BAKING: Black Cherry Bakewell Tart

I think cherry is my favourite flavour ever, closely followed by almond, so it’s only natural that a bakewell tart had to pop up in my recipes at some point. I wanted morello cherries, but they’re rather hard to find in my rubbish local tesco, so I settled for black cherries which still works perfectly as it gives a richer flavour. This recipe is a bit more of a faff than my usual throw-it-all-together-and-bake ones, but if you plan ahead, you can get everything ready to put together while the pastry is chilling/cooking. Anyway, it makes for a sweet, fruity and rather indulgent dessert that results in crisp pastry with the perfect cherry/almond balance. So, here’s how to do it…

Ingredients (makes one 23cm tart, serves 6-8):
For the pastry
60g unsalted butter
60g caster sugar
1/2 medium egg, room temperature
125g plain flour
15g ground almonds

For the filling: 
125g ready-made marzipan
50g unsalted butter, diced
75g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
120g ground almonds
1/2 tsp baking powder
A thick layer of black cherry jam
1 tin of black cherries, halved and patted dry
30g flaked almonds
Icing sugar for decoration.

How To Do It:
Step One | For the pastry: mix the butter and sugar together until creamy. Add in the 1/2 egg and mix well. Add in the flour and ground almonds until combined and it starts to form a dough. Place the dough in clingfilm in the fridge for two hours (or 10minutes in the freezer and half an hour in the fridge), as it’s easier to work with when chilled.
Step Two | Once chilled, preheat oven to 170 fan / 190C / Gas Mark 5, remove from the fridge and roll out the pastry so it covers a 23cm tart tin including the sides. Press into the tin carefully as it’ll be quite thin and is prone to ripping, just cover over any holes with pastry that overhangs. Cover with baking parchment and pour ceramic baking beans (or any dried beans) over this and bake for 15-20minutes until lightly browned.
Step Three | Meanwhile, roll out the marzipan, but just enough to cover the bottom of the tin, and layer over the base once it’s out of the oven. Cover this with a layer of black cherry jam and scatter the black cherries evenly over this.
Step Four | For the filling, mix together the butter and sugar until creamy, add the eggs one at a time and mix thoroughly. Add the ground almonds and finally add the baking powder. Layer this over the cherries evenly. Sprinkle some flaked almonds over the top if you like. Bake in the oven for 25-30minutes until the top is very lightly brown and it has a spongy texture that springs back when you press it. Allow to cool for 20-30minutes before serving. Keep in an airtight container for several days.

So, if you include the chilling time (if you go by the standard 2hrs) this recipe takes just over 3hrs to complete, but probably only takes around 20minutes in terms of actually doing something, as most of the time is spend chilling/cooking. It’s quite adaptable too, you could always add strawberries, raspberries, blackberries or blueberries if you weren’t keen on cherries, just make sure you take as much moisture out of them as possible. I’d definitely make this recipe again as it’s bloomin’ delicious, mum and work colleague approved. Let me know if you bake it or any of my other recipes!

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