Fat cherries and creamy pistachios come together to make one of my favourite pastry recipes. I’m always comforted by a generous wedge of golden frangipane nestled in its crisp pastry shell and jewelled with seasonal fruit. This is my go-to frangipane base and I use it all year round, simply switching up the fruits with anything from blueberries to apricots to plums. Just swap out the pistachios used here for an extra 50g of ground almonds and you’ve got a recipe to turn to again and again.
Pastry can feel quite intimidating to a lot of people, but just give yourself plenty of time so the pastry can chill sufficiently - it’s more likely to shrink in the oven if it hasn’t rested properly. A good dusting of icing sugar and a dollop of clotted cream makes this the perfect afternoon treat.
R E C I P E
275g Plain Flour
100g Icing Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
175g Unsalted Butter, cold and diced
1 Egg Yolk
100g Pistachios, finely ground OR 80g Pistachio paste
200g Unsalted Butter, softened
200g Caster Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste or Extract
150g Ground Almonds
45g Plain Flour
350g Fresh or Frozen Cherries, pitted and quartered
Clotted Cream, to serve
M E T H O D
To make the pastry, add the flour, icing sugar, salt and butter to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs and there are no large lumps of butter. Lightly beat the egg and yolk together and pour it into the food processor a little a time, pulsing in between each addition. You may not need to use all of the egg. Once the dough starts to come together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, pat it into a thick disc and wrap in cling film. Refrigerate overnight or for at least 2 hours.
To make the pastry by hand, add the flour, icing sugar, salt and butter to a large bowl and rub the mixture between your fingertips until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Mix the egg and yolk together in a small bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour and add in the eggs a little at time. Use a table knife to stir and bring the mixture together into a ball. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and gently pat into a thick disc, wrap in cling film and refrigerate overnight or for at least 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 180C / 160C fan. Once chilled, roll out the pastry onto a lightly floured surface about 3-4mm thick. As you roll, keep turning the pastry often to ensure it doesn’t stick. Line your 20-23cm loose bottomed tart tin with the pastry and trim off some of the overhang leaving a few centimetres over the edge of the tin. Place the tin in the fridge whilst you make the filling.
To make the frangipane, beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer for 3-5 minutes until pale and fluffy. If you’re using pistachio paste add this in now and beat briefly until combined.
Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in the almonds, flour and ground pistachios and stir until combined. Remove the pastry from the tin and use a sharp knife to trim off the overhanging pastry. Fill the tin evenly with the frangipane and smooth the top with a palette knife. Place the cherries on top without pushing them into the batter. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the frangipane springs back to the touch and the pastry is deep brown colour.
Leave to cool completely before slicing and serving with clotted cream.