A trip to a provincial market is always inspiring, but the recent one I took to Tarascon, in the Bouche du Rhone departement was an eyeful of the grandest degree. I came home with a bundle of goodies, not the least, but the cheapest, being a half kilo of deep purple ripe cherries for the grand total of 1.41Euros. It was hard to look at them and not think of Frangipane. The recipe below sounds a little fiddly, but it’s not really – its just a matter of getting the ingredients laid out.
- 300ml and 100ml almond flour (meal)
- 1 1/2 cups gluten free flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 120g and 80g butter softened and chopped (or use dairy free margarine)
- 100ml plus 2 tbsp sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 300g cherries, halved and destoned
- 2 tbsp cassis jelly and a dash of champagne (optional)
- Take 300ml of almond flour, the flour, baking powder, salt, 2 tablespoons of sugar and 120g of butter, and rub in, then knead together to make a soft dough. Reserve 1/4 of the mix, and set aside. Wrap the remainder of the pastry in clingfilm and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 170℃. In an ovenproof dish (or pie mould), press in pastry evenly along the bottom, coming up just a little at the sides. Place in the oven for 10 minutes while you prepare the filling.
- Cream eggs and 100ml sugar, then add the remainder of the butter and the vanilla, whipping up well. Finally add 100ml almond flour, and the reserved pastry mix, and combine until smooth (this can all be done with a hand whisk).
- Remove pastry base from oven. Pour over the filling, then arrange cherries on top. If desired, add champagne to cassis jelly and pour over (this is not necessary, but I find it adds some extra moisture and tang)
- Place back in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, or until top is just firm and slightly golden.
Can be served hot or cold. If you wish to serve out of the tin, best to wait for it to cool a little. It will be firm enough to hold its shape on its own. As my family are dairy free, I served it warm with a little soy cream whisked with cinnamon powder and creme de marron (chestnut puree found in jars and tins all over France)