Saturday 28 May 2016

Bakewell Tart

The panic continues, folks.

BBC Food will be coming to an end, and with it, its searchable index of 11000 recipes, a resource that has been invaluable to me and countless others. Whenever trying something new, it is the first site I tend to go to, as its recipes are reliable, its comments useful.

But it don't make no money, so it gots to go. Before it does, I shall be building up an arsenal of recipes such as the one for this.

Don't be distracted by the stars, it is the tart we made here. This was it competing with another mum's cupcakes for the attention of 8 year old boys. The cupcakes won, dammit. Had it been the Sunday church crowd, it would have been a different story, but this time, I failed miserably in providing the most tempting cake on offer.

As far as tarts go, this one is a pretty simple one. The base pastry is just butter whizzed up in a food processor with flour, plus enough water to bind it together, then rolled out for my removeable base tart tin. Naturally, I made sure it was flawless.

It chilled in the fridge for a while  (to prevent too much shrinkage when baking) then on went some scrunched up baking parchment followed by my baking beans.

Baking parchment always feels to me like the budget cousin of waxed paper. Can you still get that anywhere? I'd like some just for wrapping sandwiches to bring to work, to make it look like I've been to some fancy artesan deli instead of using Lidl's finest pb&j.

Anywhoo, while blind baking the pastry, I put together a mixture that this photo makes look pretty revolting.

It was ground almonds, melted butter, sugar, almond extract and eggs.

The pastry came out, and you can see a wee patch at the lower edge where a hole had appeared.

In went a whole bunch of raspberry jam

Then my youngest son was kind enough to take this "action shot" while I explained that no, we weren't making chocolate chip cookies.

Oh, and this is me. Backlighting is awesome. My hat is so I don't get hair in your cake. You're welcome.

Then on went the almond mixture.

And then sliced almonds were scattered on top.

Back in the oven it went. I have to put it on a tray for 2 reasons:

1) It's a lot easier to put in and out of the oven

2) I always forget it's a removeable base, so inevitably if I DON'T use a tray, I grab the edges, then manage to shove the bottom part of the pan up on one side and not the other, smashing the tart into irrecoverable ugliness. So yeah, use a tray.

You may have noticed I didn't trim the edges earlier. The British Bake off hosts seem to think you should trim the edges after it's cooked, while it's still warm, to prevent the sides sliding into the bottom of the dish. You also can trim it more neatly. I do everything the judges say, so I waited until now to cut off the overhanging pastry.

Ok, so I didn't add a glazed icing to this tart like Mary Berry says you should. I don't think it needs it. It looks pretty enough as it is, here seen in its vintage yellow tupperware to be safe on its mile long journey.

And here, sliced on site next to WAY popular star buns. Oh well, at least I brought it on the right day this time.

The link to the recipe (while it still exists) is here, otherwise you'll find my usual styling genius of copy and paste with the original recipe below:


For the shortcrust pastry

For the filling

For the optional icing


  1. 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. Or just throw the butter and flour into a food processor, blitz it, and add water until you get a soft dough. Whichever.
  2. 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.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 (180C fan).
  4. 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.
  5. For the filing, spread the base of the pastry generously with raspberry jam.
  6. Melt the butter in a pan (or in a chipped stoneware teacup in the microwave), take off the heat and then stir into the sugar. Add ground almonds, egg and almond extract. Pour onto the pastry and sprinkle over the flaked almonds.
  7. Bake for about 35 minutes. If the almonds seem to be browning too quickly, cover the tart loosely with foil to prevent them burning.
  8. Optional : Meanwhile, sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Stir in cold water and transfer to a piping bag.
  9. Once you have removed the tart from the oven, pipe the icing over the top, giving an informal zig zag effect.

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