Thursday 21 May 2009

Recipe: Cherry & Almond Tart

We're 'en regime'. A recent diet of too much pasta and risotto, not to mention shortcrust and puff pastry.....and the occasional orange or apple cake....has taken its toll. Maria let it be known at the beginning of the week, in a kind of portuguese-english (where every fifth word is a version of english, and the rest relies heavily on mime) that she thought the Technical Department had put on a lot of weight. I think that was what she meant to communicate, by dint of puffed cheeks and hand movements in the waistline area, and a pointed finger in his direction. And so...the next few weeks means no pasta or rice, potatoes and bread are strictly forbidden, sugar is off-limits, and the only form of pastry allowed will be phyllo.

Which is where this recipe comes in. Almonds meet the low-carb criteria, as does the phyllo pastry shell; sweetener replaces sugar, with no perceptible difference to the taste, and the end result is a delicious combination of concentrated cherry juices and the rich edginess of almonds.

Virtuous as well as self-indulgent!

For two individual tarts:

Ingredients: 2 sheets of Phyllo pastry, each approx 12" x 6"; 1 oz Butter; 1 dessert spoon of slivered almonds; 4 heaped dessert spoons of ground almonds; 2 dessert spoons of Splenda (or sugar, if not going the low-carb route); 1 tsp Almond essence; 20 fresh cherries.


1. Grease or Trennwax two individual false-bottomed tart tins. Turn the oven on to 200 degrees C.

2.Melt the Butter,and use it to brush the sheets of Phyllo. Cut each sheet in half, to make two squares from each sheet. Line each tart tin with a square of buttered Phyllo, tucking the edges in all round, to make a neat tart shell, and divide the slivered almonds between the two shells. Then make a second layer with the remaining squares of buttered Phyllo on top of the layers of slivered Almonds. Bake these shells in the oven for about seven minutes, until they've turned a rich golden brown.

3. Whilst baking the tart shells, stone the cherries.

4. Take the bakedshells from the oven, and put into each one 2 spoonfuls of ground Almonds and 1 spoonful of Splenda (or sugar) and divide the Almond essence between the two tarts. Arrange the stoned Cherries on top of the Almond/Splenda mix, packing them together quite tightly, and spoon the remaining Splenda(or sugar) over the top of the Cherries.

5.Return the tarts to the oven and bake for about half an hour. When the fruit has collapsed and obviously shrivelled asit cooks, remove the tarts from the oven and allow to cool down before serving.

No comments: