Cherries are like gold. Especially big ripe, Bing cherries. I rarely ever have cherries just hanging around to bake with. They’re too special to be lost in a dessert where they have to share the spotlight with other ingredients.
That’s where frozen cherries come in. They freeze really well! I bought a giant bag of frozen cherries that worked beautifully in this tart. I can’t even imagine how delicious using fresh cherries would be. You can pit them and freeze them yourself if you’re one of the lucky ones that have neighbors with a cherry tree or even the luckiest ever to have a cherry tree yourself. (My Mom actually does have a cherry tree which is absolutely incredible but unfortunately the squirrels and birds beat us to every single one each year. Alas. At least we’re in California where there are plenty of cherry outlets.)
So the actual custard in this recipe is only eggs and half and half. So that means it’s not sweet at all. You only get the sweetness from the cherries that are scattered around the custard. The sweetness really comes from the crust, which I might add, is OUTSTANDING. It’s sweet, a little salty, and it has a hint of cinnamon, which is actually hard to pick up on but you eat it thinking, what is that? It’s just so good. And the best part of the crust is that you don’t need a rolling pin and no chilling of the crust dough is required. It’s just simple. The crust matched with the silky custard is heavenly. Seriously, try this one. It’s worth it!
Fun fact: In French desserts, like the classic Cherry Clafoutis, they often leave the pit in the cherry because it adds a faint element of nuttiness. I really don’t like biting down on a pit so I always remove them, especially in custard desserts, but I thought that was an interesting bit of info!