I had visitors yesterday, so thought it would be lovely to make something sweet to offer round, and jam tarts gave me the opportunity to make our lovely pastry recipe again…
And also, I got to make caramel, which I always think is terribly exciting, all that molten sugar and having to work quickly!
The cherry jam is tart and flavoursome and goes beautifully with the sweet nutty topping. I wasn’t sure how much pastry I’d need and made twice the amount I’ve given the recipe for below, so I also made some tarts with apple sauce from a jar (as you can see in the photo). These are good too, but I think the sharper cherry jam works much better with the praline.
for the pastry
175 g gluten free flour, this time I used the marks and spencer one
25 g almond milk powder
a pinch of salt
100 g vegetable fat
2 tbsp cold water (I found that this flour blend needed a lot less water than the Doves farm one I’ve used before)
for the jam
175 g frozen cherries
50 g sugar
juice of half a lime
for the praline
85 g walnuts
85 g sugar
a small pinch of fennel powder
First get the jam cooking. Put the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for around 25 minutes until the mixture is thick and coats the back of a spoon. Leave to cool.
Next make the pastry, mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and then cut the fat in, in little pieces. Rub the flour mixture and fat together until is resembles breadcrumbs. Mix the water in, a tablespoon at a time until you have a soft dough.
Now make the praline, this recipe will make more than you need but it seems a shame to just make a tiny bit of praline! And it keeps very well. Line a tray with baking paper. Heat the sugar in a heavy bottomed pan. Don’t stir it, but swirl it around the pan as it starts to melt. When it’s a rich golden colour, add the nuts and fennel, stir quickly and tip it out onto the lined tray, spreading out as best you can. When cool either bash into pieces or whizz it in a food processor if you want a finer powder.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees c. You’ll need a 12 hole muffin tray.
Roll the pastry out to around 3 mm thick and cut out 12 6 cm rounds. Push each pastry circle gently into a hole in the muffin tray. Not squashed all the way to the bottom, or the tarts may be difficult to get out.
Put a teaspoonful of cherry jam into each pastry case, and then bake for around 15 minutes. The edges of the tarts should be golden.
Let the tarts cool in the tin, then carefully remove them, and top with praline.