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.
This tart has changed my life. Since I was introduced to this fruity, sweet, nutty, crumbly, sticky, SUMPTUOUS tart, I have gained 10 kilos. All within a month. My tastebuds are ALIVE, but my heart is going to give out any moment now.
So... that's not so much an exaggeration, as an outright lie: I have, so far, only made this tart once, but it was a delicious once, and my tastebuds have now officially sworn fealty to the Church of Bakewell.
Confession: I initially thought this tart would be a little dull and dry. Boy, was I wrong. By the powers of each individual element of this tart combined (yes, it's a loose referece to Captain Planet), we have a winner. The fruitiness of the jam and the moist, fluffy, frangipane are a match made in heaven.
So, as you now already know, the Bakewell Tart...erm... Pudding (pudding vs tart is the subject of great debate, I am lead to believe) was our Daring Bakers challenge for the month of June. Whilst the tart itself really had to remain the same, we were given the choice of any jam we wanted to use. I decided to use rhubarb and ginger jam, hence its appearance a couple of weeks ago on this very blog. The tartness of this jam breaks through the sweetness of the frangipane, balancing the flavours of this tart perfectly.
This is actually my first ever crack at a tart. Though essentially not too different from pies, they are, like, TOTALLY different, so it's a big thing for me! It was a fantastic one to cut my teeth on. Where once I wasn't sure, I now cannot recommend this classic British dessert highly enough.
Rhubarb & Ginger Bakewell Tart... erm... Pudding
Makes 6 10cm/4" tarts
- 1 Quantity of Rhubarb & Ginger Jam
- Handful flaked almonds
For the Pastry:
- 225g all purpose flour
- 110g butter
- 30g sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1-2 tbspn cold water
- 30g sugar
- 2.5ml (1/2 tsp) salt
For the Frangipane:
- 125g unsalted butter, softened
- 125g icing sugar
- 125g ground almonds
- 3 eggs
- 30g flour
- 1/2 tsp almond extract/essence
To make the pastry, grate the butter into a large bowl and add the flour. Working quickly, rub the butter into the flour using your finger tips. Once the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, add in the sugar and egg yolks, and mix until the dough comes together. If the mixture is still not wet enough to form a cohesive pastry dough, add in the extra water, a tablespoon at a time. Aim to use as little water as possible. If you have the gadget, and can't be bothered (fair enough if you ask me!) you can make the pastry by pulsing the flour and butter together, the adding the other ingredients, and again, pulsing, until the dough comes together.
Trivia: I had a processor for 2 years before I was finally told it could 'rub' the butter in for me. Duh. It changed my LIFE (yes, I've been struck with a touch of the melodramas).
Flatten the pastry into a rough disc, wrap in cling wrap, and stick it in the fridge. You can now leave it for a day, or continue to on to the finished tart: choose your own adventure.
Ok, now for the frangipane. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Resist the urge to eat the mixture (don't give me that look, it's YUMMY and you know it). Add the eggs in one at a time, beating well after each addition. The mix will appear to curdle, but it's fine: we'll fix this in a moment. Now, add your flour, almond meal, and, if using, almond essence. Beat until combined, and stop. Voila! Your very own frangipane. Aren't you proud?
To assemble your tart, remove your pastry from the fridge, and divide into 6 even parts. On a floured surface roll each portion of the pastry out to 5mm (1/5")thick discs and line your tart tins. At this point, stick the tarts in the freezer for 15 minutes. Preheat your oven to 200C (conventional).
Remove the tarts from the freezer and add 2-3 tbspn's of jam to the base of each tart and spread it out evenly. You can really add this to taste. If you want death-by-jam, go for it, just remember to leave room for the frangipane.
On top of your jam, smooth on frangipane. I overfilled my tarts every time. It's only on a third attempt that I filled them correctly and got the photo above! Be aware: the frangipane melts and puffs up, creating a smooth domed surface. For this reason, make sure the frangipane doesn't come up over the edges of the tart when you're filling, or you will have spillage.
Bake your tarts for 25 minutes. Sprinkle the flaked almonds over the top of the tart, and bake for a further 5 minutes.
When ready, the tart will be a gorgeous golden brown. Eat hot or cold and enjoy!
You can, of course, substitute the jam for any of your liking. I really liked the rhubarb as it's tart and stops the pudding from being oversweet.
Before I used the pastry for the tarts, I used some to make individual apple pies, and didn't like it. It just didn't do it for me, but, when used for the Bakewell Tart it was transformed into something TRANSCENDANT. 3 thumbs up :)