- 375g Sweet shortcrust pastry
- 200g (7oz) Buttersoftened, plus extra for greasing
- 200g (7oz) Caster sugar
- 100g Ground almonds
- 100g (31/2oz) Self Raising Flour
- 1tsp Baking powder
- 1/2tsp Almond extract
- 4 Large eggsbeaten
- 4 tbsp Cherry jam
- 300g (10oz) Cherriesfresh
- 25g (1oz) Flaked almonds
- 50g (2oz) Powdered sugarplus extra to serve
This classic recipe makes 12 sweet treats with the lovely bitterness of almonds. They’re perfect for a picnic.
Grease the base and sides of a rectangular tin, about 20 x 30 x 4cm (8 x 12 x 2in). Lift the pastry into the tin and press into the corners. Prick the base with a fork and chill in the fridge for 20 mins. Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°.
Line the pastry case with nonstick baking paper and fill with baking beans. Bake the pastry for 10 mins until just cooked but not coloured. Remove the beans and baking paper and return to the oven for 2 minutes to crisp up the base. Leave the pastry to cool slightly while you make the sponge. Turn the oven down to gas 3, 170°C, fan 150°.
Put the butter, sugar, ground almonds, flour, baking powder, almond extract and eggs in a large bowl and beat until combined. Spread the jam over the cooled pastry in an even layer then top with the sponge mixture.
Scatter the flaked almonds over the top of the sponge. Bake in the oven for 35-40 mins or until firm and just golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely.
Mix the icing sugar with 1½ tsp of cold water to make a stiff mixture. Drizzle the icing over the sponge. Top with the cherries and leave to set. Sift over icing sugar. Using a sharp knife, cut in half lengthways and then into 12 rectangular pieces. Take to the picnic in the tin.