We have been blessed this year with a bumper crop of cherries coinciding with a house full of visitors.
Usually I would take the easy option and make a fruit crumble, combining the cherries with other seasonal soft fruits such as raspberries, strawberries or blueberries, but on this occasion I thought I would be a bit more adventurous. I have always loved my mum’s Bakewell Tart so when I stumbled across a Cherry Frangipane on the internet I decided I would try my hand at making one.
I have to confess that I used two different recipes; one for the pastry case and one for the filling. I should also own to having bought a Cherry Stoner; something that I discovered quite by chance in the Steamer Trading Cook Shop https://www.steamer.co.uk/. It made really light work, verging on addiction, of an otherwise tedious and time consuming chore.
For the pastry case
- 200g plain flour
- 100g unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
For the filling
- 140g golden caster sugar
- 140g ground almonds
- 140g butter, melted
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp kirsch
- 500g cherries, stones removed
- 2 tbsp cherry conserve
- 25g flaked almonds
To make the pastry, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, followed by the beaten egg and about one tbsp of water to form a dough. Shape into a disc, wrap in cling film, and leave to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, to make the filling, place the sugar, ground almonds, butter and eggs in a bowl and mix to make a creamy paste. Stir in the kirsch. Chill for at least 20 minutes.
Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Roll the pastry out onto a floured surface and use to line a 23cm flan case. Fill with lightly greased foil and baking beans and bake blind for 15 minutes. (I used a pie dish as I liked the shape but unfortunately the edge of the pastry became quite dark).
Remove case from oven, uncover and spread conserve over the base. Spoon over the cherries and spread level. Remove filling from fridge and pour over. Sprinkle with flaked almonds.
Bake for 40-45 minutes until the top is golden.
Serves 8 hungry teenagers or 10 moderately polite adults.
As I made my frangipane ahead of time I served it cold with a choice of double cream or ice cream. Alternatively serve warm with crème fraîche.