I freely admit that I can be rather lazy when it comes to cooking. I know, it's hard to believe but it's true. I got enough of fiddle faddle complicated garbage when I worked as a personal chef. Why is it that when people are paying you to cook for them, they try to get their pound of flesh for every penny spent? Never-mind . . . I was the best cook they ever had, and they would tell you so themselves if they had the chance.
I did like being stretched and I'd be a liar if I said I didn't, but on a day to day basis, and at home, unless I am out to impress overly so . . . I much prefer the simple things. Simple doesn't mean that it doesn't taste good, or that it can't be impressive. It just means that it's not a lot of work, and it uses ordinary things that anybody can afford or might keep in the larder most of the time.
Sometimes you can even cheat and it's okay because the end result is amazingly delicious so nobody minds. Dishes such as this fabulous tarte here today with it's crisp puff pastry base and tinned cherry filling . . . okay, so the filling comes from a can . . . but you tell me one person who doesn't like cherry pie filling. They're very rare I'll wager.
So anyway . . . you top the puff pastry with the cherry filling . . that's the simple bit. Next you make an oaty nutty cobbler topping, which you sprinkle over top.
Then you bake it all until the pastry is crisp and puffed . . . the cobbler topping is all buttery crisp too . . . with that sweet cherry layer in the middle, heaven. But . . . that's not all, no . . . that's not all. You melt some dark chocolate and drizzle it decoratively over top. Yeppers! Melted chocolate flicked all over the top of that crisp, crunchy fruity goodness.
But . . . if you really want to make it special . . . serve it up with some clotted cream, or failing that . . . mascarpone cheese. In for a penny in for a pound and all that . . .
Bound to become a favourite of family and guest alike. Easy. Tasty. Beautiful to look at. Winner Winner Winner. Something for the weekend. Scrummo!
*Cherry Cobbler Tarte*
Serves 8 to 10
This is so easy and yet so impressive when it is done. Crisp puff pastry bottom, cherry filling and a oaty cobbler topping, all drizzled with dark chocolate to finish.
1 sheet of ready roll puff pastry
1 egg yolk, beaten with a bit of water
2 tins of cherry pie filling
(I used the dark cherry)
For the cobbler topping:
80g rolled oats (1 cup)
2 TBS dark muscovado sugar, packed
2 TBS butter, softened
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
a handful of flaked almonds
2 ounces dark chocolate, melted
clotted cream or marscarpone cheese to serve.
Preheat your oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6.
Line a baking sheet with some baking parchment. Unroll your pastry onto the baking parchment. Score a one inch border all the way around the edges. Fold the edges over in half, all the way around and brush with a bit of egg wash. ( If desired, sprinkle with some coarse sugar. ) Prick the centre all over with a fork. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove it from the oven and bang the centre down with the heel of a spoon. Don't turn off the oven.
Make the crumble topping by creaming the butter and sugar together with the cinnamon and salt until well combined. Stir in the oats and almonds.
Spoon the pie filling into the centre of the tart, filling it completely and spreading it to the border but not beyond. Cover with the cobbler topping, sprinkling it evenly over top. Bang the tart back into the heated oven. Turn the heat down to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5. Bake the tart for 15 to 20 minutes longer, until the topping and pastry are nicely crisped and browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Drizzle with the melted chocolate in a decorative manner.
Cut into slabs to serve, topping each portion with a dollop of clotted cream or marscarpone cheese. Delicious!