For candied almond ice-cream, preheat oven to 180C. Scatter flaked almonds over an oven tray and roast, shaking occasionally, until golden (4-5 minutes). Meanwhile, bring milk to the boil in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add flaked almonds, remove from heat, set aside to infuse (1 hour), then blend in a blender until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve lined with muslin, squeezing to extract as much liquid as possible and yield 750ml (discard solids). Add cream to yield 1 litre, adding more if necessary. Whisk yolks and 180gm sugar in a bowl until pale. Bring almond milk to the simmer then pour onto yolks, whisking continuously to combine, transfer to a clean saucepan and stir over low-medium heat until mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon thickly (6-8 minutes). Cool in a large bowl placed over ice then freeze in an ice-cream machine. Freeze until firm. Meanwhile, scatter blanched almonds on an oven tray and roast, shaking occasionally, until golden (5-6 minutes). Keep warm. Combine remaining sugar and 100ml water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stir to dissolve sugar then simmer until mixture reaches 121C on a sugar thermometer. Stir through warm almonds until sugar crystallises (3-4 minutes), pour onto a lightly oiled oven tray and cool, then break into coarse pieces. Process in a food processor until coarsely ground, stir through ice-cream (reserve 2 tbsp for serving). Freeze until firm.
For sweet pastry, beat butter in an electric mixer until smooth, add sugar, beat to combine. Beat in yolks one at a time, then beat in 25ml iced water. Sift flour onto a work surface, make a well in the centre. Add butter mixture, rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Bring pastry together with the heel of your hand, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest (3 hours). Roll out on a lightly floured surface to 3mm thick, line six 7cm-diameter tart tins, trim edges and refrigerate to rest for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C. Scatter almond meal on an oven tray and roast, shaking occasionally, until golden (2-3 minutes), set aside to cool. Combine sugar, flour and almond meal in a bowl. Whisk cream, eggs and yolks until smooth in a separate bowl, add sugar mixture, stir to combine. Set aside to rest (30 minutes).
Combine cherries in a bowl with kirsch, gently fold though batter, pour into tart cases and bake until golden and just set (20-25 minutes). Cool slightly, remove from tins and serve with candied almond ice-cream, scattered with reserved candied almond.
This recipe is from the December 2010 issue of Australian