I can't quite believe that I've never made bakewell tart before - after all, it ranks as one of my all-time favourite cakes. A sweet pastry base, a thin layer of jam, and an almond cake filling... what's not to love? So it happened that I was chatting to a friend about our mutual love of bakewell, and we hit on the idea of a bakewell bake-off. We've both agreed to make one this weekend, and on Tuesday we'll get together over coffee to swap slices of cake and compare notes. Meanwhile, here's my version.
Bakewell Tart Recipe
Makes 8-10 slices
For the pastry
125g plain flour
25g icing sugar
75g chilled butter
For the filling
100g softened (room-temperature) butter
125g icing sugar
150g ground almonds
1tsp almond essence
4tbsp raspberry jam
30g flaked almonds
- Preheat the oven to 200°C, and grease a 20cm deep flan tray (at least 4cm deep).
- Combine the flour and sugar, then rub in the chilled butter to make 'breadcrumbs'.
- Separate the egg yolk from the white (set the white aside for now) and combine the yolk with the flour, along with a little water to bring it together.
- Knead the pastry for a couple of minutes, and refrigerate for half an hour.
- Roll out the pastry, line the dish, and prick the pastry. Bake blind for 15 minutes. If you don't have special baking beads, you can use any dried pulses (like chick-peas, lentils, or even rice) to weigh down the pastry; just be sure to line the pastry case with greaseproof paper first.
- Meanwhile, make the filling. Begin by creaming the butter and sugar together.
- Beat the eggs (including the white reserved from the pastry-making phase) together with the almond essence.
- Add the beaten eggs gradually to the butter/sugar mixture.
- Fold in the ground almonds.
- Remove the baking beans and brush the pastry with a little egg (there will undoubtedly be enough left over in whatever bowl you used for beating the eggs) or milk.
- Bake the pastry case for another 5 minutes.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C.
- Spread jam in the base of the pastry case, leaving a small gap around the edge (as the jam will spread out).
- Pour the almond mixture on top of the jam.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove the tart from the oven, sprinkle with the flaked almonds, and return to bake for a further 15 minutes.
- Allow to cool before serving.
Footnote: you can use other flavours of jam for variety - black cherry is gorgeous, and this time I used strawberry - but raspberry is the most traditional.