Sweet

Bakewell Tart

There is much brouhaha around the Bakewell Tart, originating from Derbyshire. There is talk of it being in a filo pastry, cold custard, baked custard, no fruit jelly, fresh fruit jam, the role of almonds and so on.

The one I choose today is based from a picture I saw on Pinterest on one of my very late nights when I was supposed to completing a deadline, but alas, procrastination dominated the night: a gorgeous pie slice with bright red jam and a lovely cake-like filling.

I am very partial to the frangipane – it’s one of the only desserts I will pick and choose time and again. The frangipane is a rich texture made wholly of any ground nuts, some butter, some sugar, good quality extract and an egg. It is baked to get that cake-like rise and firmness but it’s a lot richer, denser and… oh mon dieu, j’ai faim!

I’ve had versions of this throughout my life, and it got me intrigued in the history. Now I know not all of you are as interested in this stories (and some even less in baking!), but let me tell you the basics: a Bakewell tart must consist of a buttery and flaky sweet crust, a lovely layer of raspberry jam and a delicious amount of almond frangipane, baked with some almond flakes on top.

I give you a recipe for one medium pie, but this can easily make 4 mini pies.

The Recipe
Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup cold butter
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp cold water
  • Filling:
  • 1/4 cup raspberry jam
  • 1/2 cup butter, soft
  • 1/2 cup castor sugar
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 egg
  • almond flakes for garnish

Instructions

  • Whisk the flour and icing sugar together. Rub the cold butter cubes into the mixture to create coarse crumbs. Add some water to bind the dough. Wrap in a cling film and refrigerate for an hour.
  • Roll out the pie dough into one medium pie tin or into 4 mini pie tins.
  • Prick with a fork.
  • Place in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.
  • Blind bake for 8-10 minutes in a preheated oven of 180°C.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  • Whisk the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then add the egg and almond extract and whisk for a few more minutes.
  • Fold in the ground almonds into the mixture.
  • In the ready pie crust, spread the jam to a thick layer. Spoon the almond mixture over it and smoothen with the back of a spoon or spatula.
  • Scatter some almonds over and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool in the in the tin for 5 minutes before turning over on a cooling rack.
  • Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
  • Store in an airtight container once cooled completely.