Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Bakewell Tart....er, Pudding

"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.

Bakewell tarts…er…puddings combine a number of dessert elements but still let you show off your area’s seasonal fruits.

Like many regional dishes 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 almond pastry cream and baked in puff pastry. The second is the “tart” where a rich shortcrust pastry holds jam and an almond sponge cake-like filling. "

The version I made is a combination of the two: a sweet almond-flavoured shortcrust pastry, frangipane and jam and this is how it turned out:

I either a)am a very poor photographer or b)have a bad camera or c) both, because these pictures do not do it justice. The tart was very pretty and tasted great too. I tried it out on several people and they all enjoyed the flavor of the almonds and the blueberries.

Frangipane was a new taste and texture for all of us but we all enjoyed it and started to wonder what it would be like on top of other fillings....specifically chocolate. What else?

It was great fun to try a classic British dessert (without the expensive airline tickets) and I look forward to trying more "international" baked goods in future challenges.

I was a little intimidated by the recipe at first, but once I got in to it I really enjoyed it. Here is the chronicle of my very first experience as a Daring Baker:

June 2

-Read the challenge and was totally overwhelmed. What is a frangipane anyway?

June 6

-Was finally bored brave enough to read the whole challenge. Phew! Can I do this? (In good news a frangipane is an almond paste and I'm allowed to use a Victoria sponge in it's place if I want to. Now that that's all cleared up......)

June 8

-Checked the forums and found that someone has already completed the challenge...the day after it was posted! His tarts looked pretty and somewhat easy. I'm feeling better about this.

-Realized I will have to invest in a fluted tart pan for this recipe. I've been wanting one for a few years anyway so.......YIPPEEE!

June 10

-Looked up the pronunciation of "frangipane" at dictionary.com. It's [fran-juh-peyn].

June 13

-Bought a big round fluted tart pan at IKEA.

June 24

-Realized I only have 6 more days to make this recipe. Help!

-Decided to get started! Assembled my ingredients and dug in to the recipe.

-Realized those crazy Brits use metric measurements. Good thing Brian is around to do all of my conversions.

-Realized it would just be a lot easier to use a food scale and forget about all of the math.

-Realized I don't have a food scale.

-Brian volunteered to bring home an electric balance from the school.

-Project postponed for at least one more day.

June 25

-The scale is here. All ready to go. But........too tired.

June 27

-Step One: Made some homemade blueberry jam for the filling. Took all of 5 minutes.

June 29

-Step Two: Made my very first Bakewell Tart....er Pudding.
And now the recipe.
Bakewell Tart....er, Pudding

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

Sift together flour, sugar and salt. Grate butter into the flour mixture, using the large hole-side of a box grater.

(Isn't that the coolest idea? I've never thought of grating frozen butter before but it really works great for getting your mixture to a "coarse crumbs" stage. I'll definitely use that technique again.)

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.
Roll chilled dough to a 1/4 inch thickness and pat into tart pan and freeze for 15 minutes.


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.

( I always thought primrose was a pale pink. Apparently not. Apparently it is a very pale yellow. Oh the things we can learn from our neighbors across the pond.)

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.

Behold: Frangipane!

To assemble the tart:

Remove crust from freezer and spread with 1/4 cup to 1 cup of jam or curd, depending on taste.

Spread frangipane over jam layer.

Bake at 400 degrees (200 C) for 25 minutes. Top with sliced almonds (I obviously only had slivered almonds on hand) and bake for an additional 5 minutes until frangipane is golden brown. Serve warm with whipped cream or custard sauce.

(I tried it warm with Cool Whip, the poor mans whipped cream, and it was good. I tried it at room temperature 24 hours later and it was even better.)

So there you have it. The Bakewell Tart....er, Pudding. Enjoy!
My sous-chef had to make a few cookies with the leftover shortcrust pastry dough. Bonus!


sweetakery said...

your tart looks lovely! great work

Audax said...

Love the blow-by-blow account of your feelings about the challenge. And your final result looks super to me and I just love the pixs with the child very cute and YES you do learn a lot on the forum - like primrose is pale yellow. I'm always learning all the time. Cheers from Audax in Australia.

CZ said...

Yummy!! And I say this from experience! Didn't realize all that went into it! Impressive!

isabelle said...

Looks fabulous! Nice pictures. Nicely done!

Amy J. said...

Awesome job! Your sous chef is too cute!

jasmine said...

Tee hee! I like your timeline (and some of us Canadians use weight metrics too!).

Thanks for participating.