Cherry Vanilla Shortbread Tarts
1 cup + 5 Tbs butter, room temperature
⅔ cup sugar
⅓ cup light brown sugar, packed
1 Tbs + 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1⅓ cup of plum or cherry jam, warmed in microwave
2 cups fresh pitted Bing cherries
For the vanilla icing:
⅔ cup powdered sugar
1½ tsp vanilla bean paste
1½ Tbsp melted butter
1½-2 Tbsp milk
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Grease two 9-inch removable-bottom tart tins and place them on baking sheets.
- Using a 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 tins (including up the sides). Our dough weighed about 2lbs total, so 10oz went in the bottom of each tin and we crumbled the remainder on top.
- Spread the jam evenly over the dough and then scatter with the cherries. Crumble the remaining dough over the filling. Bake the tarts for 40-45 minutes, until lightly browned. Leave to cool completely in the tins.
- For the vanilla icing: In a small bowl whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla, butter and 1½ tablespoons of the milk. If it looks too thick, you can add a bit more milk. Drizzle the cooled tarts with the icing, remove sides from the pan, and serve on the base.