Welcome to our comprehensive guide on Bakewell tart, a cherished British dessert that has stood the test of time. In this article, we will explore the origins, ingredients, baking techniques, and serving suggestions for this delectable treat. Get ready to indulge in a slice of Bakewell tart heaven!
The History of Bakewell Tart
The history of Bakewell tart dates back to the town of Bakewell in Derbyshire, England. While its exact origins are debated, it is believed to have been created in the mid-19th century. The tart is said to have emerged from a happy baking accident when a cook misunderstood a recipe and inadvertently created this delightful combination of flavors.
Shortcrust Pastry: The Foundation
Bakewell tart starts with a buttery and crumbly shortcrust pastry base. This pastry serves as the foundation for the tart, providing a delicate texture and a perfect contrast to the sweet filling.
Raspberry Jam: The Fruitful Layer
A generous layer of raspberry jam is spread over the pastry base, adding a burst of fruity sweetness. Traditionally, raspberry jam is used, but variations with strawberry or blackberry jam can also be enjoyed.
Frangipane Filling: The Almond Delight
The star of the Bakewell tart is the luscious frangipane filling. Made from a mixture of ground almonds, butter, sugar, and eggs, it creates a moist, nutty, and velvety layer that harmonizes beautifully with the tart’s other elements.
Flaked Almonds: The Crunchy Garnish
To enhance both the visual appeal and the texture, Bakewell tart is adorned with a scattering of flaked almonds on top of the frangipane filling. These toasted almond flakes add a delightful crunch to each bite.
Step 1: Preparing the Pastry
Start by making the shortcrust pastry by combining flour, butter, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Gently knead the dough until it comes together, then chill it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Roll out the pastry and carefully line a tart tin with it, pressing it into the edges and trimming any excess.
Step 2: Adding the Layers
Spread a generous amount of raspberry jam evenly over the pastry base. Next, prepare the frangipane filling by creaming together the ground almonds, butter, sugar, and eggs. Pour this mixture over the jam layer, ensuring it covers the tart evenly. Finally, sprinkle a handful of flaked almonds on top.
Step 3: Baking to Perfection
Preheat the oven and bake the Bakewell tart at a moderate temperature until the pastry turns golden and the frangipane filling is set and slightly golden on top. The baking time typically ranges from 30 to 40 minutes.
Traditional Slicing and Serving
Once the Bakewell tart has cooled, slice it into generous portions. Traditionally, it is enjoyed on its own or accompanied by a dollop of clotted cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The tart can be served at room temperature or slightly warmed.
While the classic Bakewell tart recipe is a delight in itself, you can also experiment with creative variations. Some ideas include adding a layer of fresh raspberries or strawberries before the frangipane filling or incorporating a hint of almond extract for an intensified almond flavor.
Bakewell tart is a timeless British dessert that exemplifies the perfect balance of flavors and textures. Its buttery pastry, sweet raspberry jam, luscious frangipane filling, and crunchy almond topping make it a true indulgence for the senses. Whether enjoyed at afternoon tea, as a dessert, or as a special treat, Bakewell tart continues to captivate dessert lovers around the world.