This recipe for Cherry Vanilla Shortbread Tart makes the most stunning summer dessert that’s packed with cherries and vanilla in every luscious bite!I love this time of year when you walk into the grocery store and see huge displays of beautiful fresh cherries. It’s a sure sign that summer is arriving and even though I have a cherry tree in my back yard, and I know that before long I’ll have more cherries than I know what to do with, I still can’t resist picking them up.
I love cherries and vanilla together and this recipe has a lot of vanilla in it which just tastes amazing along side the cherries.
I used vanilla bean paste in both the shortbread crust and the icing on top. The filling uses both cherries and cherry preserves.
Please note that if you’re using a brand of cherry preserves that’s very sweet, you might want to cut the amount of icing or it could end up being too sweet. My cherry preserves are not too sweet at all so it really worked well.
To start off the shortbread crust, I start by beating the butter with the sugar and vanilla for a good few minutes until pale and fluffy. It’s an important step to beat the butter and sugar well together when making shortbread as this ensures the shortbread is light, crisp and will hold together.
Just look at all the specs of beautiful vanilla that you get from the paste!I sift the flour while the butter and sugar beat.
Then you add the flour to the butter mixture and mix until large crumbs form.
Spread the cherry preserves and cherries over the dough.
Crumble the reaming dough over the top.
Bake for 40 – 45 minutes until golden brown.
Drizzle with the icing.
Serve and enjoy!
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- 1 cup butter at room temperature
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 1⁄4 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
- 2 1⁄3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup of cherry preserves or good quality cherry jam
- 1 cup fresh or frozen pitted cherries Note: if using frozen cherries, defrost before using and strain the juices.
For the vanilla icing:
- 1⁄2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoons melted butter
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
- Preheat the oven to 350F/160C.
- Grease a 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan and place this on a baking tray.
- Using a food processor or mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, vanilla and brown sugar vigorously until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. It’s an important step to beat the butter and sugar well together when making shortbread as this ensures the shortbread is light, crisp and will hold together.
- In a separate bowl, sift the flour and salt. Add it to the butter mixture and mix until blended (forming large clumps).
- Turn onto a floured surface and using floured hands, press two-thirds of the mixture evenly into the prepared pan (including the sides).
- Spread with the cherry preserves or jam evenly over the dough, leaving a 1⁄4-inch border and then scatter with the cherries.
- Crumble the remaining dough into large crumbs and scatter evenly over the filling, covering most of the surface.
- Bake the tart for 40 - 45 minutes, until lightly browned.
- Leave to cool completely in the pan.
For the Vanilla icing:
- In a small bowl whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla, butter and one tablespoon of the milk. If it looks too thick, you can add a second tablespoon of milk.
- Drizzle the cooled tart with the icing, remove from the pan and serve on the base.
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