Let’s keep using seasonal ingredients to make something delicious!
Cherries has been the queen of this starting summer and why not make some jam and a special cherry tart with them?
But first let us move to Vignola (from the Modena province) and discover the MORETTA CHERRY, a local cherry variety, excellent eaten fresh, but also well suited to making jams and compotes (a fruit sauce made with pieces of fresh fruit).
Are you ready? Let’s start!
Cherry Jam to garnish (for two jars of jam):
1kg Moretta cherries from Vignola
250g cane sugar
1 lemon juiced
lemon zest in slices
orange zest in slices
Sweet pastry tart:
320g farro (wheat) flour
2 medium size eggs
90g cane sugar
80ml sunflower oil
8g vanilla flavoured baking powder
FOR THE JAM:
Wash, drain and pit the cherries (by hand with a knife or using a peeler). Discard any that may not be good or healthy.
Place cherries in a deep heavy bottom pan, leave some space for the jam to rise.
Add sugar, lemon juice and lemon & orange slices zest and stir.
Once the mixture comes to a boil, turn the heat to medium-low.
The mixture should still be simmering but slowly. Let simmer for about 2 hours or there abouts.
After this you will see the mixture has darkened, thickened and reduced.
When using a spoon and you see the jam sticking to it, you know the jam is ready.
When done, take the jam off the heat and pour it straight away into a warm sterilized jar leaving 1cm from the top. Clean the rim of the jar with a clean paper towel.
Top the lid and screw on rings (that come with the canning jars).
Place the jar upside down. Let cool completely.
Press the top of the lid to ensure the seal is tight – the lid should not move at all.
Store in a cool dry place.
Cherries – I used dark purple-black cherries, called “Moretta” typical from Vignola, so the colour of the jam will be darker. I leave them in large chunks after peeling them and I pulse them in the blender towards the end. The resulting jam will be very syrupy. Always use a heavy bottom saucepan. This will prevent the jam from sticking or burning on the bottom.
Sterilization – Sterilize two jars by washing them in hot soapy water or place them in the dishwasher on a gentle cycle. Place them in the oven for 20 minutes at 140C, this will dry any excess moisture in the bottles.
Leave them in the oven until you are ready to use.
Do not forget to wash and sterilize the bottle lids as well.
FOR THE SWEET PASTRY:
In a large bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder. Whisk eggs in another large bowl adding sugar and sunflower oil until smooth. Gradually add farro flour and vanilla baking powder mix, stirring with a fork, until dough is smooth and stiff.
Once the dough is ready roll it out making a 1.5cm pastry sheet as base for creating the base for the tart.
Brush the tart pan with the butter. Shake off the excess.
Press the dough at the bottom and sides of the tart pan.
Pass a rolling pin or a knife to top of the tart pan to cut off the edges.
Using a fork, prick the bottom of the dough to prevent bubbles.
Pour the jam on the dough then flatten with the back of a spoon.
With the excess dough, create some strips using a pastry cutter.
Make a lattice (or however you want to form it) on the tart.
Bake the tart in a preheated oven for 35–40 minutes in 180 Degrees Celsius (or until golden).
Let it cool and serve it.
Grown in the area around Modena since the 19th century, this cherry variety began to be widely sold in the early years of the 1900s.
Though known as the Moretta di Vignola, in different places it can also be called ciliegia mora, Mora di Vignola, ciliegia nera or simply “ciliegia” to distinguish it from the firm-fleshed variety also found in the area, generically known as “duroni.”
The fruits are of average size, the skin is thin, shiny and, when the fruits are completely ripe, almost black in color. The dark blackish-red flesh is tender and very juicy, with a sweet, slightly tart and very aromatic flavor.
Passionate for food & travel, I loved living in China for 12 years and exploring a different culture. I had the opportunity to discover new flavors and unknown ingredients in the cooking process and became inspired in my own recipes. Tradition though is still an important part of my life. Tradition is the origin of my passion, it’s where everything came from: looking at my Nonna cooking in a tiny kitchen in a little village in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna Region is where my love of food was born.
Communication is another important asset of my philosophy: I love photography. I believe images have strong communication power in creating emotions. That’s why recipes will always be introduced by photos of my creations. Looking at pictures of my dishes will be a travel in time and space, entering the kitchen and enjoying the taste of authentic Italian creations.
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