“This cake is excellent for lunch or tea,” the authoress claims. Gorgeously buttery pastry, juicy brandied cherries, soft frangipane and sweet rum icing… she was right, it’s a little slice of heaven. That said, you ought to tuck into this tart later in the day as the rum and bran-dy give it a real kick - unless you substitute these, of course.
Original Recipes: 'Tarte A L’Allemande Aux Cerises' (Book 3, 1914) and 'Rich Short Pastry' (Book 4, 1928)
Speed: 2 hours | Serves: 12
Rich Short Pastry
8 oz / 227g Flour
6 oz / 170g Butter
Pinch of Salt
1 tsp. Caster Sugar
1 Egg Yolk
2 tsp. Water
Almond Cream (Frangipane)
7 oz / 200g Soft Unsalted Butter
7 oz / 200g Caster Sugar
7 oz / 200g Ground Almonds
4 Small Eggs (or 3 medium)
¾ tsp. Vanilla Essence/Paste
Fruit Filling and Icing
About 50 Brandied Cherries (just over half a jar), or 40 Tinned Cherries
1.8 oz / 50g Caster Sugar, mixed with 1 tsp. Cinnamon
4 tbsp. Redcurrant Jelly
350g Icing Sugar
50ml Rum (plus extra, if needed), or 40ml Water + 1 tsp. Rum Flavouring (if liked)
For the Rich Short Pastry
1. Sift the flour and salt together in a basin and rub in the butter 'using just the tips of the fingers' until this becomes like breadcrumbs.
2. Mix the egg yolk with 2 tsp. of water and add this to the flour mixture, bringing all together to form a dough. In warmer weather, you may use less or no water as the butter will be softer. You may add more water if you find it difficult to bring the pastry together with this amount, but keep this as little as possible to keep the pastry as rich and buttery as possible.
3. Roll the pastry out to a ¼ inch in thickness and line a buttered 12 inch tart tin with it. Patch any holes or cracks that appear, trim the top leaving about a centimetre of pastry above the rim of the tin to allow for shrinkage, and even out the edges. Prick the base with a fork.
Filling and Baking
4. Drain the cherries of the kirsch (or syrup, if using non-alcoholic tinned cherries) and roll in the cinnamon sugar until completely coated. Arrange these evenly in the pastry case.
5. Make an almond cream (frangipane). Cream together the softened butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs one at a time, and then add the vanilla essence or bean paste. Finally, add in the ground almonds a little at a time until fully combined.
6. Pour the almond cream onto the cherries, making sure to fill the gaps between them, and even out the top. Bake in the oven at 180 °C / 356 °F / Gas Mark 4 for 50 minutes, covering the top with foil halfway through to keep this from becoming too brown. You may also wish to put a baking tray beneath the tart to catch any dripping grease from the butter.
7. When the tart has been freshly removed from the oven and is still hot, spread the redcurrant jelly across the top of the frangipane layer. The heat will help the jelly to spread evenly. Alternatively, you can allow the tart to cool and warm the jelly in a saucepan before spreading.
8. Allow the tart to cool down completely before making a rum glacé icing. To do this, put the icing sugar into a saucepan and mix in the rum a tablespoonful at a time, setting this over a low heat. Mix in enough rum to give you a good coating consistency. Alternatively, you can use water flavoured with rum essence (or any preferred alternative).
9. Pour the icing onto the redcurrant jelly and even out as well as possible. Rum glacé icing sets quickly and doesn't respond as well to smoothing out as water-based glace icing does, so don't expect perfection!
10. Slice only when completely cold.
Original Recipe for 'Tarte A L’Allemande Aux Cerises'
'BOOK 3': A Second Dudley Book of Recipes (1914)
Collected and Arranged By: Georgina Ward, Countess of Dudley
Publisher: Hutchinson & Co. (Paternoster Row, London, England, U.K.)