Gino lays on the ultimate Italian Christmas Day feast with antipasti, prawns, pasta, panettone meat and more, as he creates heaven on earth with his delicious Cherry and Amaretto tart.
And we’ll have a few surprise gifts for him under the This Morning tree!
Cherry and Amaretto tart
225g plain white flour
160g unsalted butter (chilled), diced
65g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
Pinch of salt
2 medium egg yolks
For the filling:
100g icing sugar
100g ground almonds
2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon almond essence
2 tbsp amaretto (almond liqueur)
450g ripe cherries, pitted
First make the pastry, Put the flour, butter, icing sugar and salt in a food processor and blitz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs
Add the egg yolk and pulse for 10 seconds, pour mixture into a bowl and gather into a ball with your hands. Cover and transfer into the fridge for 30 minutes.
Roll out the pastry onto floured cling film and use it to linea loose bottomed, round tart tin (ideally fluted), 24 cm in diameter. Trim the pastry. Chill for a further 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees/gas mark 6.
Blind bake the pastry case. Prick the pastry base all over with a fork, line the bottom and sides with baking parchment and weigh it down with baking beans or rice. Place the tin on a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes. Remove the beans or rice and paper. Reduce the oven temp to 170/gas mark 3 and cook for a further 5 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Combine the icing sugar, almonds, beaten eggs, almond essence and amaretto in a bowl. Tip the mixture into the pastry case. Arrange the cherries on top, pushing them lightly into the mixture
Bake for 50 minute or until the top is golden brown and firm to the touch. After 20 minutes, cover the edge with foil to prevent the edges from burning.
Leave to cool in the tin then place on a serving plate or board and dust with icing sugar
Tastes best served with fresh cream, mascarpone or vanilla ice cream.
Chocolate-coated fruit with cheeky toppings
150g good quality plain dark chocolate
150g good quality white chocolate
Assortment of prepared fruit (around 800g in total)
You choose e.g peaches, halved and stone removed, strawberries, Mango, peeled and stone removed and cut into large chunks, dried figs and fresh coconut chunks
For the toppings:
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
1 tbsp pink peppercorns roughly crushed
1 tbsp dried chilli flakes
1 tbsp finely chopped hazelnuts
4 amaretti biscuits, crushed
Melt both types of chocolate separately. Break the chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water and heat gently until just melted (do not stir) then remove the pan from the heat and stir. Alternatively, heat the the chocolate for 20 seconds in the microwave, then remove and stir. Repeat until most of the chocolate is melted then remove and let remaining chocolate melt in the residual heat. Leave to cool for 3-5 minutes.
Line a tray with baking parchment. Dip the fruit into the melted chocolate and lay it on the prepared tray. Sprinkle with your chosen toppings immediately
Leave to set for at least 1 hour or chill for 30 minutes before serving.