Friday, July 3, 2009

Daring Bakers: Bakewell Tart

Bakewell eh

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.

Bakewell Tart

Last week I was so sure I wouldn't be able to get my June DB challenge done so I thought I would use it as one of my free passes to skip. However, having the day off today really made a difference in that plan. After a quick trip to the DMV this morning (which ended up being a lot less of a nightmare than I expected), I was ready to get to baking. This is actually a very easy recipe and quick! I love almonds, but I am not always a fan of almond flavoring so I just replaced almond extract with vanilla. I was all set to grind my own almonds, but then I realized I had some ground almonds left from making macarons. I used half the recipe and baked them in my muffin pan. I must admit, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed these little tarts. Hopefully my friends will enjoy them at our 4th of July barbecue tomorrow. Thanks to the hostesses for picking a great recipe. To see the other Daring Baker creations, visit here.

Bakewell Tart

Bakewell Tart

Makes 8 standard muffin sized tarts

One quantity sweet shortcrust pastry (recipe follows)
Bench flour
Jam or curd, warmed for spreadability if necessary
One quantity frangipane (recipe follows)
One handful blanched, flaked almonds

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. 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.

Sweet shortcrust pastry
Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes (minimum)
Equipment needed: bowls, box grater, cling film

4 ounces all purpose flour
.5 ounces sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 ounces frozen unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons ice 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 vanilla extract 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

Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Equipment needed: bowls, hand or stand mixer, rubber spatula

2.2 ounces unsalted butter, softened
2.2 ounces icing sugar
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2.2 ounces ground almonds
.5 ounce 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 egg, beating well after the addition. The batter may appear to curdle. In the words of Douglas Adams: Don’t panic. Really. It’ll be fine. Pour in the vanilla 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.

Printable Recipe

Bakewell Tart

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kellypea said...

These are absolutely charming! I'm thinking that making them like this would be so much less fuss and yep -- great for a picnic. Smart woman ;)

Joyce said...

Since you say they were easy and made them in the muffin cups I may give this a try. DMV trips are always a complete nightmare for me:) Happy 4th of July and I will visit your blog again.

Mary Bergfeld said...

You've done a great job with the challenge. These look terrific.

Marta said...

These look perfect to bring to a picnic or BBQ party! Plus, the bite-sized portions just make them cuter!

Diana said...

If your friends don't like them at the BBQ today, you are more than welcome to drop them by my mouth! Yum! They look very precious. :)

Hope you are having a nice 4th!

Reeni said...

What delicious little treats! I love anything with almond paste!

Anonymous said...

that looks SO delicate and appealing! you have some major SKILLS! These would be gone by the dozens when set before me!

Simones Kitchen said...

Those are some really delicious and cute looking bakewell tarts! I was wondering where yours where, but here they are!

Ninette said...

I loved this challenge. These were so delicious!

angela@spinachtiger said...

Right away they looked so good, I had to study the recipe. If I ever have that kind of time I would love ot make them. They are so unique looking.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos and lovely concept but they didn't work out for me! :( The pastry was so crumbly and dry it was haha! But I shall maybe attempt these again sometime.