This is a tasty little tart, the hint of almond flavours that comes from the cherries mingling nicely with the roasted almond and all united by the marzipan like flavour of amaretto. This is a great recipe, it’s easy to work with and very forgiving. Make it in a big batch and keep it in the freezer so it’s on hand whenever the mood strikes you to whip up a quick tart.
- 285 g plain flour
- 50 g caster sugar
- 170 g butter, diced
- 130 g mascarpone
- 25 ml cold water
- 15 ml white vinegar
- 125 g butter, softened
- 125 g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 30 ml amaretto
- 125 g whole roasted almonds, pulsed until fine
- 50 g plain flour
- 100 g marinated morello cherries, drained
- 1 egg white
- extra amaretto for on top of the tarts
- icing sugar, for dusting
- pouring cream, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time 2 hours
Place the flour and sugar into a bowl and use your hands to work in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
To this, add the mascarpone, water and vinegar and mix lightly until it all just starts to come together. Roll into a log, cover with glad wrap and place in the fridge to rest for at least an hour.
After it’s had a nice rest, pull out the pastry and cut into 6 pieces. Keep one piece out, loosely re-wrap the others and let them sit in the fridge while you roll your first shell. Give your bench a light dusting of flour and use a rolling pin to roll the pastry into a circle about 2 mm thick. Gently pick up this piece of pastry and place it straight into your 8 cm tart shell pressing gently along the bottom and around the edges. Using scissors, trim off any excess pastry but still leave about 1 cm worth of overhang. Excess pastry can be used again. Roll into a log, rest, then roll out again.
Place the rolled shell into the fridge or freezer to rest again and repeat with the remaining shells. You want to give your tart cases enough resting time so they become completely cold.
Once the shells are happily rested it’s time to blind bake them. Make 6 little foil pouches the right size to nuzzle into the shells, fill them with rice or beans and place them inside the shells.
Bake the shells at 170°C for ten minutes, carefully remove the foil pouches with tongs, making sure you don’t break the pastry and bake again for another 10–15 minutes. I like to bake my pastry until its quite dark. Set aside tart shells to cool while you make your filling.
Beat the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl until pale and creamy. This is easily and traditionally done by hand using a wooden spoon.
Add the whole egg, beat until well combined and then add the yolk and combine again.
Stir in the amaretto and the gently fold through the flour and the almonds. At this stage, add the cherries and mix until everything is combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk your egg white until it forms a soft peak then gently combine this into your nut mixture. This lightens the mix slightly.
Spoon this mixture evenly into each individual tart and place them back in the oven at 150°C.
Let them cook for 30–40 minutes, using a skewer to check for done ness. Once cooked, pull out, place on a rack and use a pastry brush to give an extra small coat of amaretto over the top.
Serve with a dusting of icing sugar and pouring cream on the side. Delicious eaten still a little warm from the oven.
• The pastry shells can be made and blind baked the day before if you desire giving you ample time for resting and rolling. This recipe will also work if you wish to make one large tart.
Photographs by Benito Martin. Styling by Jerrie-Joy Redman-Lloyd.