Tom Kitchin shares his recipe for making a cherry tart from fresh cherries.

  • Easy
I WAS thrilled when I discovered a local cherry farm in Blairgowrie a few years ago, in the heart of the traditional fruit growing area of Perthshire. Cherries are such a wonderful fruit and knowing I can get them locally, grown on great Scottish soil, means I can enjoy them at home and in dishes we serve at The Kitchin. They may be a little more expensive than other local fruits, but the quality is superb. The glossy skin, juicy flesh and sweet taste are worth that little bit extra. The cherries we’ve enjoyed this season have been so good we even served a little bowl to our guests as petits fours at the restaurant. It’s hard to resist them when they taste so good. Cherry pie or cherry tart is pretty hard to beat. It’s a great recipe to try at home and one we made recently for our boys as a Sunday supper, back-to-school treat. It’s a great way to use the last of the season’s cherries, and if you don’t have enough, you can always mix them with blackcurrants or blueberries. If you’re buying cherries from your local farmers’ market or greengrocer, look out for those that are shiny and plump. The darker they are, the more acidic they tend to be, so if you prefer them sweet, go for the paler varieties. If you’re eating them on their own, sweet are best, but for recipes like this cherry tart, sour cherries work really well and the sharp taste cuts through the pastry perfectly.

Ingredients

  • Makes one tart
  • For the sweet pastry
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 160g caster sugar
  • a sprinkle of icing sugar
  • 450g flour
  • 2 eggs (one for the egg wash)
  • For the filling
  • 500g cherries – stoned and halved
  • 250g ground almonds
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs (for the frangipane)
  • 1 sheet of greaseproof paper
  • baking beans

Method

To make the pastry:

Pre-heat the oven to 190C/Gas Mark 5. Add the butter, sugar and flour together in a bowl. Add one egg and mix together. Once you have a dough-like consistency, chill in the fridge for one hour.

To make the tart:

Meanwhile, you can make the frangipane. Cream the butter and caster sugar together, then add each of the four eggs, one at a time, mixing together well. Add the ground almonds and continue to mix until you achieve a creamy paste.

Flour a hard surface or board, remove the dough from the fridge and roll out your pastry to a thickness of a 50p then line it in a loose-bottom tart tin of about 23cm. Cut any overhanging pastry, and keep any pastry remnants aside for the lattice lid. Fill the tin with greaseproof paper and baking beans, and blind bake at 190C/Gas Mark 5 for 18 minutes.

Remove the baking beans, brush the pastry with egg wash, and bake for a further 5 minutes. Once ready, remove from the oven and spread the frangipane over the pastry so it half fills the pastry tin. Add the stoned and halved cherries. Cut the pastry remnants into even strips as long as the circumference of the tin and make a lattice over the top of the pie, brush with the remaining egg yolk, and sprinkle with caster sugar.

Bake at 180C/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes or until golden and the sugar is caramelised. Allow to cool a little, dust sparingly with icing sugar, then slice and serve with your choice of ice cream, cream or crème fraîche.

About The Author

Tom Kitchin

Tom Kitchin is a Scottish chef and owner of restaurant The Kitchin, where he became the youngest winner of a Michelin star. He has previously worked with several Michelin starred chefs including Alain Ducasse and Pierre Koffmann.

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About The Author

Tom Kitchin

Tom Kitchin is a Scottish chef and owner of restaurant The Kitchin, where he became the youngest winner of a Michelin star. He has previously worked with several Michelin starred chefs including Alain Ducasse and Pierre Koffmann.