June 2009 Daring Bakers’ Challenge – Bakewell Tart

The June Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart… er… pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800’s in England.

Here’s a bit of information regarding the tart and the challenge hosts’ take on whether or not it’s a tart or a pudding:

Bakewell tarts are a classic English dessert, abounding in supermarket baking sections and in ready-made, mass-produced forms, some sporting a thick sugary icing and glazed cherry on top for decorative effect.

Is it a tart or is it a pudding?  Someone once said something like “The Bakewell pudding is a dessert. The Bakewell tart is that girl over there.”

It’s a debate that rages on and we aren’t taking sides on this one. But we will say that many people call this pudding a tart.

While we’re at it…
The etymology of pudding is a rather interesting and slightly convoluted one. The naming confusion may come from the British manner of referring to the dessert course as ‘pudding’ (as well as referring to fat babies by the same name, though we don’t think that is what was the inspiration in this case). And so any dessert is a pudding until another name comes along and adds clarity to what it really is.

Well, I’m calling it a tart so there.  I’m getting this baby done just under the wire.  Eek!  Making this challenge is a first for me.  I’d never heard of Bakewell Tart before, but after reading the recipe, I was excited to try it.  I’d never made pastry crust before either (lame, I know), but it came together much easier than I anticipated.  I cheated and used a locally-made strawberry jam instead of making my own.  The end result was delicious, and I had a lot of fun making this challenge!  Thanks to Jasmine and Annemarie for hosting!  Please visit the the Daring Bakers’ Blogroll and The Daring Kitchen to view other Bakers’ creations.

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Bakewell Tart

One quantity sweet shortcrust pastry (recipe follows)
Bench flour
250ml (1cup (8 US fl. oz)) jam or curd, warmed for spreadability
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 acclimatised 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.

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.

Sweet shortcrust pastry

Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes (minimum)
Equipment needed: bowls, box grater, cling film

225g (8oz) all purpose flour
30g (1oz) sugar
2.5ml (½ tsp) salt
110g (4oz) unsalted butter, cold (frozen is better)
2 (2) egg yolks
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract (optional)
15-30ml (1-2 Tbsp) cold water

Sift together flour, sugar and salt. Grate butter into the flour mixture, using the large hole-side of a box grater. Using your finger tips only, and working very quickly, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.

Lightly beat the egg yolks with the almond extract (if using) and quickly mix into the flour mixture. Keep mixing while dribbling in the water, only adding enough to form a cohesive and slightly sticky dough.

Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes

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 primrose in colour 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 colour.

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Published in: on June 27, 2009 at 9:37 pm  Comments (19)  

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19 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Gorgeous job, Shelly!! Your tart looks SO amazing and incredibly delicious!

    • Thanks, Lisa!

  2. Bravo for making the deadline and making such a beautiul tart!

    • Thanks, Helen! I was sweating it but managed to make it.

  3. Oops, sorry for the last comment, did not realize I was still logged in on another account 🙂

    • lol No worries 🙂

  4. Great job! I love these traditional old English desserts so I was really pleased to see someone had chosen this for the challenge.

    • Thank you, Allyson! It was a lot of fun to make.

  5. Your tart looks delicious! Nice job!

    • Thanks, Isa!

  6. Lovely tart — and it’s not cheating to use store-bought jam 😉

    Thanks for participating
    j

    • Thanks, Jasmine! Thanks also for hosting. I loved this challenge 🙂

  7. Great job and a very pretty tart.

  8. Great job. That tart looks fabulous.

  9. Great that your crust worked out so well and now you know how to make it good. I like the pix and yes this is one delish tart.. er… pudding. Wonderful effort on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Australia

  10. oooh, this would definitely be a tart worth eating, especially with that strawberry jam (a personal favorite). the crunch of the almonds on top is the kicker. excellent work!

  11. Using a local strawberry jam isn’t cheating, it’s good flavor sense! Glad you got it in under the wire and hope you enjoyed the tart.

  12. What a lovely tart – great job on the challenge!

  13. Hey – haven’t heard from you in, like, ever…Hope all is well with you…


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