What better way to use our wonderful Wealden local produce! The biggest, juiciest cherries sit atop a scrummy cherry filling, delicately whipped almond cream and perfect shortcrust pastry…
For the shortcrust pastry:
200g plain flour
100g unsalted butter
5g caster sugar
1 large egg
For the Kentish cherry filling:
250g Kentish cherries, pitted and chopped
50g caster sugar
15ml kirsch (optional)
For the almond cream:
115g caster sugar
115g unsalted butter, cubed
2 large eggs, beaten
30g plain flour
115g ground almonds
1 lemon, zest
5ml vanilla extract
5ml almond extract
For the decoration:
firm whipped cream
You will need a 12-hole muffin tin
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
To make the pastry, in a large bowl sift together the flour, salt and sugar. Add the cubed butter and using your hands, rub to a fine crumb.
Add the egg and water to the flour mixture and incorporate with a palette knife to form a rough dough. Tip out onto the work surface, knead 2-3 times then shape into a flat disc, wrap the pastry in cling-film, and chill in the fridge for at least 20-30 minutes.
To make the cherry filling, place the cherries, sugar and water into a pan over a medium heat, bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes until the cherries have broken down.
Allow the cherries to cool before adding the alcohol. At this point the filling can be placed into a food processer to break down any large cherry pieces, if not your filling is perfect as it is.
To make the almond cream, cream together the butter and sugar. Slowly incorporate the eggs in 3 stages, followed by the vanilla and almond extract, and the lemon zest.
Sift together the flour and ground almonds, then slowly whisk into the butter mixture until fully incorporated. Fill a piping bag with the almond cream.
Once chilled, roll out the pastry onto a floured work surface, to roughly 2-3mm thick. Prick all over with a fork then using a 10-12cm round cutter stamp out 12 discs.
Mould each disc into a cavity of the muffin tin. Blind bake the tart shells for 15 minutes, remove the baking beans and bake for a further 5 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and cooked through.
Fill each tart shell with the cherry filling, using up all the mixture, then generously pipe the almond cream over the filling. Top each tart with a few sliced almonds.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until golden and springy to the touch. Transfer to wire rack and allow to cool.
To decorate top each tart with a small dollop of whipped cream and a fresh cherry. The tarts (without the cream) will keep in an air-tight container for 3-4 days.