Sometimes you’re watching a TV programme and you see something that you know you need to make as soon as possible. It happened to me this week when I saw the BBC’s Hairy Bikers new series “The Hairy Bakers” making a rather lovely looking bakewell tart.
I have previously made cherry bakewells and know from my blog stats that it’s the most popular item on my site – well this recipe is the more grown up sibling!
Any recipe that uses 11 eggs, 5o0g of almonds, 250g of butter and almost a whole jar of jam can’t be bad, which is just as well as this is not a cheap bake! But I need to correct myself - saying this tart isn’t ‘bad’ is a bit like saying Usain Bolt can ‘run a bit’ or Frank Sinatra could ‘hold a tune’ or Cary Grant ‘was an ok actor’ – you get my drift! This is a stunner!
You have to be generous with this jam, like this:
One word of warning – the pastry is not very friendly. The addition of almonds to the pastry adds an extra texture which I really liked but all that butter makes it very short i.e. a nightmare to roll out but a joy to eat. My advice? I suppose it can be broken down to four points:
· Chill it for at least 30 minutes before you roll it out;
· Flour the pastry even if you roll it out between two pieces of baking paper;
· Think soothing thoughts;
· Remember that it doesn’t matter if it tears or you have to press it into the tin by hand because, once the topping is in place, no one will see it.
I had to do some patchwork work with my pastry but, because it’s so buttery, it patches easily – look how well it came out:
The filling is so packed with almonds that in our current, extreme humidity, it drew the almond oil out making the tart super moist:
It’s arduous writing this blog – mmmmm, bakewell tart...
250g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
50g ground almonds
Pinch of salt
2 egg yolks
For the filling:
400g ground almonds
175g caster sugar
8 eggs, beaten
½ teaspoon almond extract
Raspberry jam to taste – I used almost the whole jar
50g flaked almonds
How to make:
- Make the pastry: place the flour, butter, sugar, almonds and salt in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add the egg and pulse again. Then add the yolks. Pulse until a smooth pastry is formed. The dough is very shiny and moist – this is because of the butter and the almonds.
- Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
- You will need a 23cm loose bottom flan tin that is about 3cm deep. As the pastry has so much butter in it there is no need to grease the tin.
- However you like to roll out pastry i.e. on a marble board, between two pieces of baking paper or clingfilm, ensure that you flour the surface.
- Roll the pastry out, gently at first to minimise cracking. It will crack a lot around the edges but, as it warms, the pastry in the middle will be beautiful.
- Line the tart tin with the pastry. Don’t worry if you have to patch it, the important thing is to ensure there are no holes. Prick the pastry base with a fork. (I found I had a lot of pastry left over, so froze it – I reckon it will be enough for a small tart or individual tarts).
- Line the pastry with baking paper then add baking beads. Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and remove the paper and beads. If the pastry looks wet or raw return to the oven, uncovered, for a further 2 minutes.
- Trim the pastry to the tin and put to one side while you make the filling.
- Reduce the oven to 165°C/fan oven 145°C/315°F/Gas mark 2-3.
- Now make the filling: Mix together the ground almonds and caster sugar then add the eggs and the almond extract. Mix well.
- When the pastry is cool, spread the jam over the base.
- Pour the filling onto the jam and top with the flaked almonds.
- Bake for 25-35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Mine took 35 minutes and I found that, because of the low temperature the top didn’t get very golden.
- Leave to cool completely on a wire rack and serve either warm with custard or ice cream, or at room temperature with cream.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.