Ripe, juicy cherries are the perfect ingredient for a sugary-sweet summer tart. Great for formal dinners or informal treats!
- 350g (12oz) sweet shortcrust pastry
- 2 medium eggs
- 25g (1oz) plain flour
- 50g (2oz) caster sugar
- 300ml (½ pt) milk
- 150ml (¼ pt) double cream
- 225g (8oz) cherries
- 45ml (3tbsp) cherry jam, warmed and sieved
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use it to line a 23cm (9in) loose-based fluted flan tin. Prick the base all over with a fork and chill in the fridge for 30 mins.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6) and place a baking sheet in the oven. Line the chilled pastry base with greaseproof paper and baking beans and bake on the hot baking sheet for 10 mins. Remove the greaseproof paper and beans and bake for a further 3-4 mins until the pastry case is golden brown. Cool.
Beat together the eggs, flour and caster sugar. Heat the milk almost to boiling point, then whisk into the egg mixture. Return the mixture to the pan and heat for 5 mins, stirring all the time, until thickened. Cover the surface of the mixture with greaseproof paper and leave to cool completely.
Whip the cream until just firm and fold into the pastry cream. Spoon into the pastry case. Halve the cherries and remove the stones. Stir the cherries into the sieved jam and spoon over the filling. Serve within an hour.
When buying cherries, look for large ones (1in or more in diameter) that are glossy, plump and dark-coloured. Make sure their stalks are fresh and green.