Cherry and almond tarts
I love the cherry and almond tarts from M&S so I was delighted when I got the chance to bake them myself.
This particular recipe had come from Daybreak. Mum had seen it on the television and had mentioned it to me. Course by then I had missed all of it! But Mum suggested I visited the Daybreak website and lo’ and behold, there it was. Straight away I came across a problem…
The recipe wasn’t detailed enough. It didn’t tell me the oven temperature, it didn’t remind me that the unsalted butter needed to be at room temperature, and the list goes on. (This time it’s me who’s come to the rescue because I’ve changed their recipe so that it has all the bits in it that were missing for me so that you hopefully have a bit more success than I did!)
The recipe hadn’t given us an exact amount of pastry but had told us 2/3 of a packet of short crust pastry. The trouble is the packets come in different sizes – you can get from as little as 250g to as big as 1kg so I hoped for the best and went for 500g.
Moving on to the blind baking it said in the recipe not to cut off the remainders – but that would just be wasting pastry for no reason. So I (with Mum’s help, of course!) made some jam tarts (which will be the next post) so that we didn’t waste any of the pastry.
Anyway, enough already… This is what you’ve all been waiting for, the recipe!
YOU WILL NEED:
1 pack of short crust pastry (not homemade)
3tbsp of cherry jam/curd warmed
250g cherries pitted and halved
125g unsalted butter
125g caster sugar
2 large eggs
125g ground almonds
20g plain flour
50g flaked almonds
1tbsp icing sugar for dusting (optional extra!)
Clotted cream for serving (another optional extra)
23cm loose-bottomed tart tin
2 pots of baking beans
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll the pastry out until 1cm thick and drape over the top of the tart tin. Pull off a bit of the excess pastry and use it to push the rest of the pastry into the tin CAREFULLY!
Cut off most of the excess but leave a bit in case of the pastry shrinking (which happened to me!) Prick a fork into the base before putting a piece of foil over the top of it and pouring the baking beans on top. Blind bake for 15 minutes before taking off the foil from on top of the pastry (TheBakerKid tip: this tip is for us kids out there. Don’t be afraid, if your parents are around, to ask them for help. I’m almost certain that they will). After removing the foil you will need to put the pastry back in for another 5 minutes. (TheBakerKid tip: It’s good to check to see if you’ve got a soggy bottom. You know that by looking at the pastry on the base and seeing whether or not it looks slightly wet. Maybe even give it a gentle touch but be careful – if it has put it back in the oven for another 2-3 minutes, but keep an eye on it, as you don’t want it to burn.)
Whilst the pastry is in the oven for a second time you can start to make the filling. Cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy before adding the eggs one at a time to reduce the chance of a wet mixture. Sift in the ground almonds and flour before folding in until you are happy it is mixed in properly. Add the amaretto and mix.
Using a pastry brush, paint the jam onto the base of the pastry. Spread the frangipane mixture into the pastry case and level out until almost completely even. To
p with the halved cherries before adding on top of that the last ingredient. The flaked almonds. Then put it back in the oven for 25-30 minutes to cook the frangipane.
Don’t forget that if you want, you can dust it with icing sugar and serve with some clotted cream
I liked it but not as much as I thought I would. In future I know not to use cherry jam or cherries and instead to try using cherry pie filling (which I love!) so that I hopefully enjoy it a bit more next time. Also I found the amaretto to be a bit overpowering so I know next time to put less of in it
Let me know how you get on with baking it yourself