- 300 gm dried cherries
- 165 gm dried blood plums, finely chopped
- 125 gm currants
- 80 ml brandy or cherry liqueur
- 200 gm drained pitted morello cherries, 100 ml syrup reserved
- 50 gm cold butter, coarsely chopped
- 1 egg
- 60 gm brown sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped seeds only
- ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ tsp each mixed spice, ground cloves and ground cinnamon
- 50 gm plain flour
- To serve: cranberries (optional)
- 200 gm icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
- 180 gm unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 4 eggs
- 400 gm plain flour
- 100 gm almond meal
- 1For almond pastry, beat sugar, butter and cinnamon in an electric mixer (2-3 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, beat well to combine. Sift in flour, fold in almond meal, add a pinch of sea salt, turn onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth. Wrap pastry in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours. Roll one-third of pastry on a lightly floured work surface to 2mm thick, refrigerate on a tray until firm and set aside. Roll remaining to line a 20cm x 5cm baking ring (trim excess pastry and reserve) and place ring on a baking paper-lined oven tray. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- 2Preheat oven to 160C. Combine dried fruit, brandy and syrup in a saucepan, stir occasionally over medium heat until liquid is absorbed (8-10 minutes). Remove from heat, stir through morello cherries, cool.
- 3Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, browning (3-4 minutes). Cool. Whisk egg, sugar, vanilla seeds and spices in an electric mixer until thick and pale (5-6 minutes). Fold in melted butter and flour, fold in fruit mixture, spoon into prepared pastry ring, bake until firm (1 hour-1 hour 20 minutes), then cool.
- 4Cut stars from reserved pastry using star-shaped cutters. Place on baking paper-lined oven trays, bake until golden (12-15 minutes), scatter over tart, with cranberries, dust with icing sugar and serve with crème fraîche.
Spiced crème fraîche
Whisk together 400gm crème fraîche, 40gm brown sugar, 30ml Grand Marnier, scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean and ½ tsp each ground cinnamon and nutmeg until thick and smooth. Refrigerate until required.
Drink Suggestion: Rutherglen muscat. Drink suggestion by Max Allen