Friday, 26 June 2009

Daring Bakers: Bakewell Tart

When I joined the Daring Bakers a year and a half ago, I was on the vanguard of a Daring Baker deluge. Because of being the 300th something member at the time, I was due to chose the month's recipe in around 2012. As numbers kept growing and newer members found out that due to the waiting list, their recipe-choosing turn was a legacy they would have to leave to their great-grandchildren, people began pairing up for recipe challenges.

Lucky for me, my good blog friend (and just friend all around) Jasmine had a more reasonable 2009 recipe challenge date, and invited me to share the month with her. We were both interested in doing something from another country and something that didn't just encourage people to take on a new skill but to look again at so
mething they might never before have considered. I thought a recipe from my adopted country, Britain, might fall into that category.

British food still has a bad reputation (particularly in America and Australia...and probably other places too) that I think is due a lot to post-war rationing and deprivation but isn't really a deserved reputation any more. British food from the 1950s until the 1980s and 90s was rarely something worth seeking out, but modern British food has more than come into its own, drawing on traditions of using good quality fresh produce and a range of herbs and spices. I've become a British food convert and fight its corner whenever the fight is brought to me.

The Bakewe
ll Tart, and English dessert from the 19th century, hasn't been changed much over the years since it hasn't needed to. You do have to like almond to stand a chance of liking the tart, but I've always appreciated the balance of sweet jam and spongey mild frangipane, crisp crust and soft topping, and how it can grow sweeter or milder depending on your tastes. A classic Bakewell Tart should have a cherry or strawberry filling, and though those are Mr A&N's favorite incarnations of the treat, I broke free a bit since Mr A&N wouldn't be able to share in the tart because of his diet restrictions. My jam element became a rhubarb, apple and ginger jam, another classic English dessert flavor that I thought might enjoy being introduced to its compatriot. Mr A&N called it a travesty against both the rhubarb and the tart, but since he doesn't have any say in this one, I shan't regard him.

Thanks for the recipe itself must go to Jasmine, who worked hard doing the testing and the tweaking, and only needed me to step in every
so often and say 'yum'. I love the crust she's come up with and will use it whenever a shortcrust is needed, now. I also love how easy and adaptable the whole recipe is and it will now be a standard dessert for me to put on show. Thanks also to Ivonne and Lis for the massive undertaking and success of the Daring Bakers, and for all of you for joining in. I hope that you've (mostly) all enjoyed the tart as well, and at least used it as an opportunity to try out another classic British treat: to enjoy a slice of cake while having a nice sit down and a cup of tea.

Bakewell tart
Makes one 23cm (9” tart)

Prep time: less than 10 minutes (plus time for the individual elements)
Resting time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Equipment needed: 23cm (9”) tart pan or pie tin (preferably with ridged edges), rolling pin

One quantity sweet shortcrust pastry (recipe follows)
Bench flour
250ml (1cup (8 US fl. oz)) jam or curd, warmed for spreadability
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.

Jasmine’s notes:
• If you cannot have nuts, you can try substituting Victoria sponge for the frangipane. It's a pretty popular popular cake, so you shouldn't have any troubles finding one in one of your cookbooks or through a Google search. That said, our dear Natalie at Gluten a Go Go has sourced some recipes and linked to them in the related alt.db thread.
• You can use whichever jam you wish, but if you choose something with a lot of seeds, such as raspberry or blackberry, you should sieve them out.
• The jam quantity can be anywhere from 60ml (1/4 cup) to 250ml (1cup), depending upon how “damp” and strongly flavoured your preserves are. I made it with the lesser quantity of home made strawberry jam, while Annemarie made it with the greater quantity of cherry jam; we both had fabulous results. If in doubt, just split the difference and spread 150ml (2/3cup) on the crust.
Annemarie’s notes:
• The excess shortcrust can be rolled out and cut into cookie-shapes (heck, it’s pretty darned close to a shortbread dough).

Sweet shortcrust pastry

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

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

Jasmine’s notes:
• I make this using vanilla salt and vanilla sugar.
• If you wish, you can substitute the seeds of one vanilla bean, one teaspoon of vanilla paste or one teaspoon of vanilla extract for the almond extract


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

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 primrose in colour 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 colour.

Annemarie’s notes:
• Add another five minutes or more if you're grinding your own almonds or if you're mixing by hand (Heaven help you).

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.


Anita said...

Thank you for co-hosting the Daring Bakers this month, it was very enjoyable! I made a similar jam for my tart, it was lovely.

Isabelle Lambert said...

merci Anne-Marie, pour le choix de cette recette :) J'ai beaucoup aimé faire ( et mangé ) ce dessert !

Katie said...

Thanks for choosing such a tasty challanage this month. Your tart looks wonderful and I love the sound of your jam.

Deeba PAB said...

Thank you hosting a brilliant challenge with jasmine Annemarie. The tart was GREAT, & I loved everything about the challenge. My first frangipane experience too...& it was lovely!

Sara said...

Wow, looks delicious! I love the sound of that jam...YUM! :) Thanks so much for hosting...awesome recipe!

Audax said...

Thanxs for co-hosting this wonderous challenge I never hear of Bakewell but I LOVED them and all the varities you can have. And thanxs for the effort you put into the challenge and Rhubarb, Apple, and Ginger Jam sounds yuuuummmmmy to the nth degree, Cheers from Audax in Australia

Kitchenlander said...

Thank you Annemarie for this funny and enjoyable challenge, I was pleased to join this!
Your jam sounds inviting!

Di said...

Thanks for a great pick this month! It's definitely one I wouldn't have made on my own. But so far it's been a big hit around here, especially with my 2 1/2 year old daughter. =)

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for choosing such an interesting and tasty challenge! It was great that we can make something from the UK for once. I totally enjoyed it, and the detailed instructions were really a great help. Thanks again!

Dewi said...

Thank you so much for hosting this event. I was having fun making this tart. It was delicious too. Your jam sounds wonderful!

Susan @ SGCC said...

Thanks so much for hosting this month. I LOVED this recipe and will make it often!

Your tart looks terrific! I love the filling you used. What a great combination of flavors! Simply heavenly!

Claire said...

Thank you for hosting the challenge. It was my first challenge and I really enjoyed it. Would not have made a bakewell tart if it wasn't for this challenge and I live an hour from Bakewell! Yours sounds delicious

Wolf said...

Thanks for hosting a fun Challenge!}:P

Anonymous said...

Thanks for hosting, this challenge was lots of fun and I truly enjoyed learning something new.

Lauren said...

Your tart looks amazing!! Thanks for an awesome challenge =D.

Lisa said...

Thank you for hosting such a great challenge, Andrea! Loved it! Your tart came out gorgeous and looks delicious!!

Faery said...

Thank you annemarie for co-hosting this great challenge. Your tart looks wonderful :9

Amanda said...

Oh, yes. Yours looks like much more like a cake than my wet pudding-ish tart.

Great challenge but I think I need to try it again. :)

maybelles mom said...

I had never heard of the bakewell tart, but I think the ginger is a great addition.

Hannah said...

Thanks for choosing this challenge- Although I wasn't too keen on it at first, I was very pleasantly surprised with the results. I'm glad I had the opportunity to try something new!

Y said...

Thanks again for the challenge. Great and tasty recipe!

Sue said...

THANKS for the GREAT challenge! It was a hit at my house:) I will have to try an apple-ginger jam because my husband LOVES ginger!

Amelia said...

Great challenge! I really loved this and how easy it was to make :D

Sunshinemom said...

Must have tasted lovely! I love tarts and just came from one of the many sites that are featuring your choice:)

alana said...

Thank you for such a great challenge- and your's looks fabulous!

Unknown said...

Thanks for co-hosting this month! It was a fun recipe.

Dharm said...

Thanks for hosting the challenge _ I know that it's really not that easy! More importantly, thanks so, so, so much for this wonderful challenge! I've never had or even heard of a Bakewell before and I have to admit this was a lot of fun to make and also to eat! Great choice and thanks so much again!

adli said...

Love your tart!! and the challenge!! :) maybe next time I'll make my own jam to go with the tarts.

and I made the whole thing by hand *pant-pant*

Connie said...

Thank you so much for this recipe! It is going to be a tradition in our family!

Loved it!

Isabelle said...

Thank you for co-hosting this wonderous challenge! I never hear of Bakewell tarts before! I really enjoyed this challenge and this one is a keeper... Your jam sounds delicious!

Rhyleysgranny said...

Thank you so much for hosting this challenge. I imagine it's quite a time consuming and nerve racking thing to do.I enjoyed it immensely. Yours looks lovely.

Hilary said...

Thanks for hosting this challenge, Annemarie. I've just finished the last slice for Sunday morning breakfast - delicious with a coffee!

April Boyer Modern Handmade said...

This was an incredible tart/pudding! Thanks so much for hosting this challenge, I really enjoyed it!

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

Thanks for your co-hosting duties! I have to admit, I waited 'til the very last minute to make it but was happy I did -- it went warm from the oven to a housewarming party last night where it was a huge hit. I will absolutely make this again -- hopefully with a kitchen scale next time. :-) My British grandma would have loved it (and your blog!).

lisa (dandysugar) said...

Lovely tart! I love the rhubarb, ginger-apple jam you made. Many thanks for co-hosting such a great challenge this month!

Madam Chow said...

We loved this, Annemarie. I'd heard of it, but had never had it. I plan on making this again!

Anonymous said...

Fun challenge! Thank you! :)

Erin said...

Thank you for hosting this! I enjoyed making something that I wouldn't have tried otherwise.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I had had this on my to do list forever!
We did enjoy this with company!

jasmine said...

Thanks so much for everything, my dear Annemarie! You're a gem.



Andreas said...

Thank you Annemarie for hosting this Challenge. Nice choice of recipe. Not too difficult, very adaptable and probably new to many of the Daring Bakers. :)

Valérie said...

This was such a wonderful challenge! Thank you so much for helping me get over my issues with the word "pudding" and for letting me discover this amazing dessert!

Jenny said...

Well I'm sorry I couldn't make this one (and more sorry that I forgot to include you in my "I'm sorry no DB post here post!) Let's just say it has been a bad, bad month and I'd much rather have been making the tart.

creampuff said...

Just fabulous, Annemarie! I want to thank both you and Jasmine for being tremendous hostesses! Thank you so much!

Chris said...

Thanks for hosting this month! It was a lot of fun and very yummy. ;)

Shelly said...

Thank you for hosting, Annemarie! Your tart turned out great! This was a first for me, and I love trying new things. I really enjoyed making mine and will definitely make it again.

KMDuff said...

Thank you for hosting such a delicious challenge! It was so fun to make and I loved all the history and info about it. Plus it was fun to try an English dessert I've never even heard of before and find out how tasty it was!

ice tea: sugar high said...

Thank you soo much for being a wonderful hostess.. This recipe is definitely a keeper =)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A pretty tart! Thanks for the awesopme challenge and great recipe!



morgana said...

Delicious and faunny challege. Thank you very much for it anf for let us know about these great Bakewell tarts.

Julie said...

Your tarts/puddings are lovely!

British food is always welcome in my American house! I once won a Menu for Hope auction, and the prize was two huge boxes filled with tea time treats. I was in heaven, and the contents of those boxes didn't last long.

I loved this challenge. Frangipane is one of my favorite dessert components, and this is just about the best frangipane recipe I've tasted. I can't wait to experiment with it more!

art and lemons said...

Thanks for introducing me to the Bakewell Tart and for co-hosting this wonderful challenge.

Kris said...

This was a lovely challenge, so thank you! Your tart looks delicious.

Lis said...

Thanks for being such a wonderful hostess this month, AnneMarie! Although we weren't fans of the tart, it was very enjoyable to try something we'd never (most likely) have the opportunity to try. :)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for a great challenge! This was a breeze to veganize and was just delicious! I made it for my students (here in France) - and was sure to tell them it was a British patisserie. They LOVED it!

Nico said...

Thanks for hosting the challenge.
First time I made this bakewell tart.

Sandra Le Petrin said...

I luuuved this challenge: i had been wanting to try a bakewell tart since I first saw it a year ago but I never found the opportunity.. until now! Thank you so much!

BC said...

Thank you for a great challenge. Jenny (All Things Edible) and I finally made it and everyone liked it.

msmeanie said...

Thank you for such a great challenge! This was my first Daring Bakers challenge and I had so much fun. I really enjoyed the frangipane and I will definitely be using almond flour again. Your choice of jam sounds delicious!

Jonna from Hel said...

Thanks for hosting such a nice challenge!