20 October 2016

Bakewell Tart - A British Classic

Bakewell Tart - A British Classic / www.delightfulrepast.com

Classic Bakewell Tart was something I hadn't made, or even thought about, in years. Then I was watching the Great British Bake Off a while back and was stunned to see it being made "improperly!" 

I'm not even going to go into all that Bakewell Tart versus Bakewell Pudding thing. Some people insist they are the same thing; others ... Well, I make mine in a tart tin; so I'm calling it a tart. 

But back to my accusation that Mary Berry (Don't get me wrong; I love Mary Berry, one of the grande dames of British cookery), made (and had all the folks in the GBBO tent make) an improper Bakewell Tart: 

Instead of putting sliced almonds (or, as they say in the UK, flaked almonds) on top, she put ICING (I know that's yelling, I'm sorry) on top! I was shocked, but for all I know, icing on the top might be more "authentic" than the almonds. 

The real reason I make it the way I do is not because it is the "right" way, but because it is the less sweet way. You know from my post Sugar: Toxin or Treat? that I like to cut back on the sugar wherever possible. 

So here you go, my version, right or wrong. Do leave a comment and let me know how strongly or how little you care about this important issue! This is a perfect teatime treat, and wouldn't it make a nice change on your autumn and winter celebration tables! 


Bakewell Tart - A British Classic / www.delightfulrepast.com
Don't forget to Pin it!

Classic Bakewell Tart 


(Makes one 9-inch/23cm tart, 8 servings) 

The Pastry - Pâte Brisée (a shortcrust pastry) 


1 1/3 dip-and-sweep cup (6.66 ounces/189 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (4 ounces/113 grams) cold unsalted butter, shredded
4 tablespoons water


Note: Or do the pastry I always use for my Classic Lemon Tart (I leave out the sugar, though, for this tart). OR if you're gluten-free, do my Gluten-Free Pie Crust.

The Filling - Frangipane 


1/2 cup (4ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (3.5 ounces/99 grams) sugar
1 firmly packed cup (4 ounces/113 grams) super-fine almond flour (ground almonds)
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup (3.5 ounces/99 grams) raspberry jam
1/2 cup (1.75 ounces/50 grams) sliced almonds (also called flaked almonds) 

1 In medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour and salt. With your fingertips, rub in the cold shredded butter to a crumb texture with some bigger hunks of butter remaining. Sprinkle on water and mix in, adding more, if needed, a teaspoon at a time. Flatten slightly into a 4- to 6-inch round disc, wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

2 Lightly butter a 9-inch/23cm tart tin (1-inch deep) and set it on a baking sheet. On lightly floured 12-inch (30cm) square of aluminum foil, roll out the pastry to a 12-inch circle. Transfer dough to tart tin, pressing dough (but not stretching it) to fit the tin. Save the foil; you're not done with it. With scissors or knife, trim the overhang to 1/2 inch all around. Fold it in and press it to the sides to form a thicker side crust. Trim the edges* by rolling the rolling pin over the top. Press the pastry into the flutes so that it rises a bit above the edge (in case of shrinkage). Pop it in the freezer for 15 minutes while you preheat the oven to 375F/190C/Gas5.

Note: There's no pastry to waste here, so I just press my edge trimmings into the bottom or on any "thin" spots.

3 Cover chilled pastry with reserved piece of foil, clean side up, pressing it to fit well. Spread 2 cups of ceramic pie weights (that's two packages of Mrs. Anderson's ceramic pie weights), also called ceramic baking beans in the UK, over the foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and weights; continue baking for 10 minutes, until lightly browned to a pale golden. Let stand to cool a bit.

4 While pastry is cooling, make the filling. In 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Take off heat, and stir in the sugar, then the ground almonds, egg, almond extract and salt until well combined. 

5 Spread the jam over the bottom of the prebaked pastry shell. Pour in the frangipane. Top with sliced almonds. Bake (with tart tin on baking sheet) for about 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Remove from tin. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Dust with sifted powdered sugar just before serving.

62 comments:

Angie Schneider said...

Bakewell tart is our favourite! I bake it quite often and sometimes I even used nutelal instead of jam :-)) Yours looks marvelous!!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Angie, thank you. I think it might be our new favorite as well. Can't think why I ever stopped making it!

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

I'm no expert - can't bake (don't make time to bake!) - must admit I thought most of the ones you see in the shops over here have icing on them. BUT I googled 'bakewell tart', up came a BBC recipe which had Mary berry's name on it and the picture seemed to show flaked almonds on top. Hah. Anyway, yours looks absolutely great :-)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Mike! AND for the info. Perhaps Mary just skipped the almonds in favor of icing for the GBBO technical challenge because the icing looks "fancier" or something, or to test their decorating skills.

Manu said...

Wow this cake looks delicious!!
Thanks for sharing

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Manu! It's my current favorite dessert.

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Hmmm. Toughy here. Was gonna “shout” “GIVE ME SUGAR OR GIVE ME DEATH!”…but nay, nay, very unwise given the inflammatory effects of the stuff. Thing is, I’m not sure what the filling is like in your Bakewell tart and that makes all the difference to me. If it has some caramelized substance to it – some chewy, gooey, albeit mildly sweet core enhanced by the almonds, flaked or otherwise – I’m in like Flynn. But if it’s one of those dried spongy things with a mere hint of fruity sweetness, I toss it into the recipe bin for ersatz bread in one form or another. Sorry for the redundancy. Not a fan of cupcakes (which I know you love) or any bready stuff unless it’s moist to the point where you need to have a lifeguard in the kitchen… It does look like it is edible in my range, however, somehow texturally reminiscent of pumpkin pie or Dulce de leche or pecan pie even though in an entirely different camp of tastebuds. Wait a minute…pecan pie. Yes, that’s what my imagination empathizes with in your photo. Yes, no? Que?

Jeanie said...

I remember seeing this on the GBBS and thought it sounded so good. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I would be inclined to try it your way -- seems like it might be sweet enough without frosting -- or if it needed anything just a pretty drizzle not a full frost.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sully, good point! I should add something to the post about the texture. Though some people do make a very cake-y version, mine is not cake-y. This is definitely in your "edible range." Not as custard-y, or wet, as most pumpkin or pecan pies, it does have a bit of that "chewy, gooey" you look for.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Jeanie. Yes, only a pretty drizzle or a dusting of powdered sugar, if you must! But I just like to let the nuts shine.

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Wow, what a beautiful proper Bakewell Tart, Jean. I'd prefer the slivered almonds on top, but I'm sure both would be delicious. Your's certainly looks divine. Have a nice afternoon. ♥

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, Martha Ellen!

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

I loved watching the GBBS, Jean! I've never tasted a Bakewell Tart, but yours looks so perfect and I love the idea of raspberry preserves in it. I'ld love to give your recipe a try. Yes, it would be wonderful with a cup of tea.

Daniela said...

It is a classic, yes, but how much I do love it !!!!!

Hope you're enjoying your week with gladness, dearest Jean,
I'm sending my dearest love to you,
with so much thankfulness and esteem

Xx Dany

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Kitty. Do let me know how it turns out for you!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you so much, Dany. I was just heading over to read your post about that rascal Edward!

Richard Sheppard said...

Less sugar? I'm all in! Looks delish. Oh and thanks for posting the weights along with the measurements. SO much easier!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Richard, I have a feeling you're going to like this one!

Pom Pom said...

Thanks, Jean! Yum! I'd like a slice right now.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Karen, thanks! I'd like one, too, but it disappeared!

Margie said...

This is the first time I've heard of Bakewell Tart. I'd prefer your less sweet version!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Margie, thank you! And you are not alone, it seems a lot of people haven't heard of it. I'm always so happy to introduce people (especially tea people!) to my favorite British classics.

Marisa Franca @ Allourway said...

By Jove, A rose by any other name is still a rose, but when you title a recipe one thing I expect it to be that recipe. So, yes, I care! I don't how many recipes I've seen called bruschetta and then they made it into a dessert. ARGH!! (Sorry if that was too loud). I've seen countless recipes where they name it one thing and it's nothing like what it should be. Now, Jean, I've never heard of this recipe but it certainly sounds interesting and I'd love to try it. And I'm with you, I don't like nauseatingly sweet desserts. Have a great weekend.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks for weighing in on that, Marisa! I don't like to get too cute with my recipe names or blog post titles. I hope you'll try this one -- it will be "adding an Italian flair to your life," too, as I believe the word 'frangipane' is Italian.

Tony Grant said...

There seem to have been various versions of Bakewell tart over the centuries, Jean. Maybe Mary Berry's version took the icing part from the Cherry Bakewell which does have a fondant covering that includes a whole cherry perched on the top. However the one constant are the almonds and the overall almond flavour. I love that flavour. The Bakewell tarts I have eaten all have a moist cake type inner layer on top of the jam.The icing or fondant cover seems to be a variant especially on the cup cake size versions. There is another version that comes from Gloucestershire and is called a Gloucestershire tart. It also uses almonds.
But, on the whole I really like Bakewell tarts and I am sure I wouldlove yours too Jean if ever I got the chance....!
Did you know that cyanide tastes of almonds? Maybe the cyanide pills given to special forces and undercover operatives to take if they are in a compromising situation was used so they thought they were going to their end eating a Bakewell tart???? Ha! Ha!

janice15 said...

O my I have never heard of it till now reading your post, but it sure sounds interesting. When I get a chance I will have to give it a try. It looks yummy. Thanks and happy weekend with love Janice

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Tony, thank you. I love the flavour of almonds, too, but not in a cyanide pill! :D Too funny! I think most recipes that call for almond extract call for too much; a little bit goes a long way. I put just a little in my Bakewell to enhance the almonds, not overpower them.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Dear Janice, thank you. I hope you will try it soon. It's really good, if I do say so myself! Just a small slice and a cup of tea ... mmmmm.

Sippity Sup said...

I've never made or even eaten a Bakewell Tart. The frangipane and "flaked" almonds make me think of a French "Tarte aux Amandes". The jam is a nice touch. GREG

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Greg. They're probably very similar. And my English grandmother would have called her Bakewell a Tarte aux Amandes, had she known, since she was such a Francophile!

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

I've been wanting to make a Bakewell Tart myself since watching that episode but thought the icing on top was rather strange. Thank you for your recipe Jean, it will be on my list of 'to bake' in the near future and I do like less sweet desserts.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Judith, I'm so glad. Do let me know how it turns out for you. I think you're really going to like it!

Tony Grant said...

Just a thought Jean and a trip down memory lane for me. You have now got to make a Dundee Cake. It would go down well as an alternative to Christmas Cake this year in your household, Jean. Its basically a fruit cake, as indeed a Christmas Cake is but it has a topping of almonds set in ever widening concentric circles on the top. As kids we called it "toe nail," cake because the almonds on top look like toe nails.Do not let that fact put you off. Dundee Cake looks amazing and tastes amazing. It was one of my favourite cakes as a child. Of course I still like it!!! Ha! Ha!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Tony, I haven't made Dundee Cake since I was a wee lass (well, a young bride)! Thank you for reminding me. Only young boys would think of toenails when looking at blanched almonds! So don't be surprised if I don't mention them when I get around to posting the cake someday.

Miz Helen said...

Your Bakewell Tart looks delicious, wish I had a slice right now! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday. Have a great weekend and come back soon!
Miz Helen

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Miz Helen, thank you, I will! All the best to you.

Anonymous said...

Oh! This looks wonderful, Jean. I shall have to try making it as I have never tasted a Bakewell Tart. How could the taste of raspberry and almonds go wrong! The combination is a favorite of mine.
Thanks for the recipe,
Lily

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Lily, thank you. And it's great to hear from you! I was just thinking about you yesterday. Let me know if you make this. If you like that combination, you're sure to like it. And it goes so well with black tea, especially on a brisk autumn day.

Ruth W said...

I was looking for a Bakewell Tart for Thanksgiving...but I leave the raspberry out! Yours is the perfect recipe!
Ruth

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Ruth, thank you so much. I really do think it is the perfect texture. I hope you will, too!

xinex said...

It looks so yummy. Less sugar is always more healthy....Christine

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Christine. Yes, I try to make my desserts as healthy as possible -- without wrecking them! :-)

Petra said...

Hello Jean, Thanks for visiting my blog. I've never made a Bakewell Tart, but I'm gonna try this recipe today!
Petra

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Petra, that's wonderful. And do let me know how it turns out for you!

weekend-windup said...

WOW! Yummy cake! Basically i am lazy to bake cake but love eating them.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

w-w, thanks. I'm afraid I know what you mean! :D I have my "lazy" days, too!

Swathi Iyer said...

I need to bake this may be this thanksgiving, thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop, pinning and tweeting.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Swathi, that would be a perfect meal for this dessert! Do let me know how you liked it. Thank you so much for tweeting and pinning!

Debby Ray said...

That does look quite delicious! I also enjoy watching that show :)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Debby! I like that the show is so friendly, unlike all those cutthroat competitions out there.

Mildred said...

Oh my goodness - looks delicious. Thank you for your visit and kind comment. Have a lovely evening.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Mildred, thank you. I'd be having an even lovelier evening if I still had some Bakewell Tart left!

Cocoa and Lavender said...

Jean - having only heard of, but never tasted, a Bakewell Tart, I have no informed opinion. However, my uninformed opinion is to go with your version, as I tend to avoid a lot of icing as I get older. I am definitely going to try this soon, maybe as soon as this Sunday!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

David, I hope you will make it as soon as Sunday! And do let me know how you liked it. And I'd say "avoid a lot of icing sugar as I get *wiser* (rather than older)!

Petra said...

I already mentioned it on Twitter, but I wanted to mention it here as well. This recipe is sooooo good! My whole family loved it!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Petra, thank you so much. I soooo appreciate comments, tweets, pins, etc. They really mean a lot to me.

April J Harris said...

I do find it funny how seriously people (especially Mary Berry) take the 'right' and 'wrong' ways to make a recipe. Also, I used to live near Bakewell in Derbyshire and there are two 'authentic' Bakewell Tart Shops - and the Tart / Pudding controversy is alive and well! I like Bakewell Tart more than Bakewell Pudding, but I like Bakewell Tart with icing or without. However I do tend to top it with sliced almonds because, as you said, the icing does make it very sweet and sugary. Your Bakewell Tart looks beautiful - it would be absolutely delicious and perfect for tea. Thank you for sharing with us at Hearth and Soul.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

April, thank you for weighing in on that! I think Mary's insistence on "no soggy bottoms" is important, but other than that, well, there are a number of things that really don't matter!

Choclette Blogger said...

I'm with you, icing definitely not required!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Choclette! If someone gave me a slice with icing, I'd just have to scrape the icing off!

Jan said...

Can I just come over and watch you bake and lick your bowl? haha! Thanks for sharing at Country Fair Blog Party!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Oh yes, please, Jan! That would be so fun!

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