Bakewell Tart

Mark is from Derbyshire, home of the Bakewell tart – or should that be Bakewell pudding? Either way, he likes a Bakewell tart and it was one of the first things I ever baked. Mind you, back then I used to use packet pastry… given my recent trip to John Whaite’s Kitchen it seemed appropriate to try out my new skills for this. I also deviated from the recipe I used to use and instead went with the frangipane filling from the pear tart I made with John.

The pastry technique here is one I’d not seen before, creaming the butter and sugar together as if you were making a cake. It sounds odd, but it works! The recipe also calls for 2g of salt… we used sea salt flakes which means they don’t get evenly distributed throughout but does make for a nice salty hit on certain bites. Either sea salt flakes or regular table salt will work, but we like it with the flakes.

Pastry Ingredients

  • 125g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 200g plain flour
  • 2g sea salt flakes

Begin by creaming the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, and then mix in the egg. Next add the flour and salt and bring the whole thing together in a small bowl using a dough scraper (although we used a spatula) until it comes together. Flour the counter well and turn the dough out and bring the pastry together with your hands. It shouldn’t take much work – then pat it out into a disc, wrap it in cling film and bung it in the fridge for an hour or so.

Whilst it’s chilling, make the frangipane filling…

Filling Ingredients

  • 120g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 160g ground almonds
  • 40g plain flour
  • 4 tbsp rum
  • Raspberry jam

Again, begin by creaming the butter and sugar, followed by the eggs. It can tend to look a bit curdled at this point but it’s nothing to worry about. Then add the almonds and plain flour… we were actually short of ground almonds and added about 120g and some extra flour… the end result was drier than expected so I recommend going with the full amount! Finally, mix the rum in.

Get the pastry from the oven and roll it out and line a 20cm cake tin or flan ring with it. Prick the base with a fork and then smear it with a layer of jam before pouring your filling on top. Then bake in the oven at 190C for about 40 – 50 minutes – keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn!

End result? Well it was very nice – especially the pastry. But the filling was a bit disappointing. This was possibly because of the late substitution of some ground almonds with some flour… I think this recipe needs revisiting with the same pastry but the old recipe I used to use for the filling.