Custard & cherry cakes

Custard & cherry cakes


The Amalfi Coast
Helen Cathcart

These little oval pastry pies conceal a sweet filling of custard and cherry. They are just right for breakfast with a cappuccino. The best ones we found were in G.A.S, a bar perched on the cliffs above the sea. Try to use Fabbri cherries, sold in pretty blue and white jars in Italian delis. They have a unique flavour that is completely irresistible. Alternatively, use cherries soaked in alcohol or syrup. If you can't find oval moulds use small round ones or mince pie tins instead.

For the pastry


Quantity Ingredient
175g ‘00’ or plain flour, plus extra for dusting
100g caster sugar
1/2 lemon, finely grated zest
vanilla pod, seeds removed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
50g lard, (optional) (if not using, add an extra 50 g butt†er)
50g see method for ingredients, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk, (optional)

For the filling

Quantity Ingredient
230g amarena fabbri morello cherries in syrup, or cherries soaked in alcohol or syrup
1 quantity Lemon domes filled with lemon cream, minus the lemon zest
icing sugar, for dusting
8 oval moulds, greased


  1. Start by making the pastry. Combine all the pastry ingredients in a food processor. If you’re making it by hand, use your fingers to rub the flour, sugar, lemon zest, vanilla and fats together in a large bowl to a breadcrumb consistency. Keep your hands above the bowl, letting the breadcrumbs fall from a height to aerate them. Still using your hands, mix in the egg to form a firm dough. If the dough is a little dry, mix in a tablespoon of milk. This may happen if the egg is small or the flour very absorbent. Chill the pastry in the fridge for 20 minutes, wrapped in clingfilm.
  2. To make the filling, drain the syrup from the cherries and reserve it for later. Cut the cherries in half. Roll out half the pastry to about 2 mm thick on a well-floured work surface. Cut around the moulds, leaving a 5 cm border all around. Press the pastry gently into the moulds, making sure it is well pressed into the sides. Refrigerate for 10 minutes, then trim the edges with a sharp knife.
  3. Half-fill the moulds with the custard and place 3 cherries on top. Pipe or spoon in more custard so that the moulds are three-quarters full. Roll out the remaining pastry to about 1 mm thick again and cover the moulds with a pastry lid. Trim the edges. Prick 2 holes in the pastry with the tip of a sharp knife and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the moulds on a baking tray and bake for 20–25 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack for about 30 minutes before turning out and dusting with icing sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature.

A note on oven temperatures:

  • It has been assumed throughout that a fan-forced oven is being used. Please adjust your temperatures to 20°C higher if you are using a conventional oven.
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