Comfort me with Cherries: Bing Cherry Goat Cheese Tart with Black Pepper

by Irvin on June 6, 2011 · 16 comments

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Cherry Goat Cheese Almond Tart. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

Yesterday morning I found myself waving goodbye to AJ as he rode off to Los Angeles, 545 miles away, to raise money for the AIDS Lifecycle. This is his 11th ride and I think every year, I’ll be a little more casual about dropping him off and seeing him ride into the distance. And every year it’s just as powerful, seeing him and 2300+ other cyclists ride off on their journey to LA (yeah yeah, I got teary eyed again don’t look at me like that). Driving home, next to the cyclists I realize that I will be spending the coming week alone, in my home office, without the coworkers of a day job to distract me. And with that thought in mind, I drove directly to the grocery store and bought 6lbs of cherries to comfort me in my loneliness. And though I know I could have eaten them all as is, I actually had been invited to a dinner party later in the evening, so I made a Bing Cherry Honey Sweetened Goat Cheese Corn Flour Tart with Fresh Ground Black Pepper to bring along.

Irvin and AJ

The spring/summer is always an insane time for AJ and I (well, not that fall/winter isn’t either, now that I think of it). With the winter months behind us, and the weather (finally) getting warmer, I started seeing spring berries and summer stone fruit coming out at the market. But one of my favorite fruits are sweet cherries. I can eat pounds and pounds of them in one sitting and I’ve actually skipped meals, eating just cherries alone (this is not good thing. I don’t recommend it). AJ usually is around to pull me back from the brink of cherry overload, but the reality happens to be that cherries have a fleeting season and I want to take as much advantage of them as I can.

Cherry Goat Cheese Tart

I rarely bake with cherries, as most recipes call for sour cherries and those are insanely difficult (but not impossible) to find in San Francisco. I do, on occasion, bake with sweet cherries, but the hassle of pitting each individual cherry is a bit of a mental barrier. Once you get in the groove of things however, pitting cherries goes fast (I guess they would go faster if I actually got a cherry pitter, but I loathe to have one more unitasker gadget in my kitchen drawer). But making a tart seemed totally doable, especially since you only have to pit enough cherries to cover the tart with one layer, and besides, baking calms and comforts me. This tart actually uses raw cherries, unbaked, with just a sprinkling of sugar to bring out the juices and a dash of fresh ground black pepper to give the fruit some depth.

Cherry Goat Cheese Tart

AJ is off on his great adventure, cycling down to LA, where I’ll be meeting up with him at the end of the week, which seems forever and day, though I know the time will go quickly. As I putter around the house, alone in my slobby ways (there’s no one here to magically pick up all my dirty clothes!), and curl up alone in my excessively large bed for one person, reaching for one more cherry to eat though my stomach is groaning in protest, I’ll be thinking of him riding down the coast, raising money to fight a devasting disease that has effect countless of lives. And, I think to myself, my partner is one of the most amazing people that I know. Well, him and 2300+ other people doing the ride as well.

AIDS Lifecycle

AJ rides off on AIDS Lifecycle

If you’d like to make a donation to help fight AIDS, you still can. Please visit AJ’s lifecycle homepage and make a contribution to his fundraising. Thank you.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Belinda @zomppa June 6, 2011 at 5:52 am

Woohoo! Go, AJ. A good friend of mine has been doing that ride for several years, too, so maybe they’ll meet on the road.

Is there such a thing as cherry overload?

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kimberly June 6, 2011 at 7:59 am

Once again, you have inspired me – and as I too am enamored with cherry season, I will definitely be trying this! Love the step-by-step photos – thank you!
Have a marvelous week – my sweet is in LA this week as well – video game conference. However, unlike you, I am surrounded by boys of all ages – so enjoy the quiet!
xx

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Shawn June 6, 2011 at 8:11 am

Beautiful Tart…Inspiring Post :)

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Tessa June 6, 2011 at 8:51 am

Go AJ! I think I’d die trying to ride from SF to LA. You two are so cute together.

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Lauren at Keep It Sweet June 6, 2011 at 8:58 am

Gorgeous tart! The combination of charries and goat cheese sounds amazing.

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MikeVFMK June 6, 2011 at 11:35 am

You two are pretty special, it’s obvious. I love that he’s out there making a difference, it shows what kind of people you are. And I can empathize with your feelings of being alone at home.

And I loved this tart. I also grab as many cherries while they’re here and now I have one more fantastic was to use them in baking! Thanks Irvin! I’ll be making this soon.

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S. B. Hadley Wilson June 6, 2011 at 1:50 pm

I had this tart last night, literally — the one in the picture — and it was delicious! The cheese filling was superb!

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Angela@spinachtiger June 6, 2011 at 8:48 pm

Love what A.J. is doing and I love this recipe. 101 cookbooks has a great cherry recipe (little cherry coconut mini tarts) I think you might love. I’ve featured it also and have made it many many times, but pitting the cherries is no picnic. I vow to buy a cherry pitter this summer.

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Stephanie @ okie dokie artichokie June 7, 2011 at 11:37 am

Gorgeous! Love the entire cast of flavors you drew upon for this wonderful tart! :-)

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Shauna from Piece of Cake June 7, 2011 at 8:49 pm

You are the Bing to my Cherry, Sir Honky. Take that however.

Love this post! xo

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Charles June 8, 2011 at 5:50 am

I share your sentiment about cherry pitters, but I received one by OXO last year as a gift and have come to see the light. It is small, easy to use, and a god send when need to manage large quantities (for things such as cherry chutney :-) ). This one also has a latch on the back, so it stays closed in the drawer to take up less space…

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OC2Seattle June 8, 2011 at 11:54 am

This looks so good, I may have to overcome my Witches of Eastwick induced aversion to fresh cherries. But I’m definitely using a cherry pitter ;)

Hooray for AJ and the other cyclists fighting to combat such a devastating and too little talked about these days disease!

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Maria June 8, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Beautiful post and tart! Thanks for sharing!

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John McLay June 8, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Irvin, my wife (Brooke McLay of Cheeky Kitchen) just shared this post with me. I am impressed and touched…and suddenly rather hungry. What an inspiring cause; what a great thing AJ is doing. I’m on my way to AJ’s Lifecycle Hompage now to make a donation.

Brooke says such wonderful things about you, Irvin. I look forward to meeting you!

Kind regards,
John

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Rita June 30, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Perhaps I will get you a cherry pitter, because I love when you make stuff with them. I still drool remembering those muffins you once made with the fresh cherry filling . . .

Cherry season is all too fleeting!! I watch for it anxiously and binge when it comes. I associate cherries you and AJ and the RIDE every year, too, because you are always eating a sack of them on your drive down to pick him up. Woo hoo!!

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Andrea Meyers July 21, 2011 at 2:29 pm

What a beautiful tart! I love the look of the cherries on top, and the idea of cherries and goat cheese together.

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