Hey guys! I’m back on my British foods adventure and decided to try a Bakewell Tart today. Traditionally, it is a dessert that has a shortcrust pastry, a layer of jam or curd, frangipane and topped with sliced almonds. It comes from Derbyshire Dales and can be served warm or cold. It may also be referred to as a Gloucester tart.
For my version, I am swapping out the sliced almonds and using an almond flavored icing. I decided to make a little bit festive for purple Halloween by attempting a spiderweb on top. I have to admit, it’s not the most beautiful spiderweb but I like it anyway. I would have liked to create a molded chocolate spider to top it off but I couldn’t locate my mold. Oh well!
I also used blackberry preserves to compliment the purple icing. Most Bakewell are cherry flavored but I changed it up just a bit to create this holiday dessert.
It seemed like the perfect thing to make as my son (he’s 4) and I played with Halloween decorations. We pulled out some ceramic teddy bears with costumes, an animatronic Tigger dressed as a vampire, and some fake spiders that had sequins.
I’m a total wuss because I don’t like anything too horrific or bloody. It’s just not my thing. If I walked through the house late at night, I know I would forget it was there and it would give me a heart attack. So, all of my decorations are very Pollyanna. What can I say? I’m a fraidy cat. (I did watch Poltergeist 2 last night though. I laughed a bunch at that one.)
Anyway, this dessert won’t give you any frights. It’s quite the opposite! It’s super yummy and very adaptable to suit your personal tastes. You can choose your own flavor of preserves, add sliced almond instead of icing to reduce the sugar, and play with icing designs to create your own personal work of art.
I like this British classic and I’m glad I tried it. I love the almond flavor combined with the blackberry and shortcrust flavors. Delish!
Give it a try now or save it for later. Or do both…live a little.
Have a good one!
1 cup cold unsalted butter
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup ice cold water
1/2 cup blackberry preserves
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup superfine almond flour
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon almond extract
Purple food coloring
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Using a food processor, shred butter. Add flour, salt, and water. Process until dough ball forms.
3. On a floured work surface, roll out dough with a floured rolling pin.
4. Spray 9 inch tart pan or pie dish with non-stick baking spray. Add shortcrust pastry dough and remove excess.
5. Cover dough with parchment paper and add ceramic baking beads, uncooked Beans, or uncooked rice so that you can blind bake your crust.
6. Bake on the middle rack for 15 minutes.
7. Remove rice and paper and continue baking for 5 more minutes. Crust will shrink a bit.
Note: some people wait to trim excess crust until after baking to avoid visible shrinkage.
8. Remove from oven and coat bottom of crust with preserves. You can use the back of a spoon or a spatula to spread preserves.
9. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together for the filling. Add almond flour and extract plus one egg. Mix on low until incorporated.
10. Place frangipane filling mixture in a piping bag and pipe a coil on top of preserves starting from the outside and working your way to the center. Any small open spaces will close with baking.
11. Reduce heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 25 minutes on the middle rack. frangipane will be slightly golden. Cool.
12. To prepare icing, stir together powdered sugar, milk, and extract. Stir until mixed and slightly runny.
13. Remove about 1/4 cup and color with 3-5 drops purple food coloring.
14. Pour icing onto tart and spread to edges. Be careful not to pull up bits of frangipane (like I did, yikes!).
15. Pipe a purple icing spiral starting from the inside and working your way to the outer edges.
16. Drag a toothpick from the edges to the center of the tart to create a neat design.