It’s been a long cold winter, but soon we’ll see the cherry blossoms blooming.
In anticipation, we’re going to celebrate National Cherry Month (February) with a fruity tart from Masterchef the Professionals 2012 contestant, David Hetherington, head chef at Glasgow’s new Locker Hyndland cafe. He shares the below recipe, which features a classic pairing.
CHERRY AND ALMOND TART
PASTRY (Makes 4 small tarts or one large)
120g unsalted butter
120g icing sugar
180g plain flour
3 egg yolks
1 Blend the above ingredients in a bowl (or use a mixer) until they come together into a soft dough ball. Wrap in clingfilm and rest it in the fridge for at least one hour or preferably overnight.
2 Once chilled, roll out the pastry. The ideal scenario is thinner is better and has a more crisp outcome. You want to roll it to about 1mm thick, then line, either your small individual tart tins, or your single large one. Line the tins with greaseproof paper and fill them with baking beans. Keep ¼ of the pastry back for a lid/lids.
3 Blind bake your tart shell for around 10 minutes at 180°C/Gas Mark 4. While it is still hot brush lightly with egg yolk to seal the tart shell.
FILLING AND TOPPING
350g fresh pitted cherries
200g caster sugar
30g unsalted butter
25g ground almonds
Fresh cream, to serve
1 Pop the all ingredients, apart from the cream and almonds, into a saucepan, and gently bring to a boil, then immediately take off the heat. Allow the mixture to cool naturally and you will have a nice cherry compote.
2 Spoon it into your tarts and now they are ready to top. You can cover them like a pie, or cut the pastry into strips and lattice the top, as pictured. Brush with egg yolk and sprinkle with ground almonds.
3 Bake in the oven at 180oC/Gas Mark 4 for a further 12 minutes, or until the pastry on top has turned a nice golden brown. Serve with a big dollop of fresh cream.