A family favourite is Bakewell tart, an English classic sweet consisting of shortcrust pastry beneath layers of jam, frangipane and topped with flaked almonds. It is a variant of the Bakewell pudding, which originates from the picturesque town of Bakewell in the Peak District, Derbyshire. In this recipe I recommend using a raspberry or cherry conserve, as the acidity of the fruit helps counterbalance the sweetness of the frangipane.
Frangipane is made with ground almonds which help to keep the tart moist when baked. The filling should be soft and have a damp crumb texture, rather than a sponge cake-like texture. The filling will firm up as it cools and is best sliced and served while just warm (allow to cool for 15-20 mins once out of the oven) or once the tart is completely cold. The baked tart will keep for 1-2 days in an airtight container.
For the pastry
- 210g plain flour
- 125g butter, chilled and cut into cubes
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp chilled water
For the filling
- 180g butter, softened
- 180g caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 180g ground almonds
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 200g raspberry or cherry conserve
- 25g flaked almonds
- 1 tbsp apricot conserve
- Lightly grease a deep 23cm loose-based, fluted tart tin.
- Sieve the flour into a large bowl, and then tip it into a food processor. Add the chilled butter to the flour in the food processor and blitz briefly. Add the egg yolk and 1 tsp cold water and blitz again until everything is roughly combined.
- Tip the mixture out onto an unfloured countertop and knead briefly until the dough has a consistent texture.
- Pull the pastry together with your hands, shaping it into an even, flat disc, about 1.5cm thick. Do this as quickly as possible, without overworking the pastry, which makes it tough. Using a rolling pin, roll out the pastry to ½ cm thickness and line the tart tin.
- Loosely wrap the tart tin and the pastry in a polythene bag, and chill it in the fridge for 15 mins.
- Heat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Crumple a sheet of baking parchment before putting in the pastry shell and weighting it down with baking beans. Bake the pastry case ‘blind’ for 15 mins.
- Remove the paper and baking beans and cook for a further 10 mins until the pastry is dry and a light golden colour. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. When cool, use a non-serrated knife to trim any excess pastry from the pastry shell.
- For the filling, beat together the butter and sugar. You can use a standing mixer with a paddle attachment for this step. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the ground almonds and almond extract.
- Spread the raspberry or cherry conserve over the base of the pastry case. Spread the almond filling evenly on top, then sprinkle over the flaked almonds.
- Bake for 35–40 mins until the frangipane filling is firm and golden brown on top. Allow to cool slightly and serve while just warm or cool completely in the tin.
- When the tart is cool, place a tablespoon of apricot conserve in a small saucepan and gently heat until it loosens up. Use a pastry brush to glaze the top of the tart. This Bakewell tart is delicious served on its own with a cup of tea or coffee, or warm with a vanilla bean crème anglaise. Either way – enjoy!