What is a Bakewell Tart you may ask? Well, before I tell you, let me show you…
See that right there. That’s a Bakewell Tart. Basically, it’s a pastry party in your mouth.
So, let’s talk about what makes this dessert so life-changing, and how I discovered it.
For starters, I have been baking what’s called a Pear Frangipane Tart for a good 12 months or so now, as some of you may have seen on my Insta feed. We first discovered it on the menu at one of our fave restaurants since life – Gemelli, where the atmosphere is always electric, and the pasta will transport you on the highway to carb euphoria. But let’s get back to dessert . A pear frangipane tart is a short crust pastry case, filled with frangipane which is made using almond flour and really is a delicious, velvety, almost custard like filling, slotted with poached pears, and glazed with a jam reduction. It’s nothing short of insanely delicious, and always attracts fabulous commentary, and a request for seconds from those who I feed it to. In case you didn’t notice, I’m a feeder…
That Pear Frangipane Tart was Tom’s favorite dessert, until 2 weeks ago.
Q: the Bakewell Tart!
I’m going to cut a long story short. Tom, who disagreed with my observation that he enjoys British style cuisine a fair amount of the time, ate the proverbial humble pie when I presented him with this tart. (which just for the record, is a traditionally English confection). I know, because I specifically researched “traditional English desserts” before I went ahead and baked it, and presented it to him, made with a heap of love, and a side of curiosity around my aforementioned theory.
I was happy he loved it, as I find his enjoyment of English fare quite endearing. Furthermore, I love cooking British style food, and trying hearty new recipes for me lovah.
This is now officially his favorite dessert.
In a nutshell, or for the case of this post, a pie shell… This tart is made in almost the same way as my pear frangipane tart. The difference is, that once the pie crust is almost baked, I cool it down, layer it with a nice amount of good quality strawberry jam, fill it with the frangipane, bake it, and top it with toasted almond flakes, a drizzle of lemon sugar glaze, and dust with with snow sugar. It’s quicker to make than the pear frangipane, and it’s just confection perfection!
Let’s say that again, it’s CONFECTION PERFECTION!
Just before I give you the recipe, rest assured, the pastry case is not that difficult to make, it gets easier every time you make it, and it’s totally worth all the effort and time!
Makes 1 round tart
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup caster (granulated) sugar
1/2 t salt
135g butter (cubed and very cold)
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup ice water (plus extra in case needed)
Butter to grease
Baking beads or 1 cup rice
Flat bottom glass filled with ice
Bowl of ice water
7T soft butter
3/4 cup caster (granulated sugar)
1 cup almond flour
1 1/2 t cornstarch
3T all purpose flour
1 whole egg
2 egg whites
2t vanilla extract
1t almond extract
1 cup of strawberry jam
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2T lemon juice
3/4 cup almond flakes
1T powdered sugar to dust
- Prepare a tart tin with a lose base by greasing it lightly with butter, then pop it into the freezer to get cold.
- Have all your pastry ingredients measured and ready, along with your food processor, a bowl of ice water, and a flat bottom drinking glass filled with ice.
- In the food processor, add the flour, sugar and salt, then pulse to combine well.
- Add the butter in small amounts, pulsing for a few seconds after each addition. The consistency should start to resemble bread crumbs.
- Add the egg yolk and pule again a few times to combine.
- Now add the ice cold water in small amounts, pulsing a few times after each addition. The consistency should start to come together and look quite chunky. Test it by opening the food processor, and pressing some of the pastry together between your fingers. It should be moist enough to hold it’s shape, but not so moist that it sticks to your fingers. That is when you will know it’s ready. If it’s too moist, add a little more flour and sugar and pulse again until you reach the desired texture.
- Tip the pastry into the chilled tart tin, and working quickly with clean hands, press it up the sides and into the base. Keep cleaning your hands in the ice water then wiping them whilst you work. Finally, using the ice filled glass, press the bottom of it into the base gently to get it smooth. Also keep wiping it clean, then press it into and against the sides. Smooth the edges, then pop the tin into the freezer for approximately 1 hour to chill.
- Just before the hour passes, pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C.
- Remove the tart from the freezer, poke a few holes into the base with a fork, and place the baking paper into the base. Fill it with your baking beads or rice.
- Blind bake the pastry for approximately 30 minutes, until the edges start to turn golden brown. Remove it and allow it to come to room temperature.
- When the pastry base has cooled, pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C and begin on the filling.
- Firstly, fill the base with your jam, ensuring you get a good layer of coverage.
- Then, in a bowl fitted to an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar.
- Add the almond flour and combine.
- Add the egg and egg whites, vanilla and almond extract and mix further.
- Finally, sift in the flour and cornstarch, scrape down the sides of the bowl and combine.
- Carefully pour the filling into the pastry case, smoothing it gently over the jam layer.
- Bake for approximately 30 minutes, until the top of the cake is golden brown, and firm to the touch.
- Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes, before removing the sides of the tin carefully.
- Toast your almonds using the grill function in your oven, watching carefully so they do not burn. Alternatively, my preferred method is to toast them in a pan over a low heat. Allow them to cool.
- To make the glaze, mix the lemon juice and powdered sugar to form a smooth consistency.
- Top the tart with the toasted almonds, and then drizzle over the glaze.
- Finally dust the tart with powdered sugar, using a sieve.
This tart is best served warm, with a dollop of whipped cream and some fresh strawberries. It keeps really well for a couple of days in a sealed container. In fact, Tom says it tastes even better on day 2… You be the judge.
Until next time…