Do not adjust your monitors. This is not a beetle pie.
Making this pie, I learned:
1. How to blanch almonds. Verrrry easy. Boil whole shelled almonds for a minute, immerse almonds in ice cold water. Air pockets are created between the shells and nuts, and then almonds can be easily removed from their skins. (I accidentally shot a few across the kitchen...so consider it a weapon also?)
2. How to pronounce Frangipane. It sounds like it's spelled...I wasn't expecting that. It sounds very unnatural on the tongue, but it is fran-juh-PAIN. Frangipane is indicative of an almond flavored filling.
3. How to pit cherries. I felt like Dexter, the lead role of the SHOWTIME series about a serial killer. The OXO cherry pitter, that my sister bought for me (inspired by The Cilantropist's post), has a splatter guard. A splatter guard! How serial killer is that???? This is a Rated R kitchen gadget, but Williams-Sonoma won't tell you that. Don't let your kids see you. Put on a Disney movie.
4. How to age cherries exponentially. Putting cherries in the oven is a reverse face-lift for these guys. Remind me never to go into an oven.
5. How to mask that the first slice is missing. I'm all kinds of wrong. I made this for my husband to congratulate him for his one year of fitness bootcamp. And then I ate the first slice. Sorry. :(
adapted from Peach Frangipane in Bon Appetit Magazine 1992
(my changes in italics)
1 Pie crust made from scratch from AllRecipes
3/4 cup slivered blanched almonds (about 3 1/2 ounces)
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/2 cups pitted sweet cherries plus a few extra for you to eat as you prep :)
Preheat oven to 450°F. Set rack to middle. Open crust on work surface. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon flour. Rub flour over crust, rubbing out creases. Arrange floured side down in 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable sides. Trim and finish edges. Pierce all over with fork. Bake until light brown, about 10 minutes. Cool on rack. Reduce oven temperature to 400°F.
Finely grind slivered blanched almonds in processor. Add sugar, 2 tablespoons amaretto, almond extract, and butter and puree. Add egg and process until well blended. Pour into crust.
Halve the pitted cherries and gently arrange cut faces down. Arrange as densely or sparsely as you like.
Bake until filling begins to brown and is springy to touch, about 15 minutes. Cool on rack. (Can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)