Cherry, almond and burnt-butter tart

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 8 - 10 people

The burnt butter in both the pastry and filling imparts a deep caramel flavour to this moreish tart, while sour cherries add a little tang. It's great warm or at room temperature, but is only really at its best served the same day it's made.

  • 80 gm almonds
  • 120 gm chilled butter, diced
  • 4 eggwhites (reserved from pastry)
  • 160 gm (1 cup) pure icing sugar, sieved
  • Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean, or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 60 gm plain flour
  • 1 tbsp Grand Marnier
  • Finely grated rind of ½ orange and ½ lemon
  • 180 gm pitted cherries (about 200gm unpitted), halved, plus extra whole cherries, to serve
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  • Burnt-butter pastry
  • 180 gm chilled butter, diced
  • 300 gm plain flour
  • 100 gm pure icing sugar
  • 4 egg yolks (reserve whites for filling)
  •  
  • Sour-cherry jam
  • 100 gm dried sour cherries
  • 90 gm caster sugar
  • Juice of ½ orange and ½ lemon (finely grate the rinds and reserve for filling)
01   For burnt-butter pastry, cook butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat until nut brown (5-6 minutes), pour into a heatproof bowl and refrigerate until solid (2 hours), then coarsely chop. Process flour, icing sugar and a pinch of salt in a food processor, add burnt butter and process until sandy-textured. Add yolks, process until a dough just forms, then tip out onto a work surface and knead lightly to bring together. Form into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled and firm (1 hour; pastry can be made a day ahead or frozen for up to a month).
02   For sour-cherry jam, place cherries and 150ml water in a saucepan and stand until cherries soften (1 hour). Add sugar and juices, and stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, then simmer until cherries are tender and a light syrup forms (6-8 minutes). Cool for 10 minutes, then process in a small food processor until smooth. Set aside at room temperature.
03   Roll out pastry on a lightly floured work surface to 3mm thick, then line a 5cm-deep, 23cm-diameter fluted tart tin, trim edges and refrigerate to rest for 30 minutes. Spread sour-cherry jam on base and set aside.
04   Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C. Process almonds in a food processor until finely chopped, then spread over an oven tray and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown (6-7 minutes).
05   Cook butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat until nut brown (4-5 minutes), then transfer to a heatproof bowl to cool.
06   Reduce oven to 160C. Whisk eggwhites and a pinch of salt in an electric mixer until soft peaks form (2-3 minutes), then fold in icing sugar, vanilla, flour, liqueur, rind and almond meal. Fold in burnt butter, then pour into tart case, scatter with pitted cherries and bake until golden brown and firm (45-50 minutes). Cool a little or to room temperature and serve dusted with icing sugar and topped with whole cherries.
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