Amarena cherries are wild cherries from Bologna, available in jars from some delicatessens and supermarkets. They make a lovely instant sauce for ice cream, or you can use them in this tart to make a stunning dessert for a dinner party or summer tea party.
Preparation time: 40 minutes plus 30 minutes’ chilling;
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Ingredients for eight servings:
250 g (9 oz) ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons icing sugar, sifted
4-6 tablespoons Amaretto liqueur, to taste
300 ml ( ½ pint) double cream
600 g (1 lb 5 oz) jar of Amarena Fabbri wild cherries in syrup
25 g (1 oz) flaked almonds, toasted
For the pastry:
175 g (6 oz) plain flour
2 tablespoons caster sugar
100 g (4 oz) chilled butter, cut into cubes
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons cold water
First make the pastry: sift the flour into a large bowl and stir in the sugar. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add the egg yolks and water and stir with a fork until the mixture forms large clumps. Bring it together with your hands to make dough. Knead gently on a lightly floured surface until smooth, then wrap in clingfilm and chill for 20 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line a 20 cm (8 in) loose-based tart tin. Trim the edge and prick the base with a fork. Chill for 10 minutes.
Line the pastry case with baking parchment and fill with baking beans, then bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove the beans and paper and bake for a further 10 minutes, until crisp and golden. Leave on a wire rack to cool.
Meanwhile, make the filling: put the ricotta in a bowl with the icing sugar and Amaretto liqueur and beat until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks. Fold the cream into the ricotta mixture.
Drain the cherries, reserving the syrup. Spoon the ricotta filling into the pastry case and level the surface. Spoon the drained cherries over the top and fill the gaps with the flaked almonds.
Chill the tart until required. Just before serving, spoon 3-4 tablespoons of the reserved cherry syrup over the tart. Slice and serve with extra syrup.