250g sweet pastry (I used shop bought but here is a recipe if you want to make your own)
50g butter / butter substitute
50g golden caster sugar
1 large beaten egg
65g ground almonds
almond / vanilla extract
1 tbsp cherry / red fruit jam
around 250g pitted cherries
- Preheat the oven to 190oC / Fan 170oC / Gas mark 5.
- Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface (I use a floppy mat - also remember to lightly flour your rolling pin too) and when you have it nice and thin transfer it to your pie tin. Desert pastry can sometimes be quite short and by using a floppy mat I can flop the whole thing over (like when you flop an omelet out of the pan onto your plate) but if you are clever you can lift your pastry into the tin using the rolling pin.
- Line the pastry with baking parchment or tin foil then fill with baking beads / dried beans / rice (you cannot eat the beans or rice if you use them to blind bake). Blind bake for no more than 10 minutes so that the wall of the tart case is just cooked. Spoon out the beads and remove the lining. If the bottom of the tart case is still very raw prick with a fork then put back into the oven for another five minutes.
- For the frangipane (almond paste) beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl until light a fluffy. Beat in the egg then stir in the ground almonds and extract. I find almond extract is almond overkill so I use vanilla.
- Spread a cherry / red fruit jam across the base of the tart so that if lightly covers it. If you want something a bit tangier I really recommend pomegranate molasses.
- Next put in a generous layer of cherries. It is okay to use tinned / jarred cherries if cherries are out of season in your area as long as they have been preserved in water (not syrup) and are completely drained (never use defrosted frozen fruit - it retains too much water and makes everything soggy). Of course fresh cherries are best but I really must stress only use them if they are in season. Though it is easy to get fresh cherries all year round cherries that have come from halfway around the world are usually very disappointing in flavour.
- Complete the tart by adding the frangipane. It's more than okay if the cherries peek through like in a clafoutis that's perfectly fine!
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the frangipane is golden and firm. Leave to cool.