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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.
Since I am fairly new at baking and it was my first time participating in the Daring Bakers' Challenge I tried to stick to the recipe as much as possible. I was just afraid I was going to ruin it and then I won't have beautiful images to post on the reveal date.
My only major deviation from the recipe was that I used 10" baking pan rather than a 9" one. As a result there wasn't enough frangipane to fill the tart shell to the top, but I don't think anyone noticed that as it was gone in one sitting.
I've also blind baked the tart shell and made my own grape jam for the tart.
I really enjoyed the whole process and I'm looking forward to the next challenge.
Oh, forgot to mention what I did with the leftover pastry - Bavarian Cream Fruit Tarts.
Makes one 23cm (9") tart
Recipe origins: Traditional (UK)
Inspirations and References: Allan Davidson, Tamasin Day Lewis, Anton Edelmann, Jane Grigson, Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver
Hostess: Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict
Co-hostess: Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar
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
- Bench flour
- 250ml (1cup (8 US fl. oz)) jam or curd, warmed for spreadability
- One quantity frangipane
- One handful blanched, flaked almonds
- 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.
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 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
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 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.