These beautiful tarts have been perfected by celebrity chef Maggie Beer.
Preheat the oven to 190°C fan-forced. Lightly brush a 12-hole muffin pan with extra butter.
For the pastry, sift the flour onto a clean workbench. Scatter the salt and butter over the flour and toss together using a metal pastry scraper. Sprinkle with the mineral water and toss again. Gather the flour mixture to the front of the workbench. Using the heel of your hand, smear the ingredients away from you in a quick, smooth sliding action. Gather the emerging dough back to the starting point and repeat the smearing action – this technique is called fraisage (literally, ‘kneading’). Do not be concerned if little bits of butter are visible in the dough; this indicates that the pastry has not been overworked. Lightly knead the dough, then form into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes only or the pastry may become too hard to roll.
For the Morello cherry spread, place the water and sugar into a medium saucepan and place over high heat. Bring to the boil. Add the lemon zest and cinnamon and continue to cook until jam-like. Add the pitted cherries and cook; there should be almost no syrup left. Remove from the heat; discard cinnamon and add the lemon juice. Set aside to cool. Once cold, pulse in the food processor – leaving some texture, set aside.
For the pastry cases, roll the pastry out on a lightly floured workbench to 2-3mm thick. Cut out twelve 9cm rounds and use to line the prepared tray. Cut out larger rounds of foil and press into the pastry, then fill with baking beads or rice and put into the oven for 10 minutes to blind bake the pastry cases. To inhibit the pastry from bubbling, remove the foil and beans, then use a clean tea towel to press down on the pastry shells. Bake for another five minutes or until base is dry and golden. Set aside to cool.
For the orange icing, combine the icing sugar and as much strained orange juice as needed in a bowl to make a smooth, thick, runny paste. Stir in the orange rind. Set aside. Place into a piping bag fitted with a 3mm plain round nozzle.
For the chocolate icing, in another bowl combine the icing sugar, cocoa and as much milk as needed to make a smooth, thick, runny paste. Set aside. Place into a piping bag fitted with a 3mm plain round nozzle.
For the buttercream, combine the milk, sugar and 80ml water in a bowl and stir until the sugar has dissolved. In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatine over the 2 tablespoons hot water, then stir to dissolve and set aside to cool slightly. Stir the gelatine mixture into the milk mixture. Using the scraper attachment, beat butter in the bowl of an electric stand mixer for 10 minutes or until light and white, then, with the motor running, gradually add the gelatine and milk mixture. Beat until smooth. Continue to beat for 12-15 minutes, scraping sides of bowl. The mixture will look like it has split, but it will eventually incorporate. Using a spatula, fold in the glace ginger and ground ginger to just combine.
To fill the tarts, spoon a teaspoon of cherry spread onto the base of each tart case, then fill each case to the top with buttercream, spreading it evenly across to smooth the surface. Using the chocolate icing, pipe a semi circle outline over the top of the buttercream and fill. Repeat with orange icing over the remaining semi circle allow 5 minutes to set. Stand at room temperature until set. Present 12 uniform Neenish tarts.
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