There is something simply irresistible about its combination of shortcrust pastry with cake mixture, almonds and jam that makes it hard for me to say no. Maybe that is why every time I visit, I always come away with at least 3 – so I don’t have to forget the taste.
Well, this week I have got a real treat in store. After a bit of digging around, I have found the original recipe for Bakewell tarts – yes with all its trimmings.
Yet I do have to offer a word of caution, especially to the busy mums amongst you…
The pastry in this recipe is quite fiddly and time consuming, so many of you may find it easier to buy your shortcrust pastry pre-made to save on time. However, if you have got a whole afternoon spare to experiment, why not give this recipe a try and experience the many wonderful flavours it has got to offer.
- 125g Plain flour
- 225g Unsalted butter (75g cold and diced, 150g at room temperature)
- 175g Caster sugar
- 2 Eggs yolks
- 1 Egg white
- 3 Eggs
- 2tbsp Raspberry jam
- 150g ground almonds
- Lemon zest
- 1tbsp flakes almonds
- To make your pastry, you will first need to mix your flour, 75g of butter and 25g of your caster sugar (with a pinch of salt) in a bowl until they resemble breadcrumbs. I usually prefer to do this with my fingers as it allows me to control the consistency of the breadcrumbs as I rub the ingredients together between my fingers, but you can easily use a food processor to do this instead.
- Next add 1 of your egg yolks and a tsp of cold water to the bowl and blend together. Now at this point you can either choose to continue using your fingers or you can switch to a blender or a fork. Either way, keep mixing until all your breadcrumbs come together to form a ball of dough.
- Flatten your dough using the palm of your hand, then cover in clingfilm and store in your fridge for no more than an hour (this will help to set your dough)
- Remove your pastry from the fridge (and from the clingfilm) and lightly flour your work surface before rolling your pastry until it is roughly 3mm thick. I recommend rotating and turning your pastry over as you roll it out to prevent it from sticking to the surface or your rolling pin.
- Now this next bit can be a bit tricky as you will need to transfer your pastry to a tart tin (or a basic cake tin if you haven’t got a tart tin). I find the easiest way to move it is to place your rolling pin into the centre of the pastry, then fold the pastry over. Next lift your pastry up using the ends of your rolling pin and carefully line it up with your tin.
- Once you have got it into position, line your tin with the pastry then prick the surface several times with a fork.
- Return your pastry to the fridge to chill for 20 minutes and whilst you’re waiting pre-heat your oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4.
- After 20 minutes remove your pastry from the fridge and line it with baking parchment before covering it with baking beans (this helps to weigh the pastry down and keep it smooth). Now if you haven’t got baking beans, you can easily use something else. All you need to do is make sure your pastry is weighted down and that whatever you use can withstand the heat of your oven and won’t burn.
- Next cook your pastry base for 20 minutes, (or until your pastry takes on a pale golden colour), then remove the beans and baking parchment from the tin and brush the inside of your pastry case with your remaining egg white. Tip: you can use either a pastry brush or the base of your spoon to do this.
- Return your pastry to the oven for another 2 minutes, then set to the side to cool slightly before covering the base with your raspberry jam (or whatever flavoured jam you prefer – I sometimes use blueberry).
- After all this, you’re now ready to make your filling. In one bowl beat your 3 eggs using a fork, then (in a separate bowl) cream together your remaining butter and caster sugar until it smooth. Slowly introduce your beaten eggs and remaining egg yolk, and mix well.
- Lastly, fold in your almonds and lemon zest (both of these are optional) using a wooden spoon until thoroughly mixed.
- Carefully spoon your mixture over your pastry base and spread evenly. A clever levelling technique I use, is to smooth it over with the base of a spoon.
- Return your tart to the oven for another 20 minutes, then remove to add your flaked almonds. Finally cook for a further 15-20 minutes until your sponge is firm and serve warm.