Bakewell Tart (Daring Bakers Challenge June 09)

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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.

Since moving into my new studio I haven’t had as much time to cook let alone bake. This has left me feeling unfulfilled and rather grumpy… I managed to complete this challenge on a Sunday afternoon of multi-tasking.

I halved the recipe & decided on making mini tartlets. My tin was too shallow to accommodate enough frangipane filling so didn’t come out quite right. Despite this flaw they looked cute & were rather tasty.  I made a gluten-free version of the pastry using a combination of rice flour, cornmeal and tapioca flour.   I went for seven different flavors:

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(Clockwise from Top Right ): Guava jam & tahini, Black sesame paste & salted plum,  Sliced strawberry & grape, Raspberry & black currents, Marmalade & grated ginger, Bluberry jam & peanut butter, Nutella & cashew nut spread.

My favourite was the blueberry jam & peanut butter and the black sesame paste & salted plum came in at a close second.

I really wanted to play around with unusual filling such as onion & chilli jam or mango chutney, pickles & other flavors that cross over from sweet to savory, but I will have to try this next time.

bakewell tarts making1A

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Bakewell Tart…er…pudding
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
1. Place the chilled dough disc on a lightly floured surface. If it’s overly cold, you will need to let it become acclimatized 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.
2. Preheat oven to 200C/400F.
3. 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.  (I baked my mini tarts for 10-12mins). 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.
4. 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.
5. 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
225g (8oz) all purpose flour ( I used a blend of rice flour, tapioca flour and corn meal)
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

1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes

Frangipane
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.

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7 responses to “Bakewell Tart (Daring Bakers Challenge June 09)

  1. WOW, you really went all out and they look fantastic! The best part is, you made a peanut butter and jelly Bakewell!! I was thinking of it, and then hoped someone would! They all look and sound amazing, though..so I’ll take 10 of each ;D

  2. I love your litle tarts and all this varieties sounds delicious! I particularly like the black sesame paste and plum. Nice job on this challenge!

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