RECIPE: Bakewell Tart

Bakewell tart

Searching for the perfect Bakewell Tart recipe? Originating from the Bakewell pudding, the Bakewell tart is an English dessert made with shortcrust pastry, jam, frangipane (a sweet filling made with almonds), and a topping of flaked almonds. The pudding was, like many fantastic recipes, a happy accident, made by a cook in the town of Bakewell in Derbyshire in the 1860s.

BAKEWELL TART

Pastry

10 ozs/250g flour
7 ozs/175g butter
2 ozs/50g caster sugar
½ level teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt
2 egg yolks

Filling

6 ozs/150g of good strawberry jam
4 ozs/100g butter
4 ozs/100g sugar
4 ozs/100g ground almonds if desired
4 eggs
handful flaked almonds to sprinkle over top

METHOD

1. To make the pastry, rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

2. Bind the dry ingredients with the egg yolks and mix until a good dough is formed.

3. Roll the dough out between two pieces of greaseproof paper then transfer to a 10″ pie dish to make bottom crust. Alternatively the pastry can simply be pressed out into the tin to cover it thinly. Refrigerate.

4. Remove the pastry case from the refrigerator, prick the bottom the pastry, cover with a piece of tin foil and spread over pastry beans and bake in oven 200ºC/390ºF for about 20 minutes until very lightly browned.

5. When cooled, spread the strawberry jam over the bottom of the pastry.

6. Melt the butter. Add the caster sugar to it and beat together until well blended.

7. Lightly beat the eggs and then slowly pour the butter and sugar mixture over them, beating all the while to make sure that the mixture does not curdle.

8. Add the ground almonds at this stage and mix in well.

9. Pour the mixture into the baked pie crust and bake in oven 180ºC/350ºF for a further 20 – 30 minutes or until the custard is well set. Allow to cool to room temperature before eating.

10. Use the second sheet of pastry to make a latticed top. Make sure that it is well chilled as that will make it easier to use. Cut this sheet of pastry into ½”/1 cm strips.

11. Before starting the lattice top, roll out half of your pie dough and line your pie dish with it. The dough should extend beyond the rim of the pie dish by about ½”. Put it in the refrigerator to chill while you work on the lattice.

12. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the other half of your pie dough to the same size as the first half (about 3″ beyond the diameter of your pie dish). It’s easier to work with the dough if it is chilled, so if it the dough has softened too much, put the rolled-out piece on a flat baking tray and chill it in the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes.

13. Cut the dough into even strips, ½” to ¾” wide, depending on how thick you want your lattice strips. You can use a blunt knife with or without a ruler or straight edge to guide you, or you can use a pizza wheel or a pastry wheel.

14. Fill your lined pie dish with the pie filling. Lay out 4 to 7 parallel strips of the pie dough, depending on how thick your strips are, on top of the filling, with about ½” to ¾” space between them. Fold back every other strip.

15. Place one long strip of dough perpendicular to the parallel strips as shown. Unfold the folded strips over the perpendicular strip.

16. Now take the parallel strips that are running underneath the perpendicular strip and fold them back over the perpendicular strip, as shown. Lay down a second perpendicular strip of dough next to the first strip, with some space between the strips. Unfold the folded parallel strips over the second strip. Continue this process until the top of the pie is covered with the lattice work.

17. Trim the edges of the strips flush with the dough of the underlying pie dish, which should be about half an inch over the sides. Crimp the strips and the bottom of the pie pastry together so that they look good and are securely sealed.

18. Bake the tart in oven 180ºC/375ºF for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Bon appetit!

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