One of my many favourite British desserts as a child was the Bakewell Tart and most people would know the tart in the UK from Mr Kipling, who commercially produces traditional cakes and is famous for ‘making exceedingly good cakes’. Although I would have eaten them by the box full as a teenager I now prefer to get back to the traditional recipes, since Bakewell Tart should be made with ground almonds rather than the commercial style of using almond essence.
The origins of the tart are not clear, however the generally accepted story is that it was first made by accident in 1820 when the landlady of the White Horse Inn, (now called the Rutland Arms) left instructions for her cook to make a jam tart. The cook, instead of stirring the eggs and almond paste mixture into the pastry, spread it on top of the jam.
The tart version consists of a pastry shell, spread with jam and covered with a sponge-like filling enriched with ground almonds (known as frangipane).
- 125g butter
- 125g sugar
- 100g ground almonds
- 25g SR flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
- Approx 4 tablespoons of strawberry or raspberry jam
- 200g short crust pastry
- Grease and flour a 10 inch loose bottom tart ( I have use 4 small individual tins).
- Roll pastry out to a size that will fit tart tin and line tin with pastry. Keep a small piece of the pastry aside to from the lattice work on top. Cut ten thin strips of pastry to form lattice work from this and put aside.
- Spread the jam across the base of the pastry case.
- Place butter & sugar in a bowl and beat with an electric whisk or good old fashioned wooded spoon until light and fluffy.
- Add one egg at a time and whisk in between both additions.
- Sift in flour and ground almonds into the butter mixture and fold in with a metal spoon till all combined.
- Spread sponge mixture over jam ensuring it touches the side so the jam does not bubble up around the sponge.
- Create lattice work over sponge, five strips across and five strips down.
- Bake in oven for 35- 40 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out of the sponge clean.
- Allow to cool before removing from tin and dust with icing sugar.