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daring bakers: bakewell tart

Recipe: bakewell tart

Just under the wire! I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it this month, but luckily it turned out to be a relatively straightforward challenge. Whew!


the daring bakers knead to bake, damnit!



Here’s the official line: 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. And of course, the unofficial line is that our founders, Lis of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice, are goddesses. I marvel at how those two women do it, but they do it – and they do it well. Thanks for the pastry love, ladies!

This dessert was not only straightforward (thank goodness, or someone would have been pitching a fit at 8500 feet) it was delightfully almondy and moist with bright hints of fruit. I’ll have to be quick here before I nod off and wake up with little keyboard marks on the side of my face…


grating cold butter into the flour for the crust

whisking egg yolks and almond extract together



It’s a wonder that I don’t make pie and tart crusts more often because I could sit and eat them straight. I love them THAT much. Probably best for all involved that I don’t. The sweet shortcrust pastry came together in no time, although I probably added a tad bit more water than I should have. It’s a forgiving dough, though. Thank you, dough.

wrapping the disk in plastic for a little staycation in the fridge

next day: start the frangipane filling whipping butter and powdered sugar



There is a lot of butter in this recipe. Not a problem here, of course. I always have butter… I mean, buttah. And because I’ve been making macarons out the wahzoo (thanks to Helen) I also have a frightening stash of blanched almonds on hand at any given time. Good thing, since the frangipane called for ground almonds. Mmm, anything with ground almonds automatically moves up in ranking in my book.

spooning almond flour into the mixture

trimming the shortcrust dough in the tart pan



After pressing the dough into the pan, I chucked it into the freezer while I warmed some jam. The challenge said I could make my own jam. Alright, I know everyone and her sister is making jam these days from the mad loot they are scoring at the farmer’s markets, but honestly now, I look at beautiful seasonal fruit and… I eat it. That’s right, I eat it as is. Maybe this summer I’ll get over my hangups with cooking perfectly juicy, ripe fruit, but in the meantime I spent (way too much) money on this lovely organic jam. I warmed it up and spread it over the frozen dough (work quickly or else it will become gloppy).

wild blueberry jam – from the great state of maine (that’s a joke only five people in the world will get)

pour the frangipane on top



Once the filling was smoothed out evenly, the tart baked for a mere 30 minutes. I worried that the frangipane would puff up and jump ship, but it remained well-behaved and turned a golden brown on top. I even had enough leftover for a small 4-inch tartelette (well okay, I made sure I reserved enough for a small tartelette).

spread the filling

mini bakewell tartelette



I let the tarts cool down to warm before removing them from the pans. On the tartelette, the jam began to bubble up and surface in a few places, but the large tart was fine. I cut into the tartelette for a picture and then took a bite. I had zero expectations for this challenge, mostly because I wasn’t expecting to ever getting around to making it this month. Oh boy. That was one pleasant surprise. Almonds and berries have a superhero partnership that launch any dessert into the stratosphere and beyond. So there I was. In the stratosphere. With my bakewell tart.

Thank you Jasmine and Annmarie for choosing and hosting this terrific challenge. This recipe is a keeper for entertaining! See what the other Daring Bakers have been up to here.


serve with fresh fruit and freshly whipped cream

cross section of the larger tart



Bakewell Tart
[print recipe]
a traditional (UK) recipe from the 1800s in England

1 sweet shortcrust pastry
bench flour
1 cup (250ml) jam or curd, warmed for spreadability
1 batch frangipane
handful almond slivers, blanched

sweet shortcrust pastry
8 oz. (225g) all purpose flour
1 oz. (30g) sugar
1/2 tsp (2.5ml) salt
4 oz. (110g) unsalted butter, cold (frozen is better)
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp (2.5ml) almond extract (optional)
1-2 tbsps (15-30ml) 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.

frangipane
4.5 oz. (125g) unsalted butter, softened
4.5 oz. (125g) icing sugar
3 eggs
1/2 tsp (2.5ml) almond extract
4.5 oz. (125g) ground almonds
1 oz. (30g) all purpose flour

Cream butter and sugar together for about a minute or until the mixture is primrose 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.

Assemble 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 400°F (200°C). 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. Makes one 9-inch tart.

69 nibbles at “daring bakers: bakewell tart”

  1. Tartelette says:

    Beautiful once again! That jam looks just darn good!
    Re-too much water in dough: it’s actually not a bad thing, the water gets in the dough while it refrigerates and makes it easier to roll as the high moisture content prevents it from get tough. Works especially well if you roll and re-roll one same dough for several tartelettes. Just thought I’d pass yet another tip along :)

  2. Rosa says:

    Your tart looks beautiful! I love that luscious choice of filling!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  3. Y says:

    Love it! Especially the presentation of the mini one. I too prefer eating good quality fruit as is, instead of cooking with it.

  4. charlane says:

    that looks like absolute heaven

  5. sara says:

    Looks amazing! Totally gorgeous, and looks really delicious. :) I love the idea of using blueberry jam…YUM! :)

  6. Simone (junglefrog) says:

    These look gorgeous! Good idea to make one large one and a smaller one (great for tasting too, haha… no one will miss a bite) I am still baking mine as we speak! Talk about last minute..

  7. Manggy says:

    A pleasant surprise indeed for something you just threw together at the last minute! (I read “pitching *it* at 8500 feet, ha ha ha. Images of flying tarts.) Yeah, I wouldn’t bother with making my own jam unless I was preserving a particularly delicious batch of fruit I was no longer going to eat *and* if the jam I procure happens to look that beautiful. Sigh!

  8. amy says:

    Looks fabulous!! I’ve never made frangipane; really need to get around to that one of these days. Almond and fruit are such a great combo…so glad this challenge was pleasantly devoid of any stress! :)

  9. Yael says:

    So simple yet it looks so delicious, I’m going to try it right away with some apricot jam I made.

  10. Collette says:

    That looks really great. I’m intrigued by the idea of grating the butter. I may have to make it just for that.

  11. Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy says:

    Your tarts look so beautiful! How do you get your crust so perfect? The blueberry filling looks fab too! Definitely a superhero combination.

    I agree with you on the fruit issue. When I actually find perfectly ripe, juicy fruit, I just have to dig in and eat it.

  12. Jeanne says:

    Grating the butter – what a great idea, perfect little size for the pastry! Thanks for the idea.

  13. Caitlin says:

    Gorgeous! I agree about two things specifically – shortcrust and tart doughs are delicious by themselves, and fresh fruit is meant to be eaten as is, and as quickly as possible.

  14. clumbsycookie says:

    And aren’t you glad you made it after all?! I’m glad as well, cause I got to see it and enjoy your terrific pics!

  15. rose says:

    JEN! Your photographs are stunning! ::bows down before your photography talent:: Those tarts look delicious. I found that grating the butter was a perfect solution to the whole cold butter getting warm in my hands nonsense that usually plagues my dough. Well done!

  16. Whitney says:

    Beautiful! I still haven’t gotten over my fear/inability to make good tart/pie dough. Need to give it a shot again.

  17. Lori says:

    Looks delicious! How can you go wrong wtih blueberries. An excellent choice.

  18. Lisa says:

    Wild blueberries from Maine are the best, and as usual, you used them in such a beautiful and creative way. The Brits would smother you in affection for a slice of that gorgeous tart. Also, as I always says, your photos are amazing and so fun to look through. Awesome job as always, Jen!

  19. Angie says:

    I’ve never seen anyone grate butter for a crust before, but what a great idea. I’ll have to remember that the next time I’m baking.

  20. Shanna says:

    That looks delicious!

  21. Aran says:

    beautiful! i also went with blueberry compote. love the shot of the eggs being beaten!

  22. Valérie says:

    Beautiful colour on your frangipane! Great job!

  23. Lisa is Bossy says:

    You sure made it look good, lady!

  24. isa says:

    Looks wonderful! I’ve never seen anyone grate butter for a crust before, but what a great idea. The blueberry filling looks delicious! Great job!

  25. Esi says:

    Hmmm, now I am thinking I may have time to make this. Nice job getting it done on time and it turned out wonderfully.

  26. Helen in CA says:

    Weighing in on the EAT Perfectly Ripe Fruit……..I think that’s connected to BUYING fruit.

    But when you’ve more than you can eat (as in a tree, or being given some) it’s different. I’ve got more plums right now, due to being given a bunch while working at my CSA. I could have said “no”….but who can resist? Pictures of galettes or jam floating in my mind….and not wanting the fruit to go into the compost bin: of course I said “yes”. Because I was the last person leaving, and compost bin is where it woulda gone.

    So, having my fruit & eating it too is the way to go!

    And now, this tart is another reason for jam!

  27. Anda says:

    Wonderful as always. One of my choices was blueberries as well – they are so OMG

  28. Hannah says:

    Such adorable little tartlettes, and so beautifully plated. Great choice on the jam, too, it sounds delicious!

  29. Frenchie says:

    Your photography is beautiful (or did your tarts really look that perfect!?). Either way, there is nothing more summery and delicious than a good blueberry jam and blueberry jam in a Bakewell tart sounds like perfection. Also, I totally agree with you, fresh summer fruit should be eaten fresh.

  30. Jillian says:

    Homemade jam or not, your tarts look wonderful!

  31. Eesh says:

    Totally with you on not cooking fresh fruit. Your bakewell tarts look amazing, as always. But I’m going to have to save the recipe until our multiple day heat advisories end and its cool enough for me to want to approach the oven (and I’m Indian).

  32. Alana says:

    Oh your pictures are just fabulous… your tarts are sparkly and perfect.

  33. Laura says:

    Fab! I love the way the tart looks garnished with the whipped cream and blueberries. Also, I like the idea of indicating the flavor of the jam with some fresh fruit. And I totally agree about how hard it is to cook down perfectly fresh fruit into jam instead of enjoying it as is . . .

  34. Nichole says:

    The JAM!!!! I want to drink it through a straw. Once again amazing pics. I would expect nothing less.

  35. anna says:

    That looks amaaaazing. I recognize that jam label, too, being from good old Maine myself.

  36. JessW says:

    Oh yes, yum yum! Beautiful and delicious, can’t get much better than that!

  37. Audax Artifex says:

    Your blog is always so eye-opening and everything looks so delish that money shot is a wonder. Yes this simple tart is so so so good for the samll effort you put into it. As always superb work and great that you could finish it on a quick timeline. Bravo (but I’m sure you are used to that words hearing it so often LOL). Cheers Audax

  38. S says:

    Only you are thoughtful enough to provide just the right amount of pictures of the steps in a recipe and the finished product (with cross sections and up close shots!) Love it! Thanks Jen. :o)

  39. jo says:

    The tart looks delicious. Love the blueberry flavour and as always, presentation and pictures are 1st class.

  40. sabiilaa says:

    fantastic presentations!..gorgeous tarts just yum!

  41. TheKitchenWitch says:

    Those look scrumptious! And this from a girl who doesn’t “do” sweets. Great pictures!

  42. deeba says:

    That tart is just gorgeous, and your pictures are stunning. I love the wild jam you used too. FABULOUS!!

  43. Michelle says:

    Beautiful… as always!

  44. Anzj says:

    Little frangipane tartelettes with fresh blue berries! Good idea!!

  45. jasmine says:

    Gorgeous photos. Yes. Every once in a while we do need something easy to do…mind you, “easy” is relative.

    Thanks for participating,

    j

  46. Margie says:

    a bit of perfection….just like all that you do. :)

    Do you have leftovers? I’ll pay postage. ;)

  47. Lauren says:

    Ooo, Yum!! Your tart looks amazing =D. Wild blueberry jam sounds perfect!!

  48. allyall says:

    Wow yours looks so scrumptious! Yum!

  49. LegalAlien says:

    Aw, I love those “mother and child” tarts! ;-)

  50. Meeta says:

    the tarts look incredible jen and that jam sounds great. i would have liked have seen you pitching a fit (at whatever height)!

    hugs!

  51. Jenna @ Newlyweds says:

    Beautiful job, love all the pictures.

  52. Crystal says:

    I wish I’d thought about the butter-grating trick when I made scones without a food processor a couple of weekends ago! :) With your recommendations, the tart will probably make it to our housewarming get-together :)

  53. nico says:

    very nice pictures and very good combination, I’m sure they tested really good. I made mine with mango & peaches jam. Really good combination also.

  54. Christina says:

    Delicious! I’ve never made or eaten a bakewell tart before, but it looks like one of those simple desserts to make that tastes just as good as something complicated.

  55. Kathleen says:

    Great photo of the mini tartlette with blueberries and almonds!

  56. Debby says:

    I sure learned a lot today. Grating cold butter into the flour… (slaps forehead). Why didn’t I think of that? I’ve never made a frangipane, but after drooling over your photos and (hilarious) comments, I’m brave enough to try. After all, I just conquered my fear of making jam, so I guess I’m ready. Almond lovers unite!

  57. Lynne says:

    your tart looks incredible! I made mine with lemon curd filling – but I couldn’t seem to get the frangipane to smooth all the way over the entire thing… perhaps my tart pan was just too big… going to make it again – am also thinking this could be really good with either a date or fig filling :0)

  58. asti says:

    Both mini and the big version looks absolutely stunning! Great job. Your photos are amazing as always.

  59. jenyu says:

    Everyone – thanks for you’re sweet comments! Loved this challenge :)

    Tartelette – ah, good to know. I always thought it was just dumb luck (more dumb than luck ha!!). Thanks for the tips!!

    Mark – flying tarts would make a GREAT photo, no?

    Helen in CA – well yes, when I lived in CA I could understand jamming and jarring, but not here in Colorado!! :)

  60. Pegs says:

    Thanks Jen. I had never heard of a bakewell tart before. Learn somethin’ new every day…and what a beautiful tart she is. I could go face first in the jam alone.

  61. gine says:

    oooo … I love your pictures ^^ .. your tart looks wonderful :-)! XOXO

  62. Karen B says:

    Ohhh….Ohhh…Ohhh….my husband is going to wonder why I’m slobbering and drooling all over my desk…amazingly, it’s not chocolate and I really want one! I’ve never put almonds and blueberries together before, but that looks incredible.

  63. Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) says:

    OOHh! Your tart looks delicious!! Love the step by step pics

  64. tz.missjane says:

    “until the mixture is primrose in color”
    How poetic is that?
    Did that come from the 1880s recipe?
    Beautiful job as always. I LOVE tarts with Frangipane. Never thought about a Blueberry Preserve version. Perfect for this time of year!

  65. Aly says:

    I noticed all the measurements seem to be weights. Did you weigh out all your ingredients?

  66. jenyu says:

    Aly – I generally try to as weights are more precise than volumes (volumes can vary with density).

  67. Kay says:

    My daughter made this for us – it was great!

  68. Bert says:

    I have tried this recipe…. Made PERFECT individual tarts…. Some of the best I have had

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