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.
I really enjoyed this tart. I thought the crust cooked up deliciously and had a sweet shortbread like texture and taste. I had never made frangipane before and I was very thankful that they warned it would look curdled when you made it. If it wasn’t for that that warning I would have probably dumped it out and kept trying until I had a breakdown because it would keep looking curdled and probably end up throwing something. Yeah…sometimes when I get really upset or frustrated I throw things. My parents are more than happy to share a little story about miniature golf and my golf club going into the decorative pond because the damn ball wouldn’t go into the hole. I’m aware that throwing things is a completely immature thing to do but when I’m really mad that rational thinking seems to go out the window.
Ok that was completely off topic so lets get back to the tart. One thing I found great about this tart is that you can use whatever jam or custard you are craving. I chose to do an organic plum jam I found at my favorite natural market. The flavor really worked with the delicious flavor of the frangipane and almond flavored crust. I also found the tart to be very easy and quick to make. It only took me about an hour to make everything and get the tarts in the oven. I hope everyone gives this recipe a try because what can be more fun than trying a new recipe 🙂 Enjoy!!!
Oh one quick question for all my readers. I’m going to be making cupcakes for my boyfriends family July 4th BBQ and I’m looking for a great cupcake icing that won’t melt in the heat. If you have a great frosting recipe that holds up to the heat I would greatly appreciate it if you would please share it with me…thanks!!! 🙂
For completed tart:
One quantity sweet shortcrust pastry (recipe follows)
250ml (1cup (8 US fl. oz)) jam or curd, warmed for spreadability
One quantity frangipane (recipe follows)
One handful blanched, flaked almonds
For sweet shortcrust pastry:
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
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
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.
Place the chilled dough disc on a lightly floured surface. If it's overly cold, you will need to let it become acclimated 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 center 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.
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.