From: Chef Jan Birnbaum, Sazerac, Seattle.
Yield: 2 tarts.
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup almonds, finely ground in a food processor
1 lb. (2 cups) unsalted butter
pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 oz. (3/4 cup) sugar
6 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 whole cloves, smashed
1/4 cup honey
2 tsp. orange zest
1 vanilla bean, scraped
16 oz. (2 cups) port wine
1 cup water
2 lb. bing cherries, pitted
as needed, corn meal
1 1/2 cups hazelnuts, skinned
2 egg whites
1 1/2 lb. (3 8-oz. containers) Wisconsin Mascarpone cheese
1/3 cup melted butter as needed for sprinkling, coarse sugar
as needed, flour
2 eggs beaten with 1 Tbsp. water
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, for dusting
For dough: Combine first 5 ingredients in a food processor. Pulse the machine until mixture has the texture of coarse meal. Add egg yolks and cream. Pulse until dough forms a ball.
Transfer dough to floured board. Knead gently just until ingredients bind, incorporating more flour if dough is too sticky. Separate-dough into four pieces, rolling each into a 6' disk. Wrap each disk separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
For cherries: Bring all ingredients except cherries to a boil. Simmer until the liquid thickens and has the consistency of thin syrup. Cool slightly and pour mixture over the cherries. Macerate cherries, refrigerated, a minimum of 24 hours and up to 3 days. Just before assembling pies, drain cherries, reserving liquid. Reduce liquid until it coats the back of a metal spoon. Set aside.
For final preparation: Preheat oven to 350°F. Toast the hazelnuts in preheated oven for approximately 10 minues. Roll in terry cloth to remove skins; cool and chop coarsely.
Spray the sides of two removable-bottom 10" tart pans with nonstick coating and dust with flour and cornmeal. Shake pans to remove excess.
Roll dough pieces into two 12" circles. Place one dough circle in each of the tart pans, lining the sides and leaving a 1/2" overhang. Brush bottoms with egg white and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Dividing equally between the two pieces, place cherries near the center of the dough, leaving a vacant edge. Dot filling with Mascarpone cheese, approximately 8 oz. per pie. Sprinkle the filling with the hazelnuts, dividing equally. Drizzle enough of the reduced cherry liquid on the pie fillings to make them juicy, about 1/4 cup.
Brush edges of dough with egg whites. Roll remaining dough into 10" circles and place on top of the pies. Press bottom and top crust edges together, sealing the edges completely. Brush top crusts with melted butter and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Make four 2" slits through the domes of the top dough. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Increase oven temperature to 375°F. Bake until golden brown and filling is hot and bubbly, approximately 20 minutes in convection oven and 30 minutes in conventional oven. Cool for 30 minutes before cutting each pie into 6 wedges. To serve, top each slice with a dollop of Mascarpone, dust with powdered sugar and drizzle with remaining sauce.