A bakewell tart starts with a sweet shortbread crust, topped with fruit spread (such as lemon curd, fruit preserves or jam), and it finished with frangipane (a sponge like like filling with ground almonds)
Sweet shortcrust 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
125g (4.5oz) unsalted butter, softened
125g (4.5oz) icing sugar
3 (3) eggs
2.5ml (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 light yellow in color 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. In the words of Douglas Adams: Don’t panic. Really. It’ll be fine. 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 color.
Assembling the tart
Preheat oven to 200C/400F.
Remove shell from freezer, spread as even a layer as you can of jam onto the pastry base. 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.
The finished tart will have a golden crust and the frangipane will be tanned, poofy and a bit spongy-looking. Remove from the oven and cool on the counter. Serve warm, with crème fraîche, whipped cream or custard sauce if you wish. When you slice into the tart, the almond paste will be firm, but slightly squidgy and the crust should be crisp but not tough.
- Jim and I both really liked this dessert. Often times desserts are just to heavy and/or rich for me.
- I was nervous when I pulled my tart out of the oven because it was so dark. It should be a little tan but I thought mine was too dark. I used wheat flour (that's all we use here) and think that may have contributed to it, however, it tasted great. Not at all burnt or too done
- The recipe states to chill dough in freezer at least 30 minutes. I lost track of time doing other things around the house and mine sat in the freezer for a few hours. It was rock hard when I pulled it out. I had to give it about 30 minutes to get to a consistency to work with.
- I would definitely make this again
If you like to cook and/or bake, you should pop over to the daring kitchen and see what its all about. You can join as a baker, cook, or both (like I did). It is great way to develop and test new skills without the fear of being judged or critiqued. Most importantly, it's fun!