Christmas fare: cherry tarts
As with many country gatherings, our Christmas Tree event on the weekend required that families brought a ‘dish’ along to assist with catering.
While many would argue that just ensuring Mr Incredible rode shotgun would be sufficient to fulfil this requirement (that’s him telling me to hush and blushing furiously) I did find time to google up a recipe which included the ingredients I had in my fridge and pantry. And then I messed with said recipe about 2 hours before kick-off. I like to plan ahead like this…
The result worked out quite nicely, despite my lack of fore-planning, and is based on the wonderful Bill Grainger’s Rustic Cherry Tart.
Bill’s version is one large piece of pastry – this is a little more finger-friendly. And it serves more. Win-win!
I will share my version here because:
A. It’s easy peasy, quick and effortless
B. It’s delicious…
Thereby fulfilling all criteria I have for recipes in my kitchen. That’s me: The Lazy Cook.
You will need to find:
- 150 g unsalted butter
- 5 egg yolks
- 130 g Castor sugar
- Drained tin of cherries
- 150 g Almond Meal (ground almonds are fine too)
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 3 sheets Puff Pastry
And then you need to:
- Pre-heat oven to hot (220C/400F)
- In a food processor whizz up 4 eggs yolks, butter, almond meal, sugar and vanilla til fluffy
- Stir in 1/3 of the cherries
- Pop mix (Bill calls it ‘frangipane’) into fridge to chill
- Slice remaining cherries in half
- Lay out thawing pastry
- Grease muffin trays
- Using a glass, cut out rounds of the pastry to lay in muffin tray (only needs to come 1/3 way up sides of each muffin mold)
- Paint pastry with remaining egg yolk
- Spread cherry paste into each muffin base
- Place half cherry on top to decorate
- Place trays in oven for approx 15 mins or until browned and pastry crisp.
Remove from muffin trays and allow to cool, then sprinkle with icing sugar, before serving.
I couldn’t keep everyone away from the kitchen once they were out of the oven! They are amazing served warm with a good cup of coffee. The mini-tarts are small, not too sweet, not too heavy. I think they are perfect for all those Christmas visitors – cherries in Australia are a traditional Christmas treat so it ties in nicely!
And did I mention they are scrumptious…
PS I also cooked the little ‘star’ shapes that were leftover from the circle-cutting of the pastry. With a sprinkle of brown sugar before baking, they are perfect little treats for the fussiest members of your household. Yes Violet, I am referring to YOU!