June 27, 2009

Bakewell Tart- The Name Says It Best

June's Daring Bakers challenge, the Bakewell Tart, is a classic English dessert with a bit of an identity crisis. Some call it a tart, other a pudding. Admittedly, I had low expectations for this little pastry. Shortbread crust with jam and frangipane, topped with slivered almonds, it was easy to throw together but not much to look at.

Until you take a bite.

Soft gooey frangipane giving way to sweet tart raspberry jam, it knocked my socks of people! So whatever you want to name it, I just call it delicious.

The June Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart... er... pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800's in England.

Raspberry Bakewell Tartlets

For the Pastry

225g (8oz) all purpose flour
30g (1oz) sugar
2.5ml (½ tsp) salt
110g (4oz) unsalted butter, cold (frozen is better)
2 (2) egg yolks
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract (optional)
15-30ml (1-2 Tbsp) cold water

Sift together flour, sugar and salt. Grate butter into the flour mixture, using the large hole-side of a box grater. Using your finger tips only, and working very quickly, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.

Lightly beat the egg yolks with the almond extract (if using) and quickly mix into the flour mixture. Keep mixing while dribbling in the water, only adding enough to form a cohesive and slightly sticky dough.

Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes

For the Frangipane
125g (4.5oz) unsalted butter, softened
125g (4.5oz) icing sugar
3 (3) eggs2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract
125g (4.5oz) ground almonds
30g (1oz) all purpose flour

Cream butter and sugar together for about a minute or until the mixture is primrose in colour and very fluffy. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. The batter may appear to curdle. After all three are in, pour in the almond extract and mix for about another 30 seconds and scrape down the sides again. With the beaters on, spoon in the ground nuts and the flour. Mix well. The mixture will be soft, keep its slightly curdled look (mostly from the almonds) and retain its pallid yellow colour.

Assembling the tart
Place the chilled dough disc on a lightly floured surface. If it's overly cold, you will need to let it become acclimatised for about 15 minutes before you roll it out. Flour the rolling pin and roll the pastry to 5mm (1/4”) thickness, by rolling in one direction only (start from the centre and roll away from you), and turning the disc a quarter turn after each roll. When the pastry is to the desired size and thickness, transfer it to the tart pan, press in and trim the excess dough. Patch any holes, fissures or tears with trimmed bits. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 200C/400F.

Remove shell from freezer, spread as even a layer as you can of jam onto the pastry base. I used raspberry pan jam based on Jasmine's recipe found here. Top with frangipane, spreading to cover the entire surface of the tart. Smooth the top and pop into the oven for 30 minutes. Five minutes before the tart is done, the top will be poofy and brownish. Remove from oven and strew flaked almonds on top and return to the heat for the last five minutes of baking.


Engineer Baker said...

Delicious indeed - I like that your jam layer is a bit thicker. Very nice!

Chocolate Shavings said...

I love the almonds on top! I should have done that too.. amazing looking tart!

lisa (dandysugar) said...

Delicious looking tart! I really like the think layer of jam. Great job!

Tammy said...

yum, yours looked delicious!

Jacque said...

I agree, not much to look at but tastes great. Glad you liked it :)

Anonymous said...

I think your tart looks wonderful!

jasmine said...

Glad you liked the tart.

Thanks for participating.