Theses cherry meringue tartlets were the cover of my second cookbook sweet and I absolutely adore them. Pastry work can be a little daunting, but if you follow a few simple steps it’s pretty easy. I love cherry-based desserts and frozen cherries are readily available all year round and I store them in the freezer as a staple. I’ve added almond flour to the pastry and used toasted almond flakes because the flavour complements the cherries so beautifully. The amaretto adds a further almond note while the kirsch intensifies the cherry flavour, but both are optional. A good splash of booze in a dessert tends to only make it better.
These can either be made into one larger 23cm tart or 10 individual tartlets.
Recipe – Makes 1 large or 10 individual tarts
- 450 g frozen or fresh
- stoned cherries
- 30 ml amaretto or
- kirsch (optional)
- 75 ml granulated white sugar
- 15 ml cornflour
- 125 g butter
- 90 g castor sugar
- 1 large free-range egg
- 200 g cake flour
- 50 g almond flour
- 6 egg whites, room temperature
- 330 g castor sugar
- 5 ml vanilla extract
- 5 ml white wine vinegar
- 5 ml cream of tartar
- icing sugar, for dusting
- a handful of toasted almond flakes, for decorating
- The pastry cases and filling can all be made in advance and the tarts baked when needed. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature after baking. You can even use the pastry to make snappy little biscuits. Simply roll it out quite thinly, then cut out the shapes of your choice. Bake until golden-brown and dust with icing sugar when cool.
- Make the filling in advance to allow for cooling. Place the cherries into a small saucepan with the amaretto or kirsch (if using), granulated sugar and cornflour. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until the mixture thickens to a sauce and the cherries are just beginning to break up, but are still whole. Leave to cool to room temperature. If making a day ahead, store in the fridge overnight.
- For the pastry, put the butter and castor sugar into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add the egg and pulse again. Add both flours and very briefly process just until the mixture forms a soft dough. Tip this out onto a floured surface and gently knead into a ball. Wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 20–30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Grease a 23-cm tart tin or 10 small tart tins. Roll the pastry out on a floured surface to about 5-mm thick for a single large tart or slightly thinner for individual tarts (the large tart requires a little more structure). Line the tart tin(s) with the pastry, ensuring the sides are covered as well. Prick the surface of the base of the pastry shell(s) with a fork, then line the pastry with a piece of baking paper and fill with rice, dried beans or baking weights. Bake for 10 minutes, then take out of the oven, remove the paper and weights, and return to the oven for a further 8–10 minutes until just starting to turn golden-brown. Remove and leave to cool briefly.
- While the pastry shells are blind-baking, make the meringue. Beat the eggs whites in an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Slowly add the castor sugar, a tablespoon at a time, while the mixer is running. Continue beating for 5 minutes, then add the vanilla extract, vinegar and cream of tartar and beat briefly until well incorporated.
- Fit a piping bag with an 8–12-mm nozzle (for individual tarts) or a 15–20-mm nozzle for a larger tart, and fill with the meringue mixture. Divide the mixture among the smaller pastry shells or fill the large shell, and smooth the filling. Pipe small dots or any other shape you fancy to cover the surface area. Bake for 10–15 minutes, until just starting to brown. Leave to cool, then dust with icing sugar and scatter over the almond flakes.
Other cherry recipes:
Last year – A delicious gazpacho / salmorejo recipe
2 years ago – My favourite pasta recipes
3 years ago – Pumpkin rolls with rosemary & sea salt
4 years ago – Spicy pumkin and apple cake with cream cheese frosting
5 years ago – French toast with miso & Parmesan
6 years ago – Bacon & egg breakfast pies
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