Recipe origins: Traditional (UK)
Inspirations and References: Allan Davidson, Tamasin Day Lewis, Anton Edelmann, Jane Grigson, Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver
My lovely co-hostess: Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar
The June Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia 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.
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’re daring you to make is a combination of the two: a sweet almond-flavoured shortcrust pastry, frangipane and jam.
Bakewell Tart History and Lore
Flan-like desserts that combine either sweet egg custard over candied fruit or feature spiced ground almonds in a pastry shell have Mediaeval roots. The term “Bakewell pudding” was first penned in 1826 by Meg Dods; 20 years later Eliza Acton published a recipe that featured a baked rich egg custard overtop 2cm of jam and noted,
“This pudding is famous not only in Derbyshire, but in several of our northern counties where it is usually served on all holiday occasions.”
By the latter half of the 1800s, the egg custard evolved into a frangipane-like filling; since then the quantity of jam decreased while the almond filling increased.
This tart, like many of the world's great foods has its own mythic beginnings…or several mythic beginnings. Legend has it in 1820 (or was it in the 1860s?) Mrs. Greaves, landlady of The White Horse Inn in Bakewell, Derbyshire (England), asked her cook to produce a pudding for her guests. Either her instructions could have been clearer or he should have paid better attention to what she said because what he made was not what she asked for. The cook spread the jam on top of the frangipane mixture rather than the other way around. Or maybe instead of a sweet rich shortcrust pastry case to hold the jam for a strawberry tart, he made a regular pastry and mixed the eggs and sugar separately and poured that over the jam—it depends upon which legend you follow.
Regardless of what the venerable Mrs. Greaves’ cook did or didn’t do, lore has it that her guests loved it and an ensuing pastry-clad industry was born. The town of Bakewell has since played host to many a sweet tooth in hopes of tasting the tart in its natural setting.
Bakewell tarts are a classic English dessert, abounding in supermarket baking sections and in ready-made, mass-produced forms, some sporting a thick sugary icing and glazed cherry on top for decorative effect.
Enjoy it with a cup of tea or coffee or just eat it sneaky slice by sneaky slice until, to your chagrin, you realise the whole tart has somehow disappeared despite you never having pulled out a plate, fork or napkin with which to eat it.
Is it a tart or is it a pudding?
Someone once said something like “The Bakewell pudding is a dessert. The Bakewell tart is that girl over there.”
It’s a debate that rages on and we aren’t taking sides on this one. But we will say that many people call this pudding a tart.
While we’re at it...
The etymology of pudding is a rather interesting and slightly convoluted one.* The naming confusion may come from the British manner of referring to the dessert course as ‘pudding’ (as well as referring to fat babies by the same name, though we don’t think that is what was the inspiration in this case). And so any dessert is a pudding until another name comes along and adds clarity to what it really is.
* nb: Annemarie had to electronically restrain Jasmine from delving into another treatise, threatening to remove her digital scale, personally autographed copies of How To Eat by Nigella Lawson and A.S. Byatt’s Possession and toss her kitchen footstool into the squidgy marsh up the road (really…Jasmine’s kitchen appears to be designed by a 6’4” fast food-eating engineer named Martin, Chuck or perhaps Buford) Anyone interested in hearing or reading her wax lyrical about puddings should just email her directly.
• Rough Durations: Please see individual recipe elements to see how much time you’ll need. You may pull it together in more time or less—it all depends upon your kitchen’s pace. You can complete the tart in an afternoon, or break it up into a couple of days by making the pastry one day in advance.
• Measurements: These recipes were developed using weight and not volume metrics, so for better results, pull out your scales. We’ve done our best with the Metric to Imperial conversions.
• A giant tart, medium tarts or little tartlettes: We’ll leave that to you.
• Mandatory and Optional Elements
Mandatory element 1: Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
Yes, it’s a pie pastry. Don’t look at us like that. It’s sweet and tender and it’s not scary…and we’re encouraging you to do it by hand and put the food processor away (but if you really want to pull out the gadget, go ahead).
Mandatory element 2: Frangipane
We love onomatopoeia of frangipane: it’s rich, sweet and feels slightly luxurious, and can be used in several confections.
Optional element: Home made jam or curd
We know several amongst us are rather jammy with making their own jams and preserves. Go ahead get wild and creative or simply showcase whatever’s local and in season. If you haven’t jammed before and want some hints or recipes, take a look at Bernardin’s homecanning.ca. If you want to just make some jam for this challenge and not go through sterilising jars and snap lids, you can try a pan jam, similar to Jasmine’s Blackberry Pan Jam. If you do use homemade jam, please include your recipe or the link to the one you used in your post.
Makes one 23cm (9” tart)
Prep time: less than 10 minutes (plus time for the individual elements)
Resting time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Equipment needed: 23cm (9”) tart pan or pie tin (preferably with ridged edges), rolling pin
One quantity sweet shortcrust pastry (recipe follows)
250ml (1cup (8 US fl. oz)) jam or curd, warmed for spreadability (here's the strawberry jam I used)
One quantity frangipane (recipe follows)
One handful blanched, flaked almonds
Assembling the tart
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 centre 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.
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.
• If you cannot have nuts, you can try substituting Victoria sponge for the frangipane. It's a pretty popular popular cake, so you shouldn't have any troubles finding one in one of your cookbooks or through a Google search. That said, our dear Natalie at Gluten a Go Go has sourced some recipes and linked to them in the related alt.db thread.
• You can use whichever jam you wish, but if you choose something with a lot of seeds, such as raspberry or blackberry, you should sieve them out.
• The jam quantity can be anywhere from 60ml (1/4 cup) to 250ml (1cup), depending upon how “damp” and strongly flavoured your preserves are. I made it with the lesser quantity of home made strawberry jam, while Annemarie made it with the greater quantity of cherry jam; we both had fabulous results. If in doubt, just split the difference and spread 150ml (2/3cup) on the crust.
• The excess shortcrust can be rolled out and cut into cookie-shapes (heck, it’s pretty darned close to a shortbread dough).
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
• I make this using vanilla salt and vanilla sugar.
• If you wish, you can substitute the seeds of one vanilla bean, one teaspoon of vanilla paste or one teaspoon of vanilla extract for the almond extract
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 colour 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. In the words of Douglas Adams: Don’t panic. Really. It’ll be fine. 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 colour.
• Add another five minutes or more if you're grinding your own almonds or if you're mixing by hand (Heaven help you).
Special thanks to my dear Annemarie and Ivonne and all the DBs who put together the tart--thanks so much for everything.
Click here for a list of participating Daring Bakers.
What I'm reading: The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad
I can't wait to try it tomorrow, as I wait to the last minute as always.
Thanks for the pick, I had never tried this tart...er...pudding.
Great challenge, thanks for hosting and bringing us a lovely light dessert!
Jasmine, dear Jasmine! Your tart looks just super.
What a wonderful challenge!! This was so much fun to make and even more fun to eat. Everyone loved it and for me, it was the first time hearing or making frangipane. I only know the flower Frangipani. Superb dessert, superb challenge and a superb host! Thanks so much!
Thank you for this wonderous challenge I really love it - it's delish and so simple and tasty!!! I really like your series of pixs on the blog very informative and the final result is excellent and thanks for all your feedback in the forums. Hope you had fun being the hostess with the mostness!!!!!
Thank you so much for picking this tart and hosting the challenge.
One more new food discovery for me, and the first time I made a frangipane (and an eggless one too).
Thank you for hosting this month's (my first) Daring Bakers! I enjoyed the challenge thoroughly, it was very well designed.
merci pour le choix de cette recette, c'était divin :)
Jasmine, thanks for hosting a great challenge! This tart.. pudding... was a new one on me and I really had fun with it.
Thanks for choosing such a tasty challange. Really enjoyed this one :)
Hi there Jasmine. Thanks for hosting a brilliant challenge with Annemarie. I enjoyed it tremendously. My first go at making frangipane & it was lovely! xoxoxo
Thank you Jasmine for this challenge! It was not too easy, yet easy enough to take care of the details!
I enjoyed baking this tart... er... pudinng very much!
Thanks for the great challenge. This is one of my favorite Daring Bakers recipes yet. It came out so well - I will make it again and again!
Thanks for a great pick, Jasmine! You aren't kidding about the "sneaky" part. I was worried about us managing to eat a whole 9" tart. Well, we've already managed to finish almost a third of it, and that was just for breakfast! =)
Thank you so much for choosing such an amazingly tasty challenge! The very clear and detailed recipe and instructions as well as the photos were a huge help, and I totally enjoyed the process and the end-result. It was a great challenge!
Thanks for a fun challenge!
Thanks so much for hosting and picking such a great recipe. I really loved this one!
Your tart looks just beautiful!
Thanks for hosting a fun Challenge!}:P
Thanks for hosting I really enjoyed this challenge.
Beautiful tart! Thanks for hosting this challenge =D.
Thank you for a great challenge..everyone loved the tarts! Yours look incredibly beautiful and delicious!
Great challenge! I think I messed mine up but I'm looking forward to trying it again sometime. :)
Thanks Jasmine for this wonderful challenge It is the first time I hear of Bakewell tart er pudding, the first time I bake one and I already love it.
Your tart looks wonderful and I love the pictures of the different stages of the tart making
Your tart looks lovely. Thanks for hosting such a delicious challenge!
Thanks again to you and Annemarie for this month's challenge!
Thank you for a great challenge! I love baking things I have never heard of before and this was my first DB opportunity to do that.
Thanks SO MUCH for a fantastic, delicious challenge! YOUR tart photographs are wonderful!
By the way I love the little bees in your header:)
I just wanted to tell you thank you for introducing me to such a wonderful recipe! I loved it very much and so do my colleagues who got to taste it. :)
Loved this challenge! Your tarts look great :D
Thank you for the great challenge and advice. :)
thanks for a great challenge- this one's a keeper...
this was a good one!! Love it in spite of my mishaps! hahaha!!
Fabulous recipe! Thanks so much for picking it!
Thanks for the wonderful challenge! I really enjoyed this challenge and this one's a keeper...
Thank you so much for hosting this challenge. I imagine it's quite a time consuming and nerve racking thing to do.I enjoyed it immensely. Yours looks lovely.
Thanks for this challenge. I just polished off the last slice for Sunday morning breakfast!
Thank you so much for this challenge - I learned a new skill (vegan frangipan), and it was just a joy to make and to eat!
Thanks so much for hosting such a great challenge! I was excited about this when I first saw it and it was incredible. So tasty! I used lemon curd and I must say that it tastes amazing! Thanks again.
This was a great challenge, so thank you for co-hosting! Mine was definitely a tart and not a pudding, by the way -- it set up firm and delicious. Yum! I actually can't wait to make this again (usually I'm running for the hills after a DB challenge. :-)
Jasmine, this was a GREAT pick. So easy, but rave reviews all around.
Great challenge! Thank you! :)
Great choice for this month's challenge! I really enjoyed making the Bakewell Tart. Yours looks wonderful!
Thank you for hosting this great challenge! It was nice to make something different, and I really enjoyed it!
This had been on my list forever!
I bow to your tart! Thanks very much for this one.
Thank you Jasmine for hosting this Challenge. It's a nice recipe to have in one's repertoire.
Wonderful choice for baking challenge. Looks and sounds really delicious.
Thank you for hosting Yasmine. THis was a fun challenge, and I've learn something new about this tart that otherwise I never knew about.
thanks for a great recipe! i really enjoyed making (and eating) my first bakewell tart!!
I want to thank you for this wonderful challenge! I really loved it, and will definitely make this again, with no end of variations! Thank you!
I enjoyed it ... am still enjoying it in fact. Thank you so much! I know that you put in loads of effort and it showed. Your recipe was tremendous and the result was delicious. And I have finally made a Bakewell Tart. Happiness!
Thanks for hosting a fabulous challenge! The tarts received rave reviews at the BBQ I brought them to.
Thanks so much for hosting this month! It really is a wonderful recipe. And, I am sure I will make it again.
i loved this recipe! thanks for hosting. :-)
Thanks so much for hosting this challenge and for picking a great recipe! :D
Yours turned out great! Thank you for hosting! I absolutely loved this challenge.
Thanks for hosting such a fun challenge! It was a delight to try this new English dessert!
I ABSOLUTELY love this challenge!!!! Everybody thought it was the best thing on earth!!! Thanks so much for sharing it with us! (and for visiting my blog too!)
I just learned about this challenge...wow. It has really been a great benefit to so many people. What a wonderful gift to give others! I just might have to join...
Thank you soooo much for the fabulous challenge Jasmine.. This recipe is definitely a keeper!
Jasmine, thanks for a wonderful challenge this month.
Even though I haven't had a chance to post about mine yet, I want to tell you this is absolutely the BEST Bakewell Tart recipe I've ever used. It was the perfect challenge to close out my Daring Baker career on.
Beautiful! That was a great challenge! Thanks for the wonderful Bakewell tart recipe!
Thank you, thank you, thank you and thank you again for this great challenge.
I'm in love with hazelnut frangipane and with Bakewell tarts in genereal and I didn't know about them till this mounth!!!
It has been so funny to be a Daring Baker with this challenge...
Thanks so much for coming up with this challenge! I loved making it (although it was a bit challenging with the temperatures here) and the taste was absolutely delicious! Never tried bakewell before (had never even heard about bakewell before) so thanks for this!!
Jasmine thank you for the lovely challenge. I had a great time with it! Your tart looks amazing!
This was a great challenge, thanks for giving me the opportunity to try something new!
I'm marking this as one of the tastiest challenges I've participated in in the 33 months I've been a Daring Baker. Wonderful choice!
Jasmine, thanks for hosting this challenge and introducing me to the Bakewell Tart!
Thanks so much for a simple tasty and new tart recipe, I really enjoyed preparing and eating it.
and I bet all the 25 customers will share my opinion...
Thanks for hosting such a wonderful challenge! I'm very glad to have been introduced to Mr. Bakewell.
thanks for hosting the challenge
Thanks for the wonderful challenge and for stopping by my blog! I think I need to hear the story!
Thank you for a great challenge. We sure loved it. It was on my to do list. How cool is that?
Thanks for a great challenge! Your tart, er, pudding looks fantastic :)
Thank you for hosting a great challenge. Jenny (of All Things Edible) and I finally made it.
Thank you thank you for a great challenge! This was my first experience with almond flour and I LOVED IT! Thanks for introducing me to it!
Not sure I ever publicly thanked you for the work you did and the pleasure of working with you. You gorgeous tart, you. x
Thanks for a wonderful challenge that even a non-baker like myself could do! And thanks for stopping by my blog to comment on my tart/pudding.
Thanks for hosting the challenge. I had a lot of fun with this one, and your enthusiasm for the tart is great. Your pictures are gourgeous, especially the one from above with the scattered almonds.
Thank you Jasmine for the great challenge!
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