Cherry Tart with Cherry Cardamom Chutney

cherry chutney.jpg

I'm crazy for cardamom. Cardamom is seriously aromatic, and a little goes along way - it's hard to describe: is it sweet? is it savory? minty? floral? honeyed? I love cardamom because of it's versatility - it is just as important in a curry as in a dessert. Try a sprinkle in your coffee, or even in your beer! A recent trek through a cardamom growing field in Kerala, India ranks among my favorite experiences. I learned that cardamom is grown on the root of the cardamom plant. I pinched a bud off and sucked out the deliciousness inside - sweet, not bitter, with a taste that lingered for hours. The cardamom is then dried and sold, and available as green, white, or black pods. 

I wanted to make something sweet and savory, that was cardamom on cardamom - both in the dough and in the drizzled sauce. This recipe can be as easy as you want to be, depending on whether or not you make your own dough. This dough is a twist on a classic flaky dough, with fresh ginger and cardamom baked in. You can easily use a different vehicle - a store bought flatbread works as well! A topping of ricotta, cherries, olive oil tossed pea shoots, and a cumin-coriander-cardamom cherry sauce is a surprising and delicious combination. This can work as an appetizer, brunch, or even a not-so-sweet dessert (maybe sans greens). 

cherry chutney
2 cups pitted and halved cherries

2 tbsp grapeseed oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
heaping 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp salt
1 star anise, 1/4"ceylon cinnamon stick
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Heat grapeseed oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add cumin seeds, coriander seeds and toast until aromatic, about 2 minutes. Add 2 cups cherries and balsamic vinegar and turn to medium-high heat until you hear a sizzle. Cover and turn heat to low for 5 minutes. Add star anise, cinnamon, cardamom, stir, and cover. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Add salt, cover, simmer covered for 5 minutes or until jammy consistency. Remove from heat, let cool, remove star anise. Your choice whether to leave it chunky or blend into a smooth sauce.

1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp finely minced fresh ginger
1 tsp ground cardamom (+ 1/2 tsp if you love cardamom)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup 1" cubes of cold butter
1/4 cup ice cold water

Pulse flour, sugar, ginger, cardamom, baking powder, salt in food processor to combine. Add cubes of butter and pulse several times until pea-sized pieces form. Add water and pulse until dough just starts to come together. Dump dough out onto a clean surface and knead with hands until dough is formed. Press into a flat disc about an inch    thick, wrap in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough until it's about 3/4 in thick, and use cereal bowls to trace circles in the dough. Fold the edges in to make a crust, and put a thick layer of your sauce as a base. Bake for 30 minutes, or until crust is deep golden brown. 

1 cup pitted and halved cherries

handful of pea shoots

1 cup ricotta

Toss pea shoots with a tbsp of olive oil and a sprinkle of large flake sea salt. Spread your toasted flatbread (or freshly baked dough!) with ricotta, top with fresh halved cherries and olive-oil tossed pea shoots. Drizzle with cardamom cherry sauce and serve right away.