Cherry Frangipane Tart. Crisp gluten free almond pastry, filled with ‘marzipan-rich’ almond frangipane and ripe red cherries. Optional dairy free.
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Cherry Frangipane Tart – seasonally delicious
The cherries are here. Which means it’s time for cherry frangipane tart… A delicious cherry almond tart made with gluten free almond shortcrust pastry.
I always wait for the cherry season with great anticipation. The opportunity to gorge on a pile of freshly picked cherries bought straight from the orchard fills me with excitement. Trees abundant with fat, ripe, juicy, delicious red balls of yumminess. Stalls of overflowing baskets of this most delicious fruit, waiting to be weighed and taken away.
Cherries are one of my favourite fruits. And where I live, there are orchards down every lane. As soon as the season arrives, road signs appear which simply state ‘Cherries’. Some direct you to orchards and some to roadside stalls. You stop… buy… eat.
Or you bake… And cherry frangipane tart is one way to use them. The classic combination of cherry and almond is always delicious. But combining together as a ‘marzipan-rich’ almond frangipane, dotted with sweet juicy cherries and encased in crisp, sweet pastry is very special.
The Brogdale Cherry Festival
One of the highlights of the cherry season is the cherry festival held at Brogdale, in Faversham, Kent. Brogdale is an amazing place which houses the UK’s national fruit collection. Apparently, they grow more than 320 varieties of cherry and dedicate a weekend every year to celebrating their existence, diversity and abundance. Usually held in July.
Among the festival fare, you’ll find chocolate cherries, cherry preserves, cherry ice creams and cherry ciders. There are cherry tastings, cherry pie eating competitions, and even an opportunity to try and break the world record for spitting a cherry pip the farthest! It’s a lot of fun.
Pitting cherries for Cherry Frangipane Tart… and for winter
Whilst I would happily sit and wade through bags of unadulterated cherries, it is always good to find more creative ways to eat them. It is also wonderful to prepare a stash that is available for the winter months too. Which means pitting and freezing…
Using a cherry pitter…
One of my favourite seasonal kitchen gadgets is a cherry pitter. It’s a nifty little thing which shoots the stone out of the cherry, whilst leaving the fruit round and more or less intact. Not only is it simple to use, but it’s also great fun. And it’s quick. We can happily de-stone a couple of pounds of them in about 20 minutes!
Although all cherry pitters do the same job, not all are equal. Some have ‘splatter guards’ some don’t. There are metal ones and plastic ones. There are even machines which pit several cherries at once.
When I bought mine, I seriously considered getting one with a splatter guard. I had heard the kitchen would look like a massacre had taken place if I went for something more basic.
In the end, I took my chances and bought a simple, cheap Chef’n QuickPit cherry pitter. By shooting the stones into a deep plastic jug and making sure the mechanism was pointed well down before pulling the trigger, there is no mess whatsoever. No splatter guard needed. The pitter has lasted me 7 seasons so far and I’ve also used it to stone olives too. My only caveat is that if you want to use it for large olives, you may need a bigger hole…
To take the best advantage of cherries when they are local, freshest and cheaper, you will need to pit and freeze. The easiest way to do this is to buy as many as you want to store and pit them. Once de-stoned, spread them on a tray and pop them on fast-freeze for a few hours. The colder the freezer temperature, the smaller the ice crystals. The smaller the ice crystals, the less damage to the fruit.
Once frozen, simply transfer to airtight containers and leave in the freezer. Cherries for the months ahead… done!
What else can I make with fresh cherries?
Cherries are amazingly versatile and can be used in pretty much anything. From baking and preserves, to ice cream, sauces and ‘extras’. In addition to freezing for later use, making an annual batch of Candied Cherries offers different recipe options as well. Although you can just eat candied cherries straight out of the jar with ice cream, waffles and pancakes.
For a little cherry inspiration, here’s a selection of yummy cherry recipes that we have at Gluten Free Alchemist :
- Cherry Bakewell Scones
- Perfectly Gooey Chocolate Cherry Pecan Brownies
- No Churn Cherry Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream (with home made Candied Cherries)
- Mascarpone, Cherry & Dark Chocolate Ice Cream (churned)
- Chewy Chocolate-Cherry-Chilli Flapjack (with candied cherries)
- Courgette & Cherry Cupcakes
- Lemon, Cherry & Basil Muffins
- Pina Colada Hot BBQ Pineapple
- Cherry-Almond Coconut Milk Ice Cream (vegan)
- Cherry Pancakes
- Cherry Sauce (Perfect with Chocolate Torte)
Made gluten free Cherry Frangipane Tart?
I’d love to hear from you if you make Cherry Frangipane Tart. It makes my day when someone enjoys my recipes! So be sure to leave a comment below, or tag me on social media (a follow is always welcome too) #glutenfreealchemist : Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest.
And if you want more gluten free inspiration, be sure to check out our gorgeous Recipe Book Index page too.
Cherry Frangipane Tart (gluten free)
- 1x 9 inch (23 cm) loose-bottomed pie tin (or use more smaller ones)
- Kitchen scales
- Mixing bowls
- measuring spoons
- flat knife
- baking paper
- Rolling Pin
- sharp knife
- baking beans
- electric whisk
- silicone/wooden spoon or spatula
Sweet Rice & Almond Pastry (gluten free)
- 110 g brown rice flour fine
- 50 g ground almonds almond meal
- 40 g corn flour (starch)
- 1¼ tsp xanthan gum
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- 50 g unsalted butter (or dairy free alternative) cold and cubed
- 50 g margarine or lard cold and cubed
- 50 g golden caster sugar
- 1 large egg UK large
- 1-2 tbsp very cold water
Frangipane & Cherry Filling
- 110 g unsalted butter (or dairy free alternative) softened
- 110 g caster sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 2 large eggs UK large
- 110 g ground almonds almond meal
- 45 g gluten free flour mix I use GFA blend A (See NOTES below)
- 500 g fresh cherries washed & pitted
- icing sugar for sprinkling
- Weigh and mix together the flours, ground almonds, xanthan gum and salt in a large bowl, making sure any lumps are completely broken down.
- Rub the butter and margarine/lard into the flour mix until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add and stir in the sugar.
- Lightly beat the egg with 1 tablespoon of the water and then add to the dry ingredients.
- Mix together with a flat knife until it starts to form a dough. If the mixture feels too dry, add more of the water a little at a time and work in. It is better to have a slightly tacky dough, than an over-dry one.
- Now bring the dough together with lightly cornflour-dusted hands and press into a ball. Knead briefly to ensure ingredients are fully amalgamated. No need to chill.
To Make the Pie Base
- Lay down and lightly flour (with corn starch/flour) either a large sheet of cling film or baking paper (see NOTES).
- If making a single large pie, place all the pastry on top of the floured surface, or divide into separate pieces if making more than one to avoid over-working the pastry. Flatten slightly and lightly flour the top.
- Roll the pastry out straightaway (do not chill in the fridge) to a thickness of 2 to 3 mm, checking the shape as you roll to ensure it will fit the tin (including the sides).
- Carefully lift the pastry with the support of the rolling pin and lay over the flan tin (or use the cling film-flip method as in the NOTES). Working quickly, ease the pastry into the base, gently moulding into the sides of the tin. Try and avoid cracking the pastry too much, but don't worry if it does crack as gluten free pastry is very forgiving and can be easily 'patched'.
- Trim the pastry edge flush with the top of the tin, using a sharp knife.
- Carefully examine the pastry base for any cracks or holes. If there are any, use the trimmed, remains to ‘repair’
- To repair : Roll and trim a piece of pastry dough to rough size, and using cold water, dampen both the area around the crack/hole and the down-side of the ‘patch’ and gently press together, smoothing the edges with a finger dipped in water to seal and tidy.
Chill the pastry base
- Place the prepared flan pastry in the fridge for half an hour to chill prior to baking.
- While chilling, pre-heat the oven to 200 C/400 F/Gas 5.
Blind-Bake the Pastry Case(s)
- Scrunch and then flatten a piece of baking paper large enough and lay inside the flan case(s). Then fill the pastry base with baking beans.
- Bake the pastry with the baking beans for 10 minutes.
- Take out of the oven and remove the baking beans (lifting them on the baking paper and carefully pouring into a heat-proof container to cool). Discard the baking paper.
- Place the uncovered pastry case(s) back in the oven for a further 7 to 10 minutes, checking they are golden and dry, but do not burn.
- Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Frangipane & Cherry Filling
- Pre-heat the oven to 190 C/375 F/Gas 5.
- Cream the butter, sugar, vanilla and almond extract until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time until well blended.
- Separately mix together the ground almonds and flour and then gradually add to the wet mixture, beating in with a wooden or silicone spoon/spatula until thoroughly mixed.
- Spoon the frangipane mixture into the cooked tart bases and spread evenly.
- Scatter the cherries onto the frangipane filling. Don’t worry if some are on top of others. You can push in slightly or not as you wish.
- Bake for 20 to 30 minutes (dependent on the size of the pie) until the frangipane is set and golden in colour.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tins.
- Once cool, dust with icing sugar.
- Enjoy as it is or serve with cream, custard or ice cream.