Cherry and almond tart

July 16, 2011

It’s getting towards the end of the cherry season so if you’ve not feasted on these quintessential summer fruits, crack on. They are delicate fruits which makes them hard for the supermarkets to deal with which in turn makes them very expensive. But this is where markets come into their own  –  so get yourself down to Leicester market where they are currently much cheaper, buy up a kilo or two and use some for this gorgeous cherry frangipane tart. You could make individual ones but I made one large one in a 10 inch loose bottomed tin.

You’ll need:  cherries, butter, ground almonds, caster sugar, plain flour, eggs, shortcrust pastry, jam.

Take around 8oz of cherries, stone them and poach them for just a couple of minutes with 2oz caster sugar and 2 tbps of water. If you’ve got a bottle of kirsch hiding at the back of the cupboard you could put a little of this in too.  Cool and drain, but retain the juice in the pan which you can later simmer until reduced to a syrup  – use this to glaze the finished pastry.

For the frangipane, cream together 6oz of caster sugar and 6oz of butter.  Then mix 4 oz ground almonds and 1 oz of plain flour.  Add an egg to the butter and sugar and fold in some of the almonds – when it’s all mixed in, repeat the process with a second and third second egg and the rest of the almonds.  That’s your frangipane done.

Roll out 8oz short crust pastry and use it to line a tart case.  Spread some jam thinly  – cherry ideally but any red fruit will do,  I used damson. Then add the cherries, and then the frangipane, using a light touch to spread it evenly over the pastry and the fruit.

Bake it for around 30 minutes at gas4/180C, and then glaze with the syrup.   Serve warm or cold with cream.

Cherry and almond tart

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