While looking for some Easter themed baking inspiration I came across a recipe on the BBC Good Food website for a Simnel Cherry Tart. Simnel Cake is a traditional Easter cake; a light fruit cake topped with toasted marzipan, it’s something that I have never made, basically because its a big cake for two people! So when I spotted this tart recipe I thought it would be a good alternative and could be used as a dessert on Easter Sunday.
Simnel Cherry Tart (From BBC Good Food Website)
75g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
375g Sweet Shortcrust Pastry (homemade or shop bought)
140g butter, softened
140g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs
75g ground almonds
175g mixed dried fruit
50g glacé cherries, halved
zest and juice 1 orange
1 tsp. mixed spice
1 tsp. cinnamon
6 tbsp. cherry jam
350g marzipan, ½ cut into small cubes, ½ rolled into 12 balls (to represent the 11 Apostles and Jesus)
50g icing sugar, to decorate
25g flaked toasted almonds
On a floured work surface, roll out the pastry to the thickness of a £1 coin.
Lift the pastry over your rolling pin and use to line a 22cm round fluted tart tin (you can also use a rectangular tin)
Chill for at least 30 mins.
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Line your pastry case with baking parchment, then fill with baking beans.
Blind-bake for 15 mins, remove the beans and parchment, and bake for a further 10 mins until the pastry is pale golden and biscuity. Leave to cool.
Reduce oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3.
In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar until pale and creamy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well between each addition.
Stir in the flour, almonds, dried fruit, cherries, half the orange zest, and the spices.
Spread the jam over the base of the tart case, then dot the cubes of marzipan over the top.
Pour over the cake mixture and smooth with a spatula.
Bake for 35 mins until golden and risen. Leave to cool in the tin.
If you want to brown the tops of your marzipan balls, heat the grill to medium. Put the marzipan balls on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and place under the grill for 1-2 mins until golden – make sure you keep an eye on them, as they will burn easily. Let cool.
To make the icing, mix the icing sugar with enough orange juice to make a thick, smooth icing.
Drizzle the icing over the tart, top with the toasted marzipan balls, flaked almonds and the remaining orange zest.