Cherry Almond Tarts

I was flicking through February’s issue of Waitrose Kitchen magazine looking for dessert inspiration and found this recipe from Lily Vanilli. What stood out for me most about this recipe is that it makes 6 small tarts, so there wasn’t going to be loads leftover that I’d have to freeze to stop me from scoffing them all. A massive advantage in my Weight Watchers era! They were really simple to make and looked super cute and decadent, an impressive small dessert.

Pastry

120g / 4¼ oz plain flour
60g / 2oz unsalted butter – chilled & cubed
1½ tbsp icing, plus extra for dusting
zest of 1 orange
½ large egg – lightly beaten
1 tsp milk

Filling

50g / 1¾ oz  unsalted butter, softened
50g / 1¾ oz golden caster sugar
50g / 1¾ oz ground almonds
½ large egg – lightly beaten
1 tbsp plain flour
9 pitted black cherries – drained & halved
2 tbsp flaked almonds
icing sugar – to dust
optional extras – 1 tsp almond essence, ½ tsp vanilla paste & a splash of Kirsch

Pastry – In a bowl rub together with your fingertips – the flour, icing sugar & butter with a pinch of salt until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the orange zest and then pour in the egg & milk beaten together.

Stir it together and then gently knead until you have a smooth ball. Wrap with clingfilm and chill for 1 hour.

Filling – Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, beat in the ground almonds, almond essence, vanilla paste and Kirsch. Then the egg and followed finally by the flour. Beat until smooth.

Preheat the oven to 190°c  / 375°f  / gas mark 5

Lightly dust a clean work surface with icing sugar and roll out the pastry to the thickness of a £1 coin, using a 9cm cutter cut out 6 rounds and press them gently press into the holes of a large cupcake tin.

Spoon the filling evenly into each and push 3 halves of cherry into the top of each tart and scatter with flaked almonds.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden. Cool first in the tin for 5 minutes and then remove to a wire rack to cool fully.

Dust with icing sugar and scoff!

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