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Summer is all about the abundance of fruit. Berries, mangoes, cherries and peaches are all in season during summer and there are so many ways in which they can be used for cooking. Baking summer cakes/tarts and other desserts becomes so much more exciting during summer! Cherries are absolutely delicious to cook with, whether it’s savoury or sweet. Here I’ve made a quick summer tart that uses pre made pastry (when there is such a good product already why not use it!). I’ve made a filling of folding creme fraiche and mascarpone so that you don’t have to get out the whisk! The tart is topped with sweet cooked cherries and a cherry syrup…plus some additional almond flakes for extra crunch. It’s light and a great summer day time or evening dessert for weekend feasting. Enjoy!
Recipe for summer cherry tart (Prep time: 30 minutes | Cook time: 50-55 minutes | Serves: 4-6)
Cooked sweet cherries, mascarpone crème fraiche filling, cherry syrup and almond flakes
600 g fresh cherries (set aside a few fresh cherries
3/4 cup x sugar (brown, coconut or muscavado sugar)
1 x lemon (juice and zest)
1 x roll of shortcrust pastry (Careme pastry brand)
200g crème fraiche
1 tbsp almond flakes
- Remove the pastry from the packaging and let the pastry roll defrost.
- To prepare the cooked sweet cherries and the cherry syrup pit the cherries (see note below). Place the seedless cherries into a medium pot and add the sugar and lemon juice + zest. Stir through the ingredients and bring the cherry mixture to a boil. You will notice the cherry syrup forming. Reduce to a medium simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and using a sieve over a bowl, separate the cherries from the cherry syrup. Place the cooked sweet cherries aside. Return the cherry syrup to the pot and cook on a high heat for 3-5 minutes or until the syrup has reduced a little bit more. Set aside. The syrup will thicken even more so once it cools down. Place the cherries and syrup into the fridge.
- Prepare to cook the pastry by preheating the oven to 180 degrees. Brush a round tart tin with olive oil (see note). To line the base of the tin with the pastry, place the pastry over the tart tin and use your fingers to press the pastry gently into the tin. Use a small sharp knife to trim off any excess pastry from the edges of the tin. Use a fork to press down lightly into the base of the pastry all over the base to create small holes. Blind bake the tart by lining and covering with baking paper and fill with pie weights, uncooked rice or uncooked chickpeas (having this weight on the pastry will keep the pastry from puffing up and rising in the oven). Cook in the oven under 180 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove the baking paper and weights then reduce the heat to 150 degrees and bake for another 15 minutes or until the pastry is completely cooked through (see note). Once cooked remove from the oven and cool.
- When the pastry has cooled down completely, carefully remove from the pastry tin and transfer onto a serving plate or platter.
- In a medium bowl use a spatula to fold the mascarpone and crème fraiche together until combined, don’t over work it. It will be thick and fluffy.
- Transfer and spread the mascarpone crème fraiche mixture over the cooked pastry. Top with the cooked sweet cherries, drizzle with cherry syrup, top with almond flakes and any extra fresh cherries.
- Removing the seed from a cherry is very simple if you don’t have a cherry pitter. Just slice the cherries in half with a small knife and use your fingers to remove the seed, it comes out very easily. Use gloves if you like so that your hands don’t get stained.
- Choose a tart tin or other baking tin that is slightly smaller than the width and size of the pre made pastry. The pastry needs to fit the entire tart tin.
- Watch the pastry as it’s being cooked as ovens may differ in heat strength. You may need to turn the tart tin around as one part of the oven may be hotter than the other.