Once upon a time there lived a super hunky chunky of chocolate that all the women swooned over because he was so smooth and rich. One day he fell in love with a luscious juicy cherry who was red with passion and they had themselves a little baby tartling named Jolie Laide.
Instead of being super incredibly gorgeous like you might imagine, Jolie Laide turned out to be pretty ugly.
The parents were still proud of their sweetie and raised their little tartling with love and affection.
Well that little tarlette grew up and she never did become very attractive, but because of all the love of her parents, she ended up being the most wonderful person on the inside. She was sweet, wonderful and full of loveliness.
In French the term jolie-laide literally translates to pretty-ugly and is used to describe something that may not be traditionally beautiful, but there is something that makes them undeniably attractive.
Here is the recipe for the Jolie Laide tarlette... she may not be much to look at, but it's what's on the inside that counts.
200g all-purpose flour
100g cold butter, grated and frozen
1 Tbsp white sugar
75 ml cold water (or 1 beaten egg + water to equal 75ml total)
pinch of salt
chocolate cherry filling
40-45 cherries, pitted
½ cup sugar
2 Tbsp corn starch
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 Tbsp vanilla
pinch of salt
To make the pastry, sift the flour and salt directly onto a clean work surface.
Grate the cold butter directly onto the mound of flour. Using a pastry cutter cut in the fat until the flour and butter form a mealy pebbly consistency. This part is called sabler (French for make-like-sand).
Form a well in the center and add the liquid ingredients. Use the pastry cutter again to incorporate the liquid and the flour until they begin to form a loose dough. Line up the flakey dough and use the palm of your hand to slide along the line of dough to create a more cohesive mixture. This is called fraisage. Gather the bits together and press firmly into a ball shape. Wrap it all up in platic wrap and blap it in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes.
When chilled, remove the dough from the plastic wrap and place on a lightly floured work surface. Using a good old wooden roller roll each dough ball out to create a roundish (no need to be exact) piece of pastry approximately ¼ inch thick.
Transfer the pastry to a tart pan and gently push in to fit. Remove the excess around the edge and use your pre-existing pastry skills to crimp the edge nicely.
Place the tart shell in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes.
For the filling, combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix, cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes to chill.
Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
Fill the chilled tart shell with the cherry mixture in a single layer. Any extra should be eaten immediately.
Bake the tart at 400˚ F for 15 minutes then drop the oven temperature down to 325˚ and continue baking for another 40-45 minutes until the edges are nice and golden.
Allow the tart to cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes before cutting and serving alone or with whipped cream.