The June Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict & Annemarie of Ambrosia & 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.
Recipe origins: Traditional (UK)
Inspirations & References: Allan Davidson, Tamasin Day Lewis, Anton Edelmann, Jane Grigson, Nigella Lawson & Jamie Oliver
Hostess: Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict
Co-hostess: Annemarie of Ambrosia & Nectar
From our hosts: “Bakewell tarts…er…puddings combine a number of dessert elements but still let you show off your area’s seasonal fruits.
Like many regional dishes there’s no “one way” to make a Bakewell Tart…er…Pudding, but most of today’s versions fall within one of two types. The first is the “pudding” where a layer of jam is covered by an almondy pastry cream & baked in puff pastry. The second is the “tart” where a rich shortcrust pastry holds jam & an almondy sponge cake-like filling.
The version we’re daring you to make is a combination of the 2: a sweet almond-flavoured shortcrust pastry, frangipane & jam. The term “Bakewell pudding” was first penned in 1826 by Meg Dods; 20 years later Eliza Acton published a recipe that featured a baked rich egg custard overtop 2cm of jam & noted,
‘This pudding is famous not only in Derbyshire, but in several of our northern counties where it is usually served on all holiday occasions.’ By the latter half of the 1800s, the egg custard evolved into a frangipane-like filling; since then the quantity of jam decreased while the almond filling increased. This tart, like many of the world’s great foods has its own mythic beginnings…or several mythic beginnings. Legend has it in 1820 (or was it in the 1860s?) Mrs. Greaves, landlady of The White Horse Inn in Bakewell, Derbyshire (England), asked her cook to produce a pudding for her guests. Either her instructions could have been clearer or he should have paid better attention to what she said because what he made was not what she asked for. The cook spread the jam on top of the frangipane mixture rather than the other way around. Or maybe instead of a sweet rich shortcrust pastry case to hold the jam for a strawberry tart, he made a regular pastry & mixed the eggs & sugar separately & poured that over the jam—it depends upon which legend you follow. Regardless of what the venerable Mrs. Greaves’ cook did or didn’t do, lore has it that her guests loved it & an ensuing pastry-clad industry was born. The town of Bakewell has since played host to many a sweet tooth in hopes of tasting the tart in its natural setting. Bakewell tarts are a classic English dessert, abounding in supermarket baking sections & in ready-made, mass-produced forms, some sporting a thick sugary icing & glazed cherry on top for decorative effect. Enjoy it with a cup of tea or coffee or just eat it sneaky slice by sneaky slice until, to your chagrin, you realise the whole tart has somehow disappeared despite you never having pulled out a plate, fork or napkin with which to eat it.”
I am very glad that I made mini tarts, otherwise I would’ve had the problem of the sneaky bite by sneaky bite & realizing that I had eaten the whole thing! These are mighty tasty. I am going to make this one again, but try to replace the Earth Balance with fruit puree to lighten the fat content a bit.
More from our hosts: “The etymology of pudding is a rather interesting & slightly convoluted one. The naming confusion may come from the British manner of referring to the dessert course as ‘pudding’ (as well as referring to fat babies by the same name, though we don’t think that is what was the inspiration in this case). & so any dessert is a pudding until another name comes along & adds clarity to what it really is.”
For the challenge, we had to make a Sweet Shortcrust Pastry, by hand, please. We also needed to make the Frangipane. We had the option of making a homemade jam or curd, which I sort of did. I used a homemade “almond-ella” which I had made for last months challenge, I also had 2 yummy jams in the fridge that I had bought, so I used those. This recipe comes together quickly & easily. I recommend making the shortbread crust first because it needs to rest in the fridge for a bit. While that is resting, you can make your own jam & the frangipane. You can go here: www.thedaringkitchen.com to see the original recipe. Below is my adaptations & changes:
Yield: 12 mini tarts
Prep time: less than 10 minutes (plus time for the individual elements)
Resting time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Equipment needed: 23cm (9”) tart pan or pie tin (preferably with ridged edges), rolling pin
One quantity sweet shortcrust pastry (recipe follows)
Flour for dusting
250ml (1cup (8 US fl. oz)) jam or curd, warmed for spreadability
One quantity frangipane (recipe follows)
One handful blanched, sliced 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 warm up for about 15 minutes before you roll it out. Flour the rolling pin & roll the pastry to ¼” thickness, by rolling in one direction only (start from the center & roll away from you), & turning the disc a quarter turn after each roll. When the pastry is to the desired size & thickness, transfer it to the tart pan, press in & trim the excess dough. Patch any holes, fissures or tears with trimmed bits. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes. For mini tarts, cut out rounds that fit your muffin tin, or silicone mini tart pan.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Remove shell from freezer, spread as even a layer as you can of jam/almond-ella onto the pastry base. Top with frangipane, spreading to cover the entire surface of the tart. Smooth the top & pop into the oven for 20 minutes. Five minutes before the tart is done, the top will be poofy & brownish. Remove from oven & strew flaked almonds on top & return to the heat for the last 5 minutes of baking.
The finished tart will have a golden crust & the frangipane will be tanned, poofy & a bit spongy-looking. Remove from the oven & cool on the counter. Serve warm or room temperature. You may drizzle with a little more almond-ella, if desired. When you slice into the tart, the almond paste will be firm, but slightly squidgy & the crust should be crisp but not tough.
Notes from our hosts:
• If you cannot have nuts, you can try substituting Victoria sponge for the frangipane. It’s a pretty 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 & 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 (¼ cup) to 250ml (1cup), depending upon how “damp” & 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 & spread 150ml (2/3cup) on the crust.
• The excess shortcrust can be rolled out & cut into cookie-shapes (heck, it’s pretty darned close to a shortbread dough).
Sweet shortcrust pastry
Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes (minimum)
Equipment needed: bowls, box grater, cling wrap
8oz whole wheat pastry flour
½ tsp salt
4oz Earth Balance, frozen
¼ cup soy yogurt
½ tsp almond extract (optional)
1-2 TBSP cold water
- Sift together flour, sugar & salt. Grate butter into the flour mixture, using the large hole-side of a box grater (this really does work best). Using your finger tips only, & working very quickly, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.
- Lightly beat the soy yogurt with the almond extract (if using) & quickly mix into the flour mixture. Keep mixing while dribbling in the water, only adding enough to form a cohesive & slightly sticky dough. I had to use 3 TBSP of water since it was so dry here.
- Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling & refrigerate for at least 30 minutes
• I make this using vanilla salt & vanilla sugar.
• If you wish, you can substitute the seeds of one vanilla bean, 1 tsp of vanilla paste or 1 tsp of vanilla extract for the almond extract
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Equipment needed: bowls, hand mixer, rubber spatula
4.5oz Earth Balance, softened (this is 1 stick and about 1 tsp)
4.5oz powdered sugar
1 ½ TBSP Ener-g Egg Replacer
1/3 cup warm water
½ tsp almond extract
4.5oz ground almonds
1oz whole wheat pastry flour
- Cream butter & sugar together for about a minute or until the mixture is fluffy. Scrape down the side of the bowl.
- Whisk together the egg replacer & warm water, add to the butter mixture, a little 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 of the egg replacer is in, pour in the almond extract & mix for about another 30 seconds & scrape down the sides again. With the beaters on, spoon in the ground nuts & the flour. Mix well. The mixture will be soft, keep its slightly curdled look (mostly from the almonds) & retain its pallid yellow colour.
For my toppings, I used some leftover hazelnut praline, pine nuts & slivered almonds. For my fillings, I used almond-ella, peach, mango, orange jam, and apricot jam. They were all yummy! Not sure which my fav is, I really liked them all. I think a little peanut butter mixed with the jam & topped with the frangipane would be good too, but I didn’t try it. Enjoy!