Sunday, July 02, 2006

Long live the Bakewell Tart

Andrew over at Spittoon issued a challenge, actually it was more like a plea, to hop onboard his Save the Bakewell Tart bus. It looks as if the Bakewell Tart is a dying breed- even a certain Mr. Kipling is having trouble flogging us his disgustingly sweet creation. I have to admit that I have never been a fan of the Bakewell, finding it too sweet, but hell how can I say no to a tart.

I am feeling a bit too lazy this morning to go into the history of the Bakewell Tart but these duelling sites have a thing to say on the matter (click here or here).

Since I've never made one before so I thought it best to seek the advice of professionals and after googling Bakewell Tarts, I settled on this version by Tamsin Day-Lewis from UKTV Food. It looked the part and I was looking forward to giving it a go. Then disaster struck. The washing machine decided to flood the kitchen and take me with it. Fortunately I wasn't badly hurt and once I knew I hadn't fallen onto one of my Globals, I endevoured to get on with it. I must have been more exhausted then I thought because I totally screwed up the recipe. If you look at the Tamsin Day-Lewis version and read my recipe below you may noticed that I added way too many eggs. This gave the top a slightly eggy-custardy taste and a lot of mix. This could easily make two large tarts. I also think I added too much jam. I added more since that was my complaint about them in the past. Perhaps I should have kept it to the original amount. Since there was so much excess filling I was feeling crazy and made one with fig jam but I gave it to Johanna. Hopefully she'll let me know how it was.

It wasn't a complete blowout- it was edible if a bit messy. I took it to Henley for a mini Bakewell Tart showdown but there was stiff competition. Not sure if I want to know how mine rated...

For a full round up (and most likely better versions including Andrew's tasty 'olde worlde' version made without almonds) go to Spittoon Extra.

Something that resembles a Bakewell Tart
Makes a lot- I got a tart and eight tartlets worth

1 shop bought shortcrust pastry case (you can make a second tart or use tartlet cases)

For the filling:
200 g. raspberry jam
110 g. butter
100 g. sugar
110 g. ground almonds
4 egg yolks
3 eggs
1 tsp. almond extract
flaked almonds to decorate

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Spread the jam over the bottom of the pastry case.

Whisk the sugar, ground almonds, almond extract, eggs and extra yolks until well mixed.

Melt the butter and pour into the egg mixture. Whisk until smooth.

Pour the mix over the jam, filling as high as possible.

Bake for 20 minutes at 180C then turn the heat up to 200C and bake for a further 15 minutes. The top should be lightly browned.

Sprinkle the flaked almonds on top 5 minutes before the tart is finished.

Let it cool before serving.


CB said...

Well Xoch, your Bakewell 'Custard' certainly elicited a lot of 'hmmmms' which has to be a great sign!

Cindy said...

Your tart does look very good, I'd love to eat a pice :)

Xochitl said...

Thanks Cindy and CB. It seems to be a hit with the Silver Set. The Boy's gran gave it thumbs up. I'm planning to try again- I promise to report back.

anna said...

Your tarts look very nice. Homemade ones are so much better than Mr. Kiplings' efforts aren't they?

Anonymous said...

I'm a Malaysian woman married to an English man. Found this page and tried your recipe for Bakewell Tart. It was awesome. I made my own shortcrust pastry for the first time and that came out excellent as well. Thanks a million.

jenjen said...

i must stop my procrastinating and get on with making this tart, yours is making me crave one of my own.

Xochitl said...

Hi Anna,

I wholeheartedly agree- homemade Bakewells are the way to go. The reason I hated Bakewells before was because I'd had the mass produced variety.

Xochitl said...

Hello Ms. Anonymous,

Welcome to my little world of food! I'm really happy to hear that you had success with my Bakewell tart. I hope it reminded your hubby of Bakewells of his youth. Well done on the homemade shortcrust pastry!


Xochitl said...


Get going on a tart! Take a shortcut and get a good quality pastry case- doing the rest is easy. A slice of tart and a cuppa- it'll hit the spot!


Jeanne said...

Hi Xochitl! Your tarts won absolutely hands down in the looks stakes - they were gorgeous! I'm very sorry I didn't get to try the fig one, only the raspberry one :-( I think if we learned anything in "The Big Bakewell Taste-Off", it was that variations on a theme are definitely a good thing. Can't wait for Andrew to declare a Gooey Chocolate Cake Day or something... :o)

Xochitl said...

Hi Jeanne,

Thanks for the compliment- your bakewell slices were tasty and very practical for a picnic. I didn't get to try the fig one either. I guess it just means I'll have to make more.


Anonymous said...

hey there Xoch,
My husband and his english friends really loved the tart. I've made them 3 times already. Thanks again. The pastry is so easy to make as well. I'll be trying out your other recipes.

Anonymous said...

I would like to correct you,in Bakewell it's allways called a BAKEWELL PUDDING. Not a tart.But whats in a name they taste delicious.