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'm writing this post with my fingers crossed as in the last 10 days every time I was on the net my connection (?) lasted less 3 minutes ! I tried not usinf firefox and apparently......
This tart or pudding was a big success the other evening at some friends house even with the children ! We were having a ' kindergarden farewell' party as our children will start real school in September (sigh) .
I was going to use a simple peach jam I still had from last year but just as I came back home there was a jam jar on my front door saying 'ciliege 2009' (cherries) . It came from Silvia's mother who lives in Tuscany and grows all kind of organic wonders ! So I had to make it a cherry bakewell pudding !!
Makes one 23cm (9” tart)Prep time: less than 10 minutes (plus time for the individual elements)Resting time: 15 minutesBaking time: 30 minutesEquipment needed: 23cm (9”) tart pan or pie tin (preferably with ridged edges), rolling pin
One quantity sweet shortcrust pastry (recipe follows)Bench flour250ml (1cup (8 US fl. oz)) jam or curd, warmed for spreadabilityOne quantity frangipane (recipe follows)One handful blanched, flaked almonds
Assembling the tartPlace 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.
Jasmine’s notes:• If you cannot have nuts, you can try substituting Victoria sponge for the frangipane. It's a pretty popular popular cake, so you shouldn't have any troubles finding one in one of your cookbooks or through a Google search. That said, our dear Natalie at Gluten a Go Go has sourced some recipes and linked to them in the related alt.db thread.• You can use whichever jam you wish, but if you choose something with a lot of seeds, such as raspberry or blackberry, you should sieve them out.• The jam quantity can be anywhere from 60ml (1/4 cup) to 250ml (1cup), depending upon how “damp” and strongly flavoured your preserves are. I made it with the lesser quantity of home made strawberry jam, while Annemarie made it with the greater quantity of cherry jam; we both had fabulous results. If in doubt, just split the difference and spread 150ml (2/3cup) on the crust.Annemarie’s notes:• The excess shortcrust can be rolled out and cut into cookie-shapes (heck, it’s pretty darned close to a shortbread dough).
Sweet shortcrust pastry
Prep time: 15-20 minutesResting time: 30 minutes (minimum)Equipment needed: bowls, box grater, cling film
225g (8oz) all purpose flour30g (1oz) sugar2.5ml (½ tsp) salt110g (4oz) unsalted butter, cold (frozen is better)2 (2) egg yolks2.5ml (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
Jasmine’s notes:• I make this using vanilla salt and vanilla sugar.• If you wish, you can substitute the seeds of one vanilla bean, one teaspoon of vanilla paste or one teaspoon of vanilla extract for the almond extract
Prep time: 10-15 minutesEquipment needed: bowls, hand mixer, rubber spatula
125g (4.5oz) unsalted butter, softened125g (4.5oz) icing sugar3 (3) eggs2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract125g (4.5oz) ground almonds30g (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.
Annemarie’s notes:• Add another five minutes or more if you're grinding your own almonds or if you're mixing by hand (Heaven help you).