Saturday, June 27, 2009

Daring Bakers' Challenge - Bakewell Tart

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.
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I was very excited to do this months challenge, if a day late, for two English friends who were here visiting from San Francisco. One asked if there was jam in it & I was happy to answer, "Of course homemade Strawberry Balsamic Jam." The other said it was the best Bakewell Tart he can remember having. Most guest went for seconds & Matt said he would have that again in a second. Plus it was super easy to make , seriously this fabulous a dessert came together like nothing.
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I made the pastry crust the day before & chilled it overnight. I was a bit worried as it took twice the amount of water the recipe called for but it was tender & lovely. It rolled out easily & was tender after cooking. The frangipane was a snap to make (I ground my own almonds the night before) even in 80 degree weather & the almond flavor & scent was heavenly. My tart only took 25 minutes to cook, I was afraid it was overcooked but it turned our soft & spongy & perfect. I'll be making this again & again.

Bakewell Tart…er…pudding
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:

• 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 (I used 4 T)

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

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 25 - 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.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2009 Kathy Lewinski

8 comments:

k. said...

This looks fantastic. It's got a long and complicated history as either tart or pudding, what with the rivalry in the town of Bakewell.

But your version looks a LOT better than the typical British idea of a Bakewell tart!

http://www.mrkipling.co.uk/productdetails.aspx?ProductId=52

Wok Through the Fire said...

Your tart looks perfectly browned and puffy! Yum!

giz said...

Beautiful job on the Blackwell tart...er pudding :). I didn't participate this month but will have to try it - it looks pretty amazing.

Connie Weiss said...

Great job! It looks so tasty and I'm impressed that you made your own jam!

jillian said...

How fun that you had English guests to serve it to. It sounds great with the strawberry jam!

Lisa Paul said...

Remember the old Life Cereal commercial "Mikey likes it?" Where the pickiest kid in the world liked the cereal? Well, that's what it's like serving "authentic" English food to Englishmen. They always find it not quite done the right way.

Not this time. I witnessed two Englishmen give this a wild THUMBS UP!

It was suggested by one Englishman that this be made for Fourth of July as "counterprogramming."

Lori said...

I was telling my Mom about your jam. It really is very intriguing to me. I think I need to make it later this week. I need to get some strawberries. I just made some jam, I will post on it soon.

silverrock said...

what a beautiful looking tart! And that balsamic strawberry jam sounds so intriguing... I may just have to steal a slice :P Way to go on the June challenge!

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