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Simnel Cherry Tart

An adaption to the traditional Easter Simnel Cake. This is a cross between Simnel Cake and Bakewell Tart. Flavoursome, soft frangipane with the sweet and tangy cherry, sweet marzipan and crispy flaked almonds on top. A truly delightful adaption to the traditional.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr 40 mins
Servings 8 slices

Ingredients
  

  • 75 g self-raising flour plus extra for dusting
  • 500 g sweet short crust pastry
  • 140 g Butter softened
  • 140 g golden caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 75 g ground almonds
  • 175 g mixed dried fruit
  • 50 g glacé cherries halved
  • 1 Zest and juice 1 orange
  • 1 tsp. mixed spice
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 6 tsp. cherry jam
  • 175 g marzipan ½ cut into small cubes, ½ rolled into 11 balls to represent the apostles
  • 50 g icing sugar to decorate
  • 25 g flaked toasted almonds

Instructions
 

  • 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 20 cm round flan/tart case, leaving a rim of overhanging pastry. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
  • Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Line your pastry case with baking parchment, then fill with baking beans or in my case normal uncooked rice. Blind-bake for 15 minutes, remove the rice and parchment, and bake for a further 10 minutes until the pastry is pale golden and biscuit. 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. I used an electric whisk for this. 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, and then dot the cubes of marzipan over the top. Pour over the cake mixture and smooth with a spatula. Bake for up to 60 minutes until golden and risen. Check after 40 minutes with a skewer in the centre of which should come out smooth when cooked. If it is not cooked place back in the oven for 5 minutes and repeat. If it does colour too quickly you can loosely cover with foil and cook as detailed. When cooked place on a cooling wire and 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 minutes 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. Cut into squares to serve. Will keep for 5 days in a sealed container.