Cherry Tarts

I had some pastry leftover from the delicious Lemon Tarts I made and was bizarrely craving something sweet again. I’m not really a big cake eater, and prefer something quite tangy over down and out sugar so opted for a happy medium in these lovely cherry & frangipane tarts. They are so easy to eat!

INGREDIENTS:
For the pastry: (Makes double quantity)
225g butter
150g icing sugar
2 eggs
450g plain flour

For the filling:
300g fresh cherries (pitted and halved)
2 tablespoons caster sugar

For the frangipane:
100g butter
100g caster sugar
2 eggs
100g ground almonds
10g flour

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 180ºC

To make the pastry:
In a large bowl beat together the butter and sugar till it’s smooth and pale in colour. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until well incorporated. Mix in the flour and combine well. Gather together into a large ball then divide into 2 smaller balls. Wrap in plastic wrap, freeze one ball for later and chill the other for 30 minutes.

Roll out the pastry to about 3mm thickness then transfer to four 12cm non-stick, loose bottom tart cases. Trim the edges.

Place some baking parchment over the pastry and weigh down with some baking weights or some old lentils/rice etc. Blind bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the baking parchment and weights and bake for a further 5-7 minutes until the pastry is dry in the centre. Remove from the oven.

To make the filling:
MIx together the cherries and sugar and set aside.

To make the frangipane, beat together the sugar and butter until smooth and pale. Add the eggs, one by one beating them in well until smooth. Add the almonds and flour and continue beating with all your might for another 2 minutes until the mixture is pale and fluffy.

Spread the frangipane into each pastry case then take the cherries and place a few into each case, pressing them face down into the mixture. put as many as you can without totally squishing out all the mixture.

Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden on top. Leave to cool then take out of the baking tins and serve.

SERVING:
I do like these with a hot drink but they also work as a dessert with some cream or ice cream. Even a chocolate sauce would work.

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