Daring Bakers Challenge: Bakewell Tart…or is it Pudding?

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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 have never heard of Bakewell Tart until this challenge.  According to our hostesses,

“…  there’s no “one way” to make a Bakewell Tart…er…Pudding, but most of today’s versions fall within one of two types. The first is the “pudding” where a layer of jam is covered by an almondy pastry cream and baked in puff pastry. The second is the “tart” where a rich shortcrust pastry holds jam and an almondy sponge cake-like filling.”

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We did the tart with shortcrust pastry. I made two with different fillings: one with strawberry pomegranate jam which I got from Costco and another one using lemon curd given to me by a friend as a present.  The rest of the elements I followed according to instructions. I initially made smaller tarts (using 4-inch brulee pans) to taste each version. It was a little too sweet for our liking but we love the combination of flavors. So for my next batch (using a 6-inch spring form pan), I used less sugar in the frangipane and added more ground almonds (I ground my own almonds.). It was perfect! I did not blind bake them as other fellow Daring Bakers did and my pastry turned out okay.

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On the day of posting, we are invited to our friend Bob’s 75th birthday dinner and I am bringing another version of this tart.  I am using homemade hibiscus  rosella jam which I know will go very well with the frangipane.  This challenge was fun to make and easy enough to assemble in one day. Here is the recipe from our hostesses:

Bakewell Tart…er…pudding

Makes one 23cm (9” tart)
Prep time: less than 10 minutes (plus time for the individual elements)
Resting time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Equipment needed: 23cm (9”) tart pan or pie tin (preferably with ridged edges), rolling pin

  • 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

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Assembling the tart

  1. 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.
  2. Preheat oven to 200C/400F.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes

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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
  1. 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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» Aparna said: { Jun 27, 2009 - 09:06 }

So many variations. I never knew one could make jam with hibiscus flowers! Bob, your friend, is a very lucky person. :)

» Anula said: { Jun 27, 2009 - 09:06 }

Yummy looking tart :)

» Jenna @ Newlyweds said: { Jun 27, 2009 - 09:06 }

Beautiful, love all the different flavors of jams and jellies you used.

» Rosa said: { Jun 27, 2009 - 10:06 }

What pretty tarts! They look so scrumptious! Great job!

Cheers,

Rosa

» rose said: { Jun 27, 2009 - 10:06 }

Isn’t jam fun?! Beautifully done, great photographs and delicious looking tarts. Hibiscus? WOW!

» Wolf said: { Jun 27, 2009 - 10:06 }

I’d never heard of it before either. But now, I’ve made 7 of the fool things. LOL.

» Elissa said: { Jun 27, 2009 - 10:06 }

I’m loving the closeups on the tart! It looks wonderful! :)

» jenn said: { Jun 27, 2009 - 11:06 }

awesome looking tart!!! Never heard of it before. I’m interesting in trying this out.

» Bread and Jam said: { Jun 27, 2009 - 12:06 }

Oooh, using the creme brulee pans is such a good idea. You did a great job! Strawb-pom sounds wonderful.

» Dragon said: { Jun 27, 2009 - 01:06 }

The jam and lemon curd fillings sound amazing! Great job on this month’s challenge.

» Sabiilaa (sweetakery) said: { Jun 28, 2009 - 07:06 }

just gorgeous tarts! yumm

» jasmine said: { Jun 28, 2009 - 09:06 }

Strawberry-pomegranate sounds divine. Thanks for participating.

j

» jo said: { Jun 29, 2009 - 06:06 }

What gorgeous looking tarts and you’ve done a fantastic job.

» Manang said: { Jun 29, 2009 - 08:06 }

wow, now you can be labeled as the tart queen! These look scrumptious!

» Olga said: { Jun 29, 2009 - 11:06 }

Strawberry pomegranate jam sounds fantastic!!!

» asti said: { Jun 29, 2009 - 06:06 }

all those flavours sounds wonderful. Great job, they look fantastic

» virtual chef said: { Jul 10, 2009 - 04:07 }

aparna: it tastes like cranberry jam and goes very well with the frangipane!! yummy…

Anula, jenna, rosa: thanks! i had fun making them.

rose: thanks! the hibiscus was really delicious!

wolf: i know…i told myself i better stop eating these desserts but once i tasted one, i couldn’t stop not only eating but experimenting! LOL… my friends and neighbors are very happy!

elisa and jenn: thank you!

bread and jam: tha brulee pans worked very well for small servings. it even worked as a serving for two people in case one is on a sweet diet. :)

dragon, sabiila, jasmine, jo: thank you! it was a really fun challenge.

manang: hi manang…yes…i am now crowned as the Queen of Tarts…LOL…my husband thinks it is very apt!!! :)

olga and asti: thank you. it was a fun and really delicious challenge.


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