This is a cheat’s version of cherry and almond tarts, knocked up almost entirely from ready-made ingredients. They are so good though … make them before the stoned fruit season is over.
I was inspired by Diana Henry (as I am so often), who recently made a quick version of apricot bostocks, which are not dissimilar to this except that they use brioche and, properly, frangipane. I used fresh cherries with shop-bought puff pastry and marzipan. Yes, it’s lovely to make everything from scratch, but we’re all busy people and sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day. I refuse to be shamed by this.
There are so many perfect food pictures on social media that we can occasionally feel we’re somehow slipping in our mission as kitchen goddesses when we don’t spend all day in the kitchen creating something Instagram-worthy. Pish and tosh. If it tastes good, who cares if there’s a misplaced almond or you bought the ingredients ready made?
Eat these as a snack or serve them as dessert, with a good dollop of thick cream or vanilla ice cream. To serve more people, just increase the ingredients pro rata.
Cherry and Almond Tartlets
About 1/2 sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry, preferably all-butter
1 tbsp ground almonds
50g ready-made marzipan
12 large fresh cherries, pitted and halved
A small handful of flaked almonds
A small splash of milk
Cherry or redcurrant jam, to glaze
Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Put in a baking tray to heat up.
Cut two rectangles from the puff pastry – mine were 14.5cm by 11cm. Place them on a sheet of baking paper (the paper the pastry is rolled in works perfectly well, just cut off a piece a bit bigger than your rectangles).
Score a narrow edge all the way round each rectangle without cutting all the way through the pastry. Prick the middles all over with a fork, then scatter lightly with ground almonds.
Cut slices from the marzipan block and break them into irregular pieces. Arrange these over the centre section of the tarts, then top with the halved cherries, cut side down. I think they’re sweet enough, with the marzipan, and a little sourness is a good counterpoint but if your fruit is too sharp for your taste scatter with a little caster sugar.
Scatter over the flaked almonds and brush the edges of the tarts with a little milk.
Cook for 20-25 minutes, until the pastry is risen and golden and the fruit is cooked. Brush the cherries with a little melted jam to give them a shine and serve warm.