I absolutely love, love, love everything about Bill Granger. I love the way he looks. I love the way he speaks. I love the way he cooks. I love his recipes. Everything about him speaks to my soul and my style of cooking. I know going in that every recipe I try will be exactly the way it looks in his beautiful photos and be delicious.
I have been a fan of this Australian wonder for years and years. Paying exorbitant amounts of shipping to buy his books and DVDs hot off the presses from Australia, or receiving wonderful Granger care packages from my dear friend Melissa in Australia. How tickled pink was I to find out that two of the shows that the new Cooking Channel would carry were BOTH Bill’s Food and Bill’s Holiday.
As I sat in front of my television watching DVR’d Bill Granger shows, I watched Bill make a Rustic Cherry Tart – something from bill’s food that I have had tagged to make forever. Cherries are everywhere right now and absolutely delicious, so when would be a better time than this to give this recipe a go.
I have a hard and fast rule when it comes to recipes from my favorite foreign chefs – I use their measurements. I have found time and time again that with the American versions of these recipes the American measurements are usually off. I have found this especially true in Nigella Lawson’s recipes. With the advantage of the internet age it’s so easy to find recipes in their original form and measurements, and it’s worth the effort.
The recipe below is in Australian measurements, but I’ll add the *American measurements in at the end.
Rustic Cherry Tart – adapted from Bill Granger
- 75 g unsalted butter softened
- 90 g caster sugar
- 80 g ground almonds
- 2 egg yolks
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 sheet Puff pastry
- 1 egg yolk
- 300 g cherries pitted and cut in halves
NOTE: Use the best frozen puff pastry you can find. Do your best to find one that’s all butter. I used Dufour.
To make the frangipane, mix the butter, sugar, ground almonds, egg yolks and vanilla extract in the bowl of a food processor and mix until combined. You can mix this by hand, but the food processor is so much easier!
NOTE: I couldn’t find ground almonds, so I used skinned raw almonds and ground them. What I didn’t need for this recipe, I put in the freezer for the next time I make this – and there WILL be a next time!
Refrigerate the frangipane until it’s chilled.
NOTE: And make sure it’s chilled. Even chilled it started to liquify a bit while spreading.
Preheat the oven to 220°C (400°F/Gas 6).
Place your baking tray in the oven when you start to preheat. You pan should be good and hot when you’re ready to put the tart in the oven.
On another baking tray lined with parchment or on a large flat surface with a piece of parchment on top, lay the puff pastry down and trim off the edges of pastry so that you have straight sides all around. This will make the edges rise evenly.
Using the point of a sharp knife, score a 1 cm (1/2 inch) border around the edge of the sheet of puff pastry. Make sure you don’t cut all the way through the puff pastry. Prick the entire surface of the puff pastry with a fork and brush the entire surface with egg yolk.
NOTE: The scoring and pricking the surface of the puff pastry inside the border will make the edges puff up while the center surface stays flatter.
Spread the chilled frangipane evenly over the pastry within the scored area. this isn’t necessarily easy to do, the frangiapane is very stiff when chilled, but try to make it evenly spread across.
NOTE: Next time, after spreading the frangiapane on the puff pastry, I will put the entire thing back in the fridge to chill again,before adding the cherries.
Place the cherries, with the cut side up, in a single layer on top of the frangipane.
Carefully place the tart on the heated baking tray and put into the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle top of tart with sugar and return to oven for another 5 to 10 minutes or until the sides are golden and puffed.
NOTE: I used demerara sugar to sprinkle on the top. 300 grams (10 1/2 ounces) of cherries doesn’t look like a lot, but it really is the right amount. Pitting cherries is the most fiddley and tedious task in the kitchen, but this tart is SO worth it.
* American Measurements
- 2 1/2 ounces (5 tablespoons) unsalted butter, chopped
- 1/3 cup caster sugar (superfine)
- 3/4 cup ground almonds
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 sheet puff pastry or 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 egg yolk
- 10 1/2 ounces cherries, pitted and halved
- Sugar, for sprinkling