As a child I always loved cherry and almond cake and learnt to make it as soon as I could cook for myself. This tart marries the same flavours and is a lovely summer treat, perfect for summer parties and picnics
250g pack ready-made shortcrust pastry made with butter
or homemade pastry using 150gplain flour and
250gfresh cherries, stoned
Preheat the oven to 200°CGas 6.
Place a baking sheet in the oven to heat up. Roll out the pastry and use to line a 23cm (9in) loose-bottomed flan tin.
Chill for 10 minutes to allow the pastry to rest then bake blind for 15 minutes (see cook's tip).
Reduce the oven's temperature to 190°C Gas 5.
Scatter the cherries over the base of the tart.
Cream the butter and sugar together till pale and beat in the eggs one at a time. Fold in the ground almonds.
Spoon over the cherries and spread level. Sprinkle with flaked almonds.
Bake for 40-45 minutes on the preheated sheet until the top is golden.
Serve warm or cold with local cream or ice cream.
Cook's tip: Make sure you buy ready-made pastry using butter as the difference in flavour is marked. To bake blind, line the pastry case with crumpled greaseproof paper and cover the base with dried beans or rice. Bake for 10 minutes then remove the paper and beans and return to the oven for a further five minutes to dry out.