Saturday, June 27, 2009

June Daring Bakers Challenge -- Bakewell

The June Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie ofAmbrosia 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.
The tart or pudding (as it is called both in the UK) has a long interesting history -- according to Wikipedia, "The origins of the Bakewell Tart are not clear, however the generally accepted story is that it was first made by accident in 1820 when the landlady of the White Horse Inn, left instructions for her cook to make a jam tart. The cook, instead of stirring the eggs and almond paste mixture into the pastry, spread it on top of the jam. When cooked the jam rose through the paste. The result was successful enough for it to become a popular dish at the inn. The name is believed to have come from a customer who decided that the tart was "baked well" thus the inn called it their "Bakewell" tart."
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 was a combination of the two: a sweet almond-flavoured shortcrust pastry, frangipane and jam.

I made my Bakewell Tart with a homemade strawberry jam:

Ingredients for strawberry jam:

1 cup fresh strawberries hulled,sliced, and rinsed.
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch

Place strawberries in a medium saucepan and add sugar, stir well. Do not add any water. Heat to a medium simmer and mash down strawberries with a wooden spoon until they resemble thick puree. In a small bowl add 1 tsp water to the corn starch, mix well and them drizzle corn starch water into the strawberries. Simmer and stir strawberries until the juice thickens. Allow to cool. Store in refrigerator.

Ingedients for the 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.

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 center 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

Ingredients for the Frangipane Topping:

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 color 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. 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 color.

Assembling the tart:

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.

Even though I cooked my tart for the allotted time the frangipane did not become spongy in the middle, but remained more like a pudding! So in a way my Bakewell Tart was a bit of both.
The next time I make this I will probably use small tart pans, as that should help the frangipane cook firmer, and I'd also use a little less strawberry jam in the filling
As my husband and I love the taste of almonds we found the Bakewell tart/pudding was absolutely delicious!

This challenge was a unique baking experience for me, as I never cooked by weighing ingredients before, and grating the cold butter into the flour mixture to make the tart crust was a new technique that I will use again. Thank you Jasmine and Annemarie! Your choice of a Bakewell was a success!

Please visit The Daring Kitchen website to learn more about the Daring Bakers and the Daring Cooks Challenges, and visit some of the other blogs on the blogroll that participated in the June Challenge to see their fabulous Bakewell Tarts/Puddings

There is also a recipe archive, FAQ's, a forum, cookbook reviews and lots more on The Daring Kitchen web site, and you can also register to join in on future challenges. Hope to see your creation next time!


aliceinparis said...

I love almonds and strawberries and cream!!!!!! That would be a dessert I'd love!!!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Bakewell tarts are new to me but it somewhat reminds me of some Italian crostate that I've had. Looks wonderful, especially with homemade jam and that almond topping.

Susan @ SGCC said...

Your tart looks so beautiful! I love the strawberry filling. What a great combination of flavors! Simply heavenly!

Lisa Michelle said...

Pat, mine came out in between, sort of soft, but with bite, but this was what the opinions were of those i gave them aay to, since my appetite hasn't been up to par. However, your tart is gorgeous!!! It looks like it came out of a high end bakery in Trafalgar Square (Do they have high end bakeries in the square? LOL) It really does have a crostata feel and look to it, and strawberry filling, like I did on so yummy!

As for the Yanks, I was supposd to go on the 14th against the Mets, but woke up sick. My next xhance is the 40th (knock wood). I hope they keep playing like this, although what I saw against the Nats and Marlins stunned me..ack! However, I won't let 'the cruel breakup' stop me from getting to the game on the 30th if I have the chance to go. Enough is enough!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A beautiful tart! I bet it tasted great!

Nice banner, by the way!



Lynn said...

You cooker-people just amaze me!
If I spent all that time and energy making those, I smack anyone who at them!!!
My family makes "Tartlette" jokes all the time.
Yours look yum.

Lynn said...

ATE I meant "ATE!"

Also i want to thank you for not making me write that nonsense squiggly word to post my comment!

Tara said...

Wow, Pat--what a recipe! Really looks delicious!

Yes, school is finally over and today first day of official summer...the past month was crazy so I have been unable to post and get around to visit, truly hope all is well with you! Tara

ARLENE said...

I'm an almond lover, too. I think I'd have preferred your tart to other bakewell tarts I've had, which were dry. The pudding-like texture sounds delicious.

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

I love the idea of dusting the top with the ground almonds. Very nice!

I can't believe I'm admiting to this...but my "pudding/tart" is just in the oven NOW. At least I'll make the deadline, lol! :-) I bought a scale yesterday and it was I had to guesstimate the ingredients. Ugh! I think I screwed the crust up (seemed dry) but at least it appears to be baking. I'm bringing it to a dinner party so if it stinks I'll never admit I brought it. ;-)

Hope you're having a great weekend!!

Sue said...

Hi Pat...this looks delicious..You always make the best looking stuff...Now I'm off to see all the posts that I have missed and get my fix of your great tours of N.Y....Sue.

Liza said...

Hi, my first time here and found myself staying awhile just to hear your music. What a lovely selection of songs.

BTW, that recipe looks fantastic. Can anyone join the Daring club?

Tracy said...

LOVE Bakewell tart! And thank you for this great recipe, Pat! I've been looking for recipes for this--there are so many, with slight variations out there. This had me thinking about hubby & I's trip to England last summer--a year ago already. I want to go back now for another slice of Bakewell tart. Guess I could make some in the meantime... ;o) Happy weekend, my friend ((HUGS))

Beverly said...

Will you bake me one of these? Pretty please with sugar on it. ;-)

black eyed susans kitchen said...

ooohhh, that looks so good!
♥, Susan

jasmine said...

Glad you liked the challenge--and happy you're taking the grated butter technique with you.

Thanks for participating.


dana said...

I am not a great cook, but I am intrigued by the process--this was so much fun to read....wish I could have just a little bite!!

Your trip to the beach with your son and family looked PERFECT!! What a peaceful outing.

Hope all is well, Dana

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Hi Pat,
I'm still trying to recover from my trip and catch up! Your recipe looks delicious! I need to do some catching up on your other posts...I see that cute little Leo in the post below!
:) Diane

Anonymous said...

Wow that was a work of art.

Cynthia said...

Wow Pat, that is one incredible tart...way too advanced for my simple baking skill. It is beautiful to look at too.

Today, I made some banana nut bread for our evening treat. (We have plenty of bananas that need used up here in Puerto Rico.)

I gave you an award over at Oasis Writing Link (OWL) blog. You don't have to do anything, I just wanted to acknowledge your friendly outgoing manner.

I do hope you have time to read my post though. (I appreciated your warm comment on my blog this week.) Take care <3

Anonymous said...

Well done pat it looks gorgeous with the strawberries. You can buy mini (cup cake size) bakewell tarts in boxes of 6 where they have added a layer of icing and a central cherry. They're good on picnics.

Strider said...

Looks usual! Any neat History stuff coming up for the 4th on your blog?

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Pat, I will be right over... fork in hand!!! Oh, delicious!


Sheila :-)

Marg said...

This would be a perfect post for Canada Day! We will all begin to celebrate these special birthdays and I know that would complement my event coming up shortly.
UPS please....

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Yum! That looks amazing...and most tempting...and your photos are beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Proud Italian Cook said...

I've never heard of a bakewell tart before, it's new to me also!
One look at it, and I instantly want a piece!

Vee said...

You always share the most intriguing recipes. This is no exception and certainly does look wonderful! But, I'm all about easy and clafouti will have to be the closest I come to this.

Junie Moon said...

What an amazing job you did with this challenge. I so wanted to try it, but our annual pool party and vacation plans consumed all my extra time. So, I let this challenge go by.