The cherry on top

 

Plump, glistening, crimson & succulent… the most eye-catching, instagram-worthy fruit of summer has arrived, cherries. Sweet or sour, I love these little stone fruits & can easily devour a punnet in one swift sitting (with the distinct crimson stained hands of shame).

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As anyone in the UK will know, unfortunately whilst the summer season is available to both buy & eat, the weather hasn’t quite caught up. Low temperatures & consistently grey, wet days have even led to me turning the heating on in July! (many a Briton will shudder & most likely moan for the remainder of 2017). 

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This means that I’ve been utilising my time having a bit of a declutter & in the comfort of my kitchen. However I find myself longing to bake ginger cakes, crumbles or bread & butter puddings. Adamant to remain seasonal, though I found a little motivation during a rare sunny afternoon.

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White chocolate is not necessarily a seasonal ingredient, however I adore it’s smooth, vanilla, almost overly sweet flavour. I’m extremely fond of chocolate covered fruit (I’m pretty sure they balance each other out health wise right?) particularly when covered in white chocolate.

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The vanilla sweetness of the chocolate combined with both the sweet & tart flavour of berries & fruit is such a joy. I’ve decided to try & recreate this wonderful combination of flavour into something more substantial (because let’s face it, when is one piece of chocolate covered fruit ever enough).

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What could be more indulgent than a smooth, white chocolate tart with zesty pastry & a cherry on top?  As the saying goes, something special which is made all the more wonderful by topping with our star ingredient (plus it looks oh so tempting).  This indulgent tart certainly didn’t last long in my house, the cherry stains however will long outlive the product.

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WHITE CHOCOLATE & CHERRY TART
(makes one 25cm tart)

Ingredients:

For the pastry:

  • 200g plain flour
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar
  • 100g butter
  • zest x1 lemon
  • 2-3 tbsp cold water

For the filling:

  • 550ml double cream
  • 400g white chocolate
  • 2 large eggs
  • 5 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Method:

  • To make the pastry sift together the plain flour & icing sugar then stir through the lemon zest
  • Add in the cubed butter & rub together using your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs
  • Add the cold water 1 tbsp at a time, using only enough so that the dough comes together
  • Shape the dough into a flattened disc, wrap in cling film & leave in the fridge to chill for at least an hour
  • Once the pastry has chilled, roll out to approximately 3mm thick and use it to line the base & sides of the tart tin, leaving any excess to hang over the edge of the tin
  • Use a fork to pierce holes in the bottom of the pastry
  • Line the pastry case with baking parchment & fill with baking beans
  • Blind bake the pastry case for 15 minutes at 180°C
  • Remove the baking beans & parchment & return the case to the oven for a further 10 minutes, until it starts to turn golden
  • Remove the case from the oven & leave to cool for 5 minutes, before trimming off any excess around the edge
  • To make the filling, in a small saucepan gently heat the double cream then remove from the heat & add in the white chocolate
  • Stir though until the chocolate has completely melted & thoroughly combined, set aside to cool slightly
  • In a clean bowl whisk together the eggs, caster sugar, vanilla & salt
  • Take the cherries & chop any larger ones in half
  • Slowly pour the chocolate mixture into the egg, whisking as you pour until all has been combined
  • Add two-thirds of the cherries to the bowl & stir through
  • Pour the mixture into the pastry case & use the remaining cherries to drop into the mixture
  • Bake the tart at 120C for 1 hour, then turn the heat up to 160C for a further 5 minutes until the top of tart starts to turn golden
  • Allow to cool completely before removing from the tin
  • Please the tart in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours before topping with chocolate shavings & any spare cherries

whisk

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