This classic confection is a delicious combo of frangipane, raspberry jam and butterry shortcrust pastry.
|Preparation time: 1 hour||Cooking time: 1 hour|
|Difficulty: Moderate||Serves: 8|
For the pastry:
- 200g/7oz/1 3/4 cups of plain flour
- 50g/2oz/4 tablespoons of chilled butter
- 50g/2oz/4 tablespoons of chilled lard
- A pinch of salt
- 2-3 tablespoons of ice cold water
For the filling:
- 2-3 tablespoons of raspberry jam
For the frangipane:
- 120g/4oz/1/2 cup of butter
- 120g/4oz/1/2 cup of caster sugar
- 230g/8oz/2 cups of ground almonds
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 125g/4.5oz/1 cup of cornflour
For the topping:
- 1 tablespoons of icing sugar (optional)
- 2 tablespoons of flaked almonds (optional)
Make it vegan: Replace the lard in the pastry with coconut oil or a plant-based shortening, and replace the butter in the pastry and frangipane with vegetable oil, cashew butter or non-dairy margarine. You can replace the egg in the frangipane with 80ml of almond milk or 80ml of whipped aquafaba (chickpea brine.)
- A sieve
- A rolling pin
- A 20cm baking tin
- Some baking beans or pie weights
- Some baking paper
- Make the pastry: sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the salt. Rub in the fats with your fingertips, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Then stir in two tablespoons of water (and if necessary, a tablespoon or two more) until you have a soft, pliable dough. Then pop the pastry in the fridge for half an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 170’C/325’F/Gas Mark 3.
- Roll the pastry out into a 25cm circle on a lightly floured work surface. Transfer it to a 20cm pie tin and cut away any overhanging pastry.
- Cover the pastry with baking paper and weigh it down with baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Then remove the beans and paper and return the pastry to the oven for a further 5 minutes.
- Remove the tin from the oven, then raise the oven temperature to 200°C/400’F/Gas Mark 6.
- Spread two or three tablespoons of jam evenly over the base of the pastry.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the caster sugar and cook, stirring, for a minute or two. Then remove the pan from the heat and leave the contents to cool for a couple of minutes, before stirring in the cornflour and ground almonds and then stirring in the eggs.
- Pour the almond mixture over the pastry and return the tin to the oven. Bake for 40 minutes, rotating occasionally if necessary to ensure that the tart cooks evenly. If you are decorating the tart with flaked almonds, remove the tin from the oven after 20 minutes, sprinkle the flaked almonds over the frangipane, and then return the tart to the oven for a further 20 minutes. After 40 minutes’ total cooking time, the tart should look golden-brown and slightly risen.
- If desired, you can sprinkle the finished tart with sieved icing sugar. It can be served warm or cold.
- Bon Appetit!
- Make sure the butter and lard (or vegan substitutes) used in the pastry are cold. Rub them into the flour as quickly as possible so that you don’t warm them with your hands.
- When you roll out the pastry, do so on a lightly floured surface so it doesn’t stick. If it seems too sticky and wet, rub in some flour, a little at a time, until it’s less sticky. If it’s too dry, add small amounts of water until it’s a little drier.
- When the pastry is the right consistency, roll it out with the pin, turning the dough with your other hand after each couple of rolls, so that the dough is rolled out equally in different directions until it’s roughly circular. If it splits, roll it up into a ball and start again.
- To transfer it to the tart tin, place the rolling pin near the edge of the rolled out pastry and wrap the pastry slowly up around the pin. Then carefully unfold the pastry over the tart tin. Push it neatly into the tin, and cut away any overhanging pastry.
- If desired, you can use the pastry trimmings for decoration. Re-roll the trimmings out and use some pastry cutters to cut the dough into shapes. Then brush one side of the shapes with a little milk and place them milk side down on top of the tart before putting it in the oven.
- Rather than using shop bought ground almonds, try grinding unblanched whole almonds in a blender yourself and using these. Doing so will give the frangipane a far more powerful flavour.
Pronunciation: /ˌbeɪkwel ˈtɑːt/ (bayk-well taart)
Relatives: Bakewell Pudding, Cherry Bakewell, Gloucester Tart (England), Jésuite (France)
The Bakewell Tart is closely associated with Bakewell, a market town in the Derbyshire Dales. The Dales are part of the Peak District, an area of natural beauty in the southern Pennines made up of highland, moorland, plateaus, caverns, woodland, dales and rivers. The Peak District is also dotted with historical sites, including Neolithic monuments, stately halls, industrial architecture, abandoned quarries and Victorian spa towns.
The town of Bakewell is old enough to get a mention in the 11th century Domesday Book; its church dates back to the 9th century. Bakewell began to develop as a market town from the thirteenth century onward, and much later, during the industrial revolution, a cotton mill was established on its outskirts. Because of its mercantile and industrial history Bakewell was able to grow in size and, where necessary, be rebuilt. As a result, it is large enough to be considered the Peak District’s only town.
One of Bakewell’s claims to fame is its connection to Jane Austen. Austen visited the town before completing Pride and Prejudice and allegedly based ‘Lambton’, the village near Pemberley where Elizabeth and the Gardiners stay whilst holidaying in Derbyshire, on Bakewell. (Pemberley is apparently based on nearby Chatsworth House.) Bakewell is also known for its custom of well dressing. This tradition of decorating wells with flowers and ribbons apparently dates back to pagan times.
The town is also famous for its eponymous tart and pudding. Bakewell Tart and Bakewell Pudding are very similar; both are coated with jam and frangipane. The main difference is that while Bakewell Tart consists of shortcrust pastry, Bakewell Pudding is made of puff pastry. Furthermore while the pudding is served warm and has a soft centre, the tart can be served hot or cold and is pretty solid.
The oldest surviving recipe for Bakewell Pudding dates back to 1837. According to legend it was a culinary accident. A pub cook, intending to make a jam tart, forgot to combine the pastry and egg mixture and ended up pouring the latter over the jam by accident. The resulting pudding was a success and caught on. This might not be quite how it happened, but it is certainly likely that local puddings like the Bakewell Pudding developed from mediaeval tarts. These would had savoury, fruit or custard fillings. One such tart, the Lenten Marchpane, was flavoured with almond paste, and it’s possible that the very almondy Bakewell Pudding developed from this. However, other Derbyshire puddings like the Buxton and Derbyshire puddings are very similar to Bakewell Pudding and it’s not certain that the Bakewell Pudding came first! But of these local puddings it’s certainly the most famous. The Bakewell Tart is believed to have developed from the Bakewell Pudding at some point during the 20th century.