Guardian Girl

Cherry tart

Posted in Recipes by guardiangirl on July 13, 2009

Last night I baked Hugh’s cherry tart recipe.

It was Sunday and I spent shop opening hours searching for summer boots and maxi-dresses, so I missed the big supermarkets. Another peril of this aspirational lifestyle thing – you have to be very organised, and have far more than 24 hours in each day, or no friends.

Tesco Metro had only one punnet of cherries left and no fresh apricots so I threw caution to the wind and decided to put whole dried apricots in there instead. Hugh would probably be cringeing as I reached for the very packet, but he wasn’t there so I chucked them in the basket. There were no ground almonds so, get this, I opted for a big bag of mixed nuts and dried fruit, which I decided to mix  into the pie filling whole. Daring. Tesco had no kirsch, strangely, so I subsituted that with a slug of rum. This magazine following lark is all about bold substitutions, I’ve decided – advice I’d like to share with all those who write into the paper complaining that the ingredients are too hard to find. Just get on with it! Put something else in instead! With that in mind, however, I might have to change this blog’s subtitle to ‘following the Guardian lifetstyle not quite to the letter, but more with a slapdash and arguably pointless level of commitment’.

By the time I got home I was a bit cranky and hungry and all things considered didn’t feel like chilling pastry. I felt like eating pastry. So I skipped that step, sorry. I did everything extra-hamfisted this time, and it came out bloody delicious. I squashed the pillowy dough (which I flavoured with vanilla essence cos El Metro didn’t have pods) into a loaf tin like a kid at the Play-doh and pre-baked it with no beans while I mixed up the filling with a George’s Marvellous Medicine spirit. It came out looking like a bowl of lumpy sick, if you’d been eating emeralds and rubies and opals – those were pistachios and cherries and lumps of unsieved (sorry again) icing sugar. I poured half the mix into the shell, which was really more like a small cake by now as I’d made no attempt to get the pastry thin. Half was left over, so I snacked on a bit of it and decanted the remainder into a baking tin to cook into a sort of floury, lumpy pancake thing. When the ‘tart’ came out of the oven 40 minutes later it looked like a fruit loaf and tasted gorge-ous. Gorgeworthy. Not surprising given that it contained pretty much an entire packet of butter. I ate a fair amount and then packed the spare filling into the cavity, put it in a carrier bag and headed off to see some friends. The verdict from everyone was very positive, although my friend Liv also detected the trademark raw dough taste (I haven’t yet learned my lesson on the oven temperature thing). On our way home we bumped into another mate, Martin, who stuck his thumb in and  pulled out an apricot, which had soaked up some rum and butter and gone all delicious. Turns out they weren’t a bad addition at all, although they weren’t the best bit. The best bit was the fluffy, crumbly, cakey pastry.


  • If you can’t find the right ingredient, buy the wrong ingredient and throw that in instead. You’ll either regret it or you won’t, but it won’t matter tomorrow, God willing
  • Vanilla essence is another good pastry ingredient
  • Put rum in stuff
  • It doesn’t always matter if you’re impatient – even with tarts. You just end up with a cake instead, and who could complain about that?

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