When Pierre Hermé calls a recipe “Nutella tart” you can assume it’s a little bit more involved than just scooping Nutella out of a jar and into a tart crust. His version consists of a layer of Nutella topped with a chocolate ganache and toasted hazelnuts in a rich tart shell. The tart is then baked until the ganache is barely set.
In this version, I omitted the hazelnuts and added some sour cherries in syrup I made a few summers ago to
make room in the refrigerator cut through the richness of these little devils, and I strategically sandwiched them between the Nutella and the chocolate ganache to keep those two from getting into a fistfight. It’s really delicious this way but you could also substitute the sour cherry with bananas or raspberries. I didn’t use Hermé’s recipe for the crust but my own “go to” recipe for pâte sucrée. It works everytime and allows you to make it in smaller batches.
I have a little trick to make neat tart crusts. After you prebake tart shells and let them cool you can trim the rough edges of the crust with a microplane grater to give it a smooth, rounded finish. I don’t know if pastry chefs use it as such but I had a lightbulb moment when I read somewhere that microplane graters were originally invented for wood workers. All I know is that it works like a charm on tart shells. The leftover crust powder can be used to top ice cream or as garnish to more elaborate desserts.
Nutella – Sour Cherry Tart
- Adapted from Pierre Hermé
- Serves 6
For the sweet tart dough (enough for two 9 1/2 inch tarts):
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg
For the filling:
- 2/3 cup Nutella
- 4 3/4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably Valhrona), finely chopped
- 7 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter
- 1 large egg at room temp’
- 3 large egg yolks at room temp’
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup pitted sour cherries
For the sweet tart dough:
- Sift together the confectioners’ sugar, flour and salt into a bowl.
- Place the butter into a food processor and process until smooth.
- Scatter the flour mixture over the butter, add the egg and process just until the dough forms a mass; do not overmix.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least for an hour.
- When ready, line a greased 9 1/2 inch tart pan with half the dough and chill for 30 minutes. Keep the rest for another use.
- Preheat oven to 350’F. Place a piece of parchment paper inside the tart and fill with pie weights, rice or dry beans. Bake the crust for 18-20 minutes, or until it sets and begin to color. Remove the pie weights or rice/beans and the parchment paper and bake for another five minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer the crust to a rack to cool.
For the Nutella – sour cherry tart:
- Preheat the oven to 375′F.
- Spread the Nutella evenly over the bottom of the cooled crust and place the drained sour cherries evenly across the top. Set aside.
- Melt the chocolate and butter in separate bowls over simmering water or in the microwave. Let them cool until they just feel warm to the touch, about 104ºF on an instant read thermometer.
- Using a small whisk or spatula, gently stir the egg into the chocolate (like you would to make mayonnaise or an emulsion sauce), taking care not to beat too much air into the ganache. Stir in the egg yolks one at a time, and then add the sugar. Stir in the warm butter until the mixture is emulsified, smooth and shiny. Immediately pour the ganache over the Nutella and sour cherries in the tart shell.
Bake the tart for exactly 11 minutes (if making individual tartelettes bake for 6 to 7 minutes). Remove the tart from the oven and slide onto a rack to cool. Allow the tart to cool for at least 20 minutes or to room temperature.