Saturday, June 27, 2009

Bakewell Pudding: DB June Challenge

This month's challenge was very personal for me. After a sentimental Daring Cooks Challenge, this DB challenge was also something dear to my heart. My memories of Bakewell Tarts starts from as early as I can remember. These are a MUST at our Christmas table.

Bakewell tarts are what Santa ate every year he came to visit our house. Memories of crumbs strewn about the kitchen table in the morning when I would come down to see the sleigh tracks and reindeer prints.

Last year was the first year I tried my hand at making these. My sister and I made them together being the pastry whiz that she is. They turned out rather successful if I do say so myself.

Unfortunately my Dad is in England at the moment visiting my sister, so the actual taste tester is not available for comment.

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.

Thanks ladies for letting us bring some of Christmas cheer a little early this year.

Bakewell Tart…er…Pudding:

Makes one 23cm (9” tart)Prep time: less than 10 minutes (plus time for the individual elements)

Resting time: 15 minutesBaking time: 30 minutes

Equipment needed:

23cm (9”) tart pan or pie tin (preferably with ridged edges)
rolling pin
1 quantity sweet shortcrust pastry (recipe follows)
Bench flour250ml (1cup (8 US fl. oz))
Jam or curd, warmed for spreadability
1 quantity frangipane (recipe follows)
1 handful blanched, flaked almonds

Assembling the tart:

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.
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.

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 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. 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

Prep time: 10-15 minutes

Equipment needed: bowls, hand mixer, rubber spatula

125g (4.5oz) unsalted butter, softened
125g (4.5oz) icing sugar
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. 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.


Sue Sparks said...

Your tarts look adorable and yummy too! Great job on the challenge!

jessicajlee said...

Mmmm! Way to go traditional with the frosting.

Suzy said...

Your traditional little tarts look precious! I am eating Bakewell tarts for the first time, but I can easily see how they might be a "go to" family recipe, kind of like a cobbler or bread pudding in my southern family. Nice post.

Lou @ Happy Food said...

Love your Bakewell tarts, with the frosting and cherry on the top. They remind me of ones you can get here in the UK..

Congratulations :)

Dragon said...

Your tarts are lovely! Great job on this month's challenge.

ice tea: sugar high said...

I always love baking something that is dear to the heart, made it even more special. Great job on the bakewell, they look fantastic.


Thanks everyone! for the sweet comments.

Jo said...

Your tarts look so cute with the icing and cherry on the top. Great job and it sure does look moist and delicious.

sweetakery said...

your tarts look beautiful! yumm