Cherry Tarts

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Cherry Tarts

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Individual tarts made with a buttery pastry filled with a mascarpone mixture lightly flavoured with almond, topped with stewed cherries and thick cherry syrup.

Ingredients

  • For the cherries:
  • 125ml water
  • 60ml kirsch liqueur
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 500g fresh cherries, rinsed and pitted
  • For the pastry:
  • 55g unsalted butter, softened
  • 55g caster sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 110g plain flour, sifted
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • For the filling:
  • 200g mascarpone cheese
  • 100ml double cream
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp almond extract

Instructions

  1. For the cherries:
  2. Combine the water, kirsch and sugar in a large saucepan over low heat. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil then add cherries and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove cherries with a slotted spoon and set aside. Continue to boil liquid until reduced by three quarters and liquid is thick and syrupy. Remove from heat and leave both cherries and syrup to cool completely.
  3. To make the pastry:
  4. Combine butter and sugar in a medium sized bowl and beat with an electric mixer until creamed together. Add egg yolks and vanilla and beat until mixture is a smooth paste. Add flour and salt and mix together with a wooden spoon until it comes together to form a ball of dough. Tip out onto a floured surface and knead until dough is completely smooth and uniform. Divide dough equally into 6 pieces. Form each piece into a thick disk and wrap in clingfilm. Leave to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Once chilled, remove dough from fridge and roll out each piece to about 5mm/0.2inches thick. Press each piece of dough into 6 (10cm/4inch) tart tins. Trim off excess dough and use to fix any tears or thin spots. Chill pastry in the freezer for 1 hour. 30 minutes into the chilling time, preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5.
  5. Once chilled, line each pastry shell with parchment paper and fill with baking beads or dried beans. Arrange unbaked tart shells on a large baking tray and bake blind for 10 minutes. Remove parchment paper with baking beans then brush each pastry shell with beaten egg. Bake further until pastry is a golden brown, about 5 – 10 minutes. Remove from oven and leave to cool completely on a wire rack. Once completely cooled, remove pastry from tart tins before filling.
  6. For the filling:
  7. Combine mascarpone cheese, cream, icing sugar and almond extract in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer to combine ingredients. Spoon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large plain nozzle.Pipe mascarpone mixture into each pastry shell then top with cherries. Spoon syrup over cherries just before serving.
  8. Components can be prepared a day ahead of time then assembled shortly before serving. If syrup is too thick, stir in 1-2 tsp hot water.
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