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.
Remove the heated baking tray from the oven and carefully transfer the tarts on their baking paper.
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.
Ready made puff pastry is a wondrous thing! I’ll never feel shame that whatever I churn out contains only short, often misplaced, enthusiasm rather than the tears of a golden unicorn. Besides, these look amazing… waft them this way please!!
Thanks, Jen. Lucky really, as unicorns are in short supply here (but that may just be because I’m impure). 🙂
I’m loving push and tosh – not heard that for ever and need to add it to my vocab! I do agree with you – in part. Frankly you’ve probably realised I like doing everything from scratch… This is just me though. I’ve got no problem with shortcuts nor do I think anything of those who use them, irrespective of whether I use them or not. I’d rather someone use all shortcuts but still actually cook. I confess I have used shop bought pastry, but only a handful of times in my whole life… I use baking and cooking as a way to chill, so I don’t mind spending the time. It’s not like I have spare time either – I work all day, I’m no housewife. I love the look of these: they sound fantastic and of course they’re amazing flavours. Brilliant as ever Mrs Portly! I think you should do a series on quick, cheats’ versions… Anything to get people cooking. Xxx
Flipping fat finger typing – push and tosh!? Hahahaha
And I meant I don’t think anything LESS of people. I’m not doing very well tonight… I should just crawl back in my box in the corner.
Lol! Consider this an answer to all of your comments here …. I know you love doing things from scratch, you’re the only person I know who goes so far back to basics you make your own tools and more power to you, I admire you hugely. My gripe isn’t aimed at people like you but at those social media accounts which can make people feel so inadequate that it puts them off cooking. Anyone who cooks a lot knows how much effort goes into making things look perfect and although you and I eat what we photograph, at least some of the immaculate pics we see online are styled, photographed and then binned. I just think people shouldn’t feel guilty for taking short cuts when they’re busy, as long as they enjoy the process of cooking and eating. Huge hugs, Lx
good on you. pshaw to IG perfection! you are so right; we don’t always have the time to make it all from scratch, but we need something great to eat – and quickly. yum to these. i must see if i can buy ready-made marzipan here in queensland. cheers sherry
Thank you, Sherry, much appreciated.