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Bakewell Tart

I've joined an online group called The Daring Cooks.  It's all a part of the Daring Kitchen.  One can join as a Daring Cook, A Daring Baker or both.  Each month a recipe is chosen in each category.  The category members make the recipe, using their own interpretation (within the stated rules) and then post the photo of their results on their own blog.  It's very interesting to see the different photos of results of the same basic recipe. 

I didn't join as a Daring Baker because of my hands.  Messing around with puff pastry and pie crust dough is frustrating for me.  But this month, when the Daring Bakers announced their newest challenge.  I was sucked in.  They were making a Bakewell TartBakewell Tarts are quintessentially English, just like my husband.  A Bakewell Tart has a layer of frangipane.  Say that word...fran-gee-pan-e...isn't it lucious, when you say it and the way it rolls off your tongue and rattles around on the roof of your mouth?  Also, it's comprised of confectioner's sugar, eggs, butter and almond extract.  Manna from heaven, each, in my book.  The tart was simple to make and the results divine.  Husband and I each had a slice warm from the oven.  Below is a slide show of my process and below that, the recipe.


The Challenge

Rough Durations: Please see individual recipe elements to see how much time you’ll need. You may pull it together in more time or less—it all depends upon your kitchen’s pace. You can complete the tart in an afternoon, or break it up into a couple of days by making the pastry one day in advance.

Measurements: These recipes were developed using weight and not volume metrics, so for better results, pull out your scales. We’ve done our best with the Metric to Imperial conversions. A giant tart, medium tarts or little tartlettes: We’ll leave that to you. Mandatory and Optional Elements:

Mandatory element 1: Sweet Shortcrust Pastry Yes, it’s a pie pastry. Don’t look at us like that. It’s sweet and tender and it’s not scary…and we’re encouraging you to do it by hand and put the food processor away (but if you really want to pull out the gadget, go ahead).

Mandatory element 2: Frangipane We love onomatopoeia of frangipane: it’s rich, sweet and feels slightly luxurious, and can be used in several confections.

Optional element: Homemade jam or curd We know several amongst us are rather jammy with making their own jams and preserves. Go ahead get wild and creative or simply showcase whatever’s local and in season. If you haven’t jammed before and want some hints or recipes, take a look at Bernardin’s If you want to just make some jam for this challenge and not go through sterilizing jars and snap lids, you can try a pan jam, similar to Jasmine’s Blackberry Pan Jam. If you do use homemade jam, please include your recipe or the link to the one you used in your post.

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 spread ability 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 acclimatized 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.

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 light yellow in color 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 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 color.

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.