Bakewell Tarts

Mar 23rd, 2011 by Gemma

Bakewell is a town in Derbyshire, part of the Peak District. There is debate as to whether it’s the Bakewell Tart or the Bakewell Pudding that originated there and there are a few shops in the town that all claim to sell the “original” we tried a couple of them while we were there and they were all good!

The tart, be it an individual portion or a larger tart cut into slices, is either a puff or shortcrust pasty shell. I prefer shortcrust in this instance, and it’s less hassle to make. I actually keep discs of shortcrust pastry in my freezer to pull out as I need them. Make sure the tins you are using are well greased, you don’t want the pastry to stick.Technically a sweet paste is more often used for a tart but with the sweetness of the filling it would be too much.

The tins I used are actually a little shallower than I would have liked. Roll out your dough and cut to an approximate size. Gently press into the tin.

Since my tins are metal I run a rolling pin over the top to cut the dough to fit. A quick press fits the dough into the flutes, raises it above the sides a little and makes it look pretty. I like to chill them at this point so they don’t shrink in the oven.

While the dough is chilling make the frangipane. Frangipane is an almond filling, almost like a sponge, and certainly made like one. The butter and sugar are creamed together, eggs are added and then finely ground almond meal in place of flour.

Pull out the tart shells and spread a layer of jam into the bottom, raspberry seems to be traditional but really, you can use whatever you please (you can also add some lemon zest to the frangipane to compliment the jam). Fill with the frangipane mix and bake until golden and firm to the touch (again, like a sponge), a pick will come out clean but don’t use one of the probes that test temperature as it’ll be done long before it reaches the temperature a cake would be done at.

Once they are cool I like to top them with some icing. If you find that too sweet you can sprinkle with some flaked almonds before cooking so that they’re baked onto the filling. If you do do that then a light dusting with powdered sugar is a nice garnish.


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