Classic Bakewell Tart is one of Britain’s favorite confections. A simple, short crust pastry tart shell is layered with strawberry jam, topped with frangipane, almonds and baked to golden perfection for a lovely teatime delicacy. Bring on the afternoon tea.
This tart is a taste of home and I love to make this dessert as my favorite treat. Just a slice and good cup of tea and I’m a happy girl. What I love most about this tart is the layers. The almond filling (frangipane) bakes up like a sponge cake that is dotted with crunchy almonds. Then you reach the sweet jam, then the buttery, flaky crust. It is divine!
What is Frangipane?
Frangipane (French origin) is a batter made with melted butter almond extract and ground almonds. Usually a filling for tarts, cakes and French pastries.
Picture the scene. The summer weather is here, the garden is blooming and the birds are chirping. A nice teapot full of English tea, some cucumber finger sandwiches and a slice of Bakewell tart. Sounds lovely doesn’t it?
What is the difference between Bakewell Tart & Bakewell Pudding?
Both with similar ingredients with a slight difference in taste. The pudding is more freeform using puff pastry and topped with a custard-like almond topping. It is served warm with ice cream or custard and it did originate in the city of Bakewell.
The tart is made in a tart pan with flaky, short crust pastry, jam and a filling of an egg almond paste. As far as the origin of the tart, it remains a mystery, but it would make sense that both dessert did originate from Bakewell.
The tradition of the layers of the tart differ to who you may talk to, some are just topped with sliced almonds, others they add frosting with a decorative pattern or just a cherry. I like the simple sliced almonds and leave it at that.
It starts with a simple short-crust pastry. This is pressed into a tart pan. I prefer fluted tart pans with removable bottoms with help pop the tart out very easily. But, before it receives its toppings, the crust is blind baked.
What is blind baking?
This simply means it is baked with no filling and weighed down with dried beans so it doesn’t puff up. This way, the base of the tart gets cooked before the filling goes in and you not only have a sturdier slice, it is less doughy and sometimes can even seem raw (and no one wants to eat raw dough).
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A simple, short crust pastry tart shell is layered with strawberry jam, topped with frangipane and sliced almonds and baked to golden perfection for a lovely teatime delicacy.
- For the crust:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for rolling out dough
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick) cold, cut into cubes
- 1 1/4 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1 cup dried beans for blind baking the crust
- For the filling:
- 3/4 cup slivered almonds plus more for topping
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 1/4 cups strawberry jam
For the crust:
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 1 minute. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 325°F
Roll pastry out and fit into a 9-inch greased tart pan. Roll out the dough until it is just larger than the tart pan. Roll the dough over the rolling pin and gently place into the tart pan, pressing the bottom evenly and up the sides, trim off the excess.
Add a sheet of parchment paper to the tart shell and spread an even layer of dried bean into the bottom of the tart onto the parchment. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the beans and parchment paper.
For the filling:
Add the almonds to a food processor and blend until they look like breadcrumbs. Set aside.
To a bowl add the eggs and sugar. Beat until the sugar is dissolved. Beat in the butter, almond extract and ground almonds.
Cover the bottom of tart with an even layer of strawberry jam. Pour the almond mix into the tart and top with slivered almonds. Bake until set about 30-40 minutes until golden brown and the center feels set when touched.
Allow to cool in the pan on a baking rack for 45 minutes before removing from the pan.