pan in the freezer for 15 minutes. While the crust is in the freezer, preheat the oven to 375°F. After 15 minutes, remove the crust from the freezer and pierce it all over with a fork to ensure the crust doesn't bubble while cooking.
- Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the crust (about 2-3 inches overhang all around). Fill the bottom with pie weights or something heavy. I do not have pie weights so I used some beans that had been in my pantry forever (do not eat after using them as weights).
- Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and weights and bake for an additional 10 to 12 minutes. Place the tart pan with the crust on a wire rack to cool.
- Place the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan and whisk together. Add the milk and the egg yolks into another bowl and whisk together and then add to the saucepan.
- Turn on the heat to medium and add the butter to the saucepan. Continue cooking and whisking until the mixture comes to a boil. This happens very quickly and turns into a thick cream.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Place the pastry cream in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the pastry cream to prevent skin from forming. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.
- Pour cold whipping cream into a mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer until you get stiff peaks, about 4-5 minutes. Once the pastry cream has cooled, whisk it one more time to get the mixture nice and creamy, and then fold the whipped cream in with a spatula.
- Add the pastry cream to the tart shell, leaving about ¼" of space to the top of the crust edge.
- Slice the remaining cherries and place them on top of pastry cream until the entire surface is covered.
- Carefully spoon the chilled cherry syrup on top of the sliced cherries. Be careful not to overfill and create a spill over the edge.
- Place the tart in the refrigerator for 45-60 minutes so everything is fully chilled and set. Enjoy!
- Store any leftover cherry tart covered in the fridge for 1-2 days.
- I have also used a little maraschino liqueur syrup from my recipe for Homemade Luxardo Cherries for an extra pizzazz but the regular cherry syrup from the recipe above works perfectly, especially if you are serving to kids!
Any nutrition calculations are only estimates using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.
Did you make this Fresh Cherry Tart Recipe?
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I followed the recipe for the cherry syrup and pastry cream topping. I used an already made pie crust that I rolled out in a 9" tart part with removable bottom. IMO, the 1 cup of sugar was too sweet for the syrup. It also was think but running which I ended up not using it as the pastry cream would have been more runny than it already was. There was way too much of the pastry cream for the tart pan. I must have had about 1 cup extra. The pastry cream was soft but not firm so cutting a slice was more like have a pudding mess. I followed the recipe and didn't make any changes. I love to bake and I think I'm pretty good baker but this recipe was a thumbs down.
Sorry it didn't work out for you, but thanks for checking it out and giving it a try.😊
Hi there! Great recipe! Am I reading right that it makes two different doughs? Save the extra in the freezer to make more? What else can you make with this type of dough?
You can use the extra dough for any tart-like desserts. You could fill the crust with chocolate ganache or a mousse. You can also use this dough to cut out cookie shapes and make buttery cookies!
Can we use frozen cherries?
Hi Begum, you can use frozen cherries, however, you probably won't be able to achieve the same presentation since frozen fruit tends to lose its shape. I highly recommend fresh cherries, but if it's not possible, let me know how frozen cherries turn out!
Priyanka @FlavorQuotient says
Oh Wow! I would love to have a handsome portion of that pie! Looks to gorgeous and tempting! Love your blog! Pinned for later!
Thank you, I hope you get a chance to make this tart someday!
This looks amazing!! Cherries have just started to make an appearance in the supermarkets and local shops so I'll be sure to make this yummy tart.
Perfect timing, enjoy!
Mama Maggie's Kitchen says
This dish is making me drool! I can't wait to have this.
This looks so delicious ?
My little family would completely devour this in one sitting! lol It looks incredible!
I hope you get a chance to make it, it definitely disappears fast!
I don't often make tarts but I'm a sucker for cherries. This was absolutely delicious!
I'm so glad you liked it. If you are going to make a tart, you might as well make a fantastic one!
Chef Dennis says
I will definitely have this mouthwatering Fresh Cherry Tart Recipe on our next gathering!
Great recipe. Thanks for sharing.
You are welcome! I hope you get a chance to make it.
Christie Gagnon says
My husband and I were just talking about going cherry picking. I will have to bookmark this recipe to try, looks great!
I hope you try it! It's so worth it, especially with fresh cherries!
I love a dessert using fresh fruit and this one did not disappoint! Love the combo of the custard with the fresh cherries. Can't wait to make it again!
Love cherries, they are my favourite fruit. Will definitely try this dessert recipe!
If you like cherries you will love this recipe!
One of my most loved desserts - fresh cherries are just wonderful. What a gorgeous recipe!