Saturday, June 27, 2009

Daring Baker’s Make Bakewell Tart…er…Pudding

flickr bakewell tart 1

My Bakewell Tart with homemade Lemon Curd!

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.

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 and baked in puff pastry. The second is the “tart” where a rich shortcrust pastry holds jam and an almondy sponge cake-like filling.

The version we were dared to make is a combination of the two: a sweet almond-flavoured shortcrust pastry, frangipane and jam.

Well I survived this challenge but just barely. I messed up a lot of things but I have to tell you it seems incredibly forgiving! Did I like it? No not really but that could just have been due to all of my mess ups. It is really everything it says it is suppose to be. On the real plus side I made Lemon Curd again and really, love it!!!

First I will give you the recipe and the directions and at the end I will tell you all of the wonderful ways that I messed this one up!

Bakewell Tart…er…Pudding

Makes one 23cm (9” tart)
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)
Bench flour
250ml (1cup (8 US fl. oz)) jam or curd, warmed for spreadability
One quantity frangipane (recipe follows)
One handful blanched, flaked 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 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.
• 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 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes (minimum)
Equipment needed: bowls, box grater, cling film

225g (8oz) all purpose flour
30g (1oz) sugar
2.5ml (½ tsp) salt
110g (4oz) unsalted butter, cold (frozen is better)
2 (2) egg yolks
2.5ml (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 minutes
Equipment needed: bowls, hand mixer, rubber spatula

125g (4.5oz) unsalted butter, softened
125g (4.5oz) icing sugar
3 (3) eggs
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract
125g (4.5oz) ground almonds
30g (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.

flickr bakewell tart 2

My self-inflicted woes:

  • My first batch of lemon curd scrambled on me giving me lemon flavored scrambled eggs. Nothing really at all appealing about that except when you turn it into Lemon Curd Custard Style Ice Cream (post to come)
  • Could not for the life of me figure out the measurements. Must have been something wrong with my brain but even using the scale wasn’t helping me…
  • Made the crust but even after it being in the fridge for longer than 30 minutes (I played a game of scrabble with the girls) there was no way it was rolling anywhere! I ended up placing it in the pan and pressing it in. Even then it was really sticky. Into the freezer it went.
  • Preheated the oven to 200 degrees. Yep you read that right. I heated the oven to 200 degrees and didn’t notice my mistake for a long, long time!
  • Was making the frangipane and when I went to weigh out the almonds I realized that I was short. Very short. About halfway short. I had some chopped up pecans in the pantry so those got thrown in to the food processor and ground. I probably could have ground the nuts to a much smoother texture but really at that point my head was totally someplace else.
  • I pulled the crust from the freezer and spread my freshly made and perfect lemon curd on top and topped it with my very dark but fluffy frangipane and placed all this in the oven that is set at 200 degrees and set the timer for 20 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes I checked on the tart. Nothing had happened! That’s when logic seemed to filter through the haze and I realized that the 200 degrees was Celsius and not Fahrenheit and that my oven should have been at 400F!!!!!!!!
  • Turned the oven up to 400F and crossed my fingers. After about 20 minutes it had browned up nicely but I think that the 15 minutes of soaking time at 200F had made the crust soggy.

All in all this was a good challenge. It certainly challenged me and isn’t that what all of this is about? Thanks to Annemarie and Jasmine for hosting this challenge!!!

This will be served for dessert to some friends tomorrow night and I am sure they won’t be anywhere near as critical as I am and will love it!

As Always…

Happy Entertaining!!!



Ria Mathew said...

But it really doesn't look like you messed it up Judy!! :) The tart still looks nice and delicious! :)

Susan @ SGCC said...

Sorry you had so many mishaps with this, Judy. Sometimes, it happens to all of us. Despite your troubles, it really looks great! I love that you made homemade lemon curd for it. I just opened a jar. ;)

Dharm said...

It looks just fine Judy! We loved the tart over here...
Imagine if you had got the temperature right?! I've always wondered why they cant just keep temperatures as C or F... it just gives so much room for error. Then factor in that US spoon sizes differ from UK spoons and even Aust spoons and you have even more stuff to deal with! I'm waiting for your lemon curd icecream now!!

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

Like they all said, it looks fine to me. And I'm sure it will taste just as good.
As for getting rattled whent hings go wrong, I'm like that too. :)
Taking a deep breath helps (sometimes).
And I still bake with cups and spoons. :D

anna said...

It looks like you managed to make something very tasty even with the difficulties you had. And I can't wait to hear about the lemon custard ice cream!

Jamie said...

I just read another blogger's post about this and she also had problems and said that it was indeed a forgiving recipe! Foolproof even after a series of mishaps? My kind of baking!

Anyway, love the lemon curd layer. Must have made it so tasty. And I think it looks great!

Deeba PAB said...

They are gonna absolutely love it darling! Must have been one of those days with the head in the clouds situation...lOL!! You are quite the dramatic daring baker & I love how well it came out despite the hiccups! Tweet me the outcome. waiting for the ice-cream post coz I made lemon curd too, on your recommendation. xoxo

tinyskillet said...

It looks like a masterpiece after all the mishaps (sitting there so innocent). Who knows on another day things probably would go so smooth as silk. I think that's why I like to cook rather than bake, (it's more forgiving) but you took on the challenge well. I like how you improvised, shows how tallented you are. I've tried Aussie recipes before and the conversions are different to work with. They use grams, ml, their teaspoons size is different and the ingredients are different (like minced meat and the sugars etc..) but I loved it.
My lemon tree gets so full of lemons that I've learned to make lemon curd, my specialty dessert for Christmas now is Lemon Cream Pie, that's when the lemons are ready to go!
I agree with Jamie, I think it looks great and I'd try it in a heartbeat! Your friends will love it!

Arundathi said...

The exact same thing happened with my pastry - it was nowhere near rolling consistency and I had to press it, bit by bit! And my oven acted up, making it all too dark. But it tasted great in the end!

Thistlemoon said...

I think it looks great, Judy and I think it would have been fun to make such a traditional dessert!

Jen said...

It looks lovely - you'd never know there were any difficulties. I'm always in such awe of you DBs!

lisa (dandysugar) said...

Sorry you had mishaps, but your tart is lovely. Love the lemon curd! It looks delicious!

Maureen Reynolds said...

I've loved having Bakewell Tarts whenever I've been in England but I've never had one with lemon curd on the bottom. I think it's usually been raspberry jam - with seeds. This recipe is worth it just for the frangipane. Yuuuummmmm.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A beautiful tart! Very well done!



glamah16 said...

Hey some days are like that. But it all worked out in the end. Love the idea od lemon curd here.

Lisa said...

I think your tart looks perfect, especially the layer of lemon curd beneath the perfect frangipane, and I bet it tasted great too!

Amy J. said...

Great job - and sometimes you just have "those kind" of days. I sure couldn't tell by looking at your pics, though! Hope your friends loved it!

ice tea: sugar high said...

looks pretty darn good to me =)

Maggie said...

Your persistence in the face of that much trouble is impressive! Your final lemon curd looks perfect and I bet the touch of pecan flavor was delicious with it.