19 June 2008

Cherry Torte

Just a word of warning: I am headed to the Home of the Jack Rabbits tomorrow, at sparrow's fart (translation: early. Too damn early in the morning. Thanks to my South African blogger friend for adding that to my vocabulary.).

Anyhoo: the blog, she has been quite neglected lately. So I have pre-written some posts, and they should go up while I'm away. Hopefully. Apologies now if they don't, and if not I will be back bright and early on June 27th.

On to the torte, eh? So. Cherry Torte. I really really really wanted to love this recipe. It comes from my home land, and it involves my most favoritest fruit ever, and it seems so cool and summery and refreshing. Only: it was 2 hours of hell in a hot kitchen that I totally regret.

Okay, okay. Not totally. It tasted great. But a few pearls of wisdom for the readers out there:

1. The custard needs to be on the double boiler for a LONG TIME. I boiled mine for ten minutes, then spilled a third of it all over the oven in a tipping accident. Hell. Absolute hell. Hot burning custard all over my new stove top, in the oven, in the broiler, in the fricking oven window. Permanently. Fabulous. But back to the story: I cleaned, then started the double boiler again. Went 20 more minutes, and it still didn't set as necessary. Lovely.

2. When the recipe says "until a pudding consistency" - they mean set and chilled pudding. Not pudding on the stove, still kinda soupy before you chill and set it. Because I was confused, cooked mine until it was a very thick soup. Um, nope. It was not set enough.

3. Your crust (with all its buttery goodness) will leak in the oven while you toast your meringue. Mine is now burned to carbon to the bottom of my oven. So be sure to put a pan underneath the baking torte, to catch the drips.

4. This does not keep well. By 24 hours, the custard center had separated and it wasn't pretty. I had to throw it away. So make it the same day you plan on serving it!

Yay! Whew. All that is in the past and done. Now we can get to the taste and all that good stuff. So: my torte, it ended up not being the prettiest one on the block. Whatever, that's fine. I still photographed it, and you still have to look at it. The taste, now, that was absolutely lovely. Through all the trials and tribulations, the torte was a sloppy mess but tasted like a dream. Tart cherries, sweet custard, sugary crispy crust, and sweet light meringue on top. YUM.

Give it a try with my pointers in mind, and post away on your own blog or send me pics! I am sure, when those things are worked out, there is a not only delicious but BEAUTIFUL torte out there, just ready for its debut on the Internet.

Good evening, darlings. See you soon. Enjoy the blog while I am away :)

Cherry Torte
(From R. J. Baumann's Foods That Made Wisconsin Famous)

For the crust:
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. graham cracker crumbs

For the filling:
3 c. milk
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
3/4 c.sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
14 oz. pitted, tart red cherries, drained (not pie filling!)

For the topping:
1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
3 egg whites
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar

For the crust:
Cream sugar and butter. Add graham cracker crumbs and combine thoroughly. Pat in the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. By lightly buttering the bottom of the pan before putting in the crumb mixture, slices will be easier to remove.

For the custard filling:
Combine milk, egg yolks, cornstarch, sugar and vanilla in a double boiler and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick and creamy and has a pudding-like consistency [Nemmie Note: dudes, seriously. He means chilled, set, like-you-buy-in-those-little-plastic-cups-Jello-pudding. For reals]. This part is important, otherwise custard may be too runny or too firm when filling should have a firm but creamy texture.

This cooking should take about 15 to 20 minutes [Nemmie Note: HE IS LYING. Do yourself a favor, give it 20-30 minutes]. Remove from heat, and allow custard to cool for 15 to 20 minutes more. Pour mixture over graham cracker crust in pan.

For the topping:
Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over top of custard. Beat egg whites with the cream of tartar until stiff but not dry. Spread mixture on top and bake at 350 degrees until meringue is golden. Allow to cool about 30 minutes on the countertop, then chill for at least 2 hours.

Rrefrigerate until ready to serve. Serves eight or more.


Patricia Scarpin said...

I'm sorry to hear the recipe gave you such a hard time, Nemmie.
That slice looks delish, though!

sophia smith said...

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