Cherry Tart with Crunchy Almond Crumble and Vanilla Custard

This delicious cherry tart from the Natural Baking cookbook is topped with a crunchy almond crumble and an irresistible vanilla custard, using wholesome gluten-free ingredients.

From the book

Natural Baking: Healthier Recipes For A Guilt-Free Treat by &
Natural Baking: Healthier Recipes For A Guilt-Free Treat
Beautiful bakes using whole natural ingredients
70 reliable recipes showcasing fresh seasonal fruits
Lighter cakes and treats that are still indulgent
Makes 1 tart (diameter 30cm/12in)
Prep time: 35 min
Cook time: 50 min
Total time: 1 h 25 min


For the shortcrust pastry:
150g (5½oz) teff flour, plus extra for dusting
75g (2½oz) cornflour
30g (1oz) dark muscovado sugar
A pinch salt
130g (4¾oz) butter, plus extra for greasing
1 egg
Baking beans, for blind baking
For the fruit filling:
85g (3oz) dried dates, finely chopped
60g (2oz) custard powder
Grated zest and juice of ½ organic orange
900g (2lb) frozen sour cherries, thawed
1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways and seeds removed
For the crumble:
30g (1oz) gluten-free jumbo oats
15g (½ oz) teff flour
½ tsp ground cinnamon
25g (scant 1oz) dark muscovado sugar
30g (1oz) mild coconut oil
30g (1oz) flaked almonds

Essential kit

You will need: a tart tin (diameter 36–38cm/14½–15in).


For the pastry, combine the flour, cornflour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and rub together with your fingers to form fine crumbs. Add the egg and 2 tablespoons of water and work swiftly to create the pastry dough. Avoid overhandling the dough; it should remain fairly rough. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

To make the filling, put the dates in a pan with 100ml (3½fl oz) water, bring to the boil, then simmer gently until soft. Purée and leave to cool. Stir the custard powder into the orange juice until smoothly combined. Bring the puréed dates back to the boil, adding the orange zest, cherries, vanilla pod, and seeds, and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Stir the custard mixture into the hot cherries, bring briefly to the boil, and cook for 1 minute. Remove the vanilla pod and leave the cherry mixture to cool.

To make the crumble, combine the oats, flour, cinnamon, and sugar. Work in the coconut oil, rubbing everything together with your fingers until it forms a crumbly consistency. Fold in the almonds then chill the crumble.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Grease the tart tin and dust with flour. Roll out the dough on a floured work surface into a large circle (diameter 36–38cm/14½–15in). Transfer into the tart tin, press the edge down slightly, and trim off any overhanging pastry. Prick the pastry base several times with a fork and chill for 15 minutes, then line with baking parchment, fill with baking beans, and blind bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes. Take the pastry case out of the oven and remove the baking beans and parchment.

Spread the cherry mixture evenly over the pastry and top with the crumble. Bake the tart for 25 minutes, then increase the oven temperature to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6) and bake for a further 5 minutes, until golden brown. Leave to cool on a wire rack then remove from the tin.

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