I know, I know – another cherry tart in less than a week… But be honest with me: would you be able to resist such a beautiful dessert? I ran to the kitchen the moment the magazine arrived at my door. :D
Cherry and almond tartlets
slightly adapted from Australian Gourmet Traveller
500g crème fraîche*
100ml pouring cream
20g pure icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
fresh cherries, to serve
Cherry vanilla jam:
300g cherries, pitted and halved
1 cup (200g) caster (superfine) sugar
juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
90g natural almonds
250g unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup (100g) caster (superfine) sugar
2 cups + 2 tablespoons (300g) all purpose plain flour
For cherry vanilla jam, combine ingredients in a saucepan and stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture reaches setting point (6-8 minutes; see note), refrigerate until well chilled (1-2 hours).
Meanwhile, for almond pastry, process almonds in a food processor to form coarse crumbs (1 minute). Beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer until creamy, scrape down sides of bowl, add flour and almonds, beat to just combine. Form into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour to rest.
Butter a 20x28cm rectangular tart pan.
Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to 3mm thick and line the prepared pan, trim edges, prick with a fork and freeze until firm (30 minutes).
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Line the pastry with a large piece of foil and fill it with baking weights or dried beans. Bake until light golden (10-12 minutes), remove paper and weights/beans, bake until golden and crisp (6-8 minutes), cool completely.
Whisk crème fraîche, cream and icing sugar in a bowl until firm peaks form (2-3 minutes), refrigerate until required.
Spread jam in base of pastry case, spoon over crème fraîche mixture, top with fresh cherries, dust with icing sugar and serve.
Note: to test for a jam’s setting point, place several saucers in the freezer before you start cooking the jam. When the mixture becomes thick, remove from heat, spoon a little onto a chilled saucer and return to freezer for 30 seconds. When you draw your finger through the mixture it should hold a trail. If it doesn’t, cook for 1-2 minutes longer and test again.
* I made a different filling, inspired by a trifle recipe by Bill Granger: I combined equal parts of heavy cream and plain yogurt (1/3 cup of each for ½ the recipe above), 1 tablespoon icing sugar and the seeds of ½ a vanilla bean, then beat the ingredients together until soft peaks formed
Serves 6 – I halved the recipe above, used 9cm tartlet pans and got 10 tartlets