Celebrating British Food & Cooking
A cup of tea and a slice of Bakewell tart, sitting in the garden in the afternoon sunshine. What more do you need?
This is a popular dessert in the UK, named after the Derbyshire town of Bakewell. It consists of a shortcrust pastry case filled with a layer of jam, and frangipane, usually topped with flaked almonds or glacé icing.
I couldn’t find any evidence that it actually originated in the town of Bakewell although everyone agrees that Bakewell pudding, its predecessor did.
When you see an individual Bakewell pudding and tart side by side, the pudding reminds me of a pastel de nata, the posh Portuguese custard tarts.
I like Mary Berry’s recipe, even I can make this and I’m not a good pastry chef. I must admit to cheating though and buying the shortcrust pastry ready-made. But don’t tell anyone!
For the shortcrust pastry
- 175 g plain flour
- 75 g chilled butter
- 2-3 tbsp cold water
For the filling
- 1 tbsp raspberry jam
- 125 g butter
- 125 g caster sugar
- 125 g ground almonds
- 1 free-range egg beaten
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 50 g flaked almonds
For the icing
- 80 g icing sugar
- 2½ tsp cold water
- To make the pastry, measure the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the water, mixing to form a soft dough.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface and use to line a 20cm/8in flan tin. Leave in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 (180C fan).
- Line the pastry case with foil and fill with baking beans. Bake blind for about 15 minutes, then remove the beans and foil and cook for a further five minutes to dry out the base.
- For the filing, spread the base of the flan generously with raspberry jam.
- Melt the butter in a pan, take off the heat and then stir in the sugar. Add ground almonds, egg and almond extract. Pour into the flan tin and sprinkle over the flaked almonds.
- Bake for about 35 minutes. If the almonds seem to be browning too quickly, cover the tart loosely with foil to prevent them burning.
- Meanwhile, sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Stir in cold water and transfer to a piping bag.
- Once you have removed the tart from the oven, pipe the icing over the top, giving an informal zig zag effect.