Whenever I think of a Bakewell Tart, I think of the Great British Bake Off. If you’re not already watching that show, please start immediately. There is something utterly charming about watching a group of home bakers whip up stunning desserts, breads, and pastries week after week. There is nothing pretentious about this show, and I find that every time I watch it, I learn something which helps me to improve my own baking skills.
I’m rather proud of this tart. Pastry isn’t necessarily my strong point (pastry and yeast, guys–I’m not a fan, they scare me) so I’m always rather pleased when it turns out well. I think it helped that I spent the morning pretending I was baking in an attractively-decorated marquee in the middle of the countryside, rather than in my unseasonably humid kitchen in Melbourne. A girl can dream.
Would my Bakewell Tart pass the Mary Berry test? I don’t know. The bottom of the pastry is nice and crisp, not soggy, and the filling is moist and crumbly. All in all, I would judge this as “a good bake”, although it would probably lose points for its rather rustic appearance. Ah well. It tastes good, and honestly, that’s what really matters.
The trick to getting a nice crisp bottom on a pie or tart is to prepare the pastry properly before adding the filling. After chilling the tart shell, I covered it with baking paper, filled it with baking beads, and blind-baked it for five minutes. I then removed the baking beads and baking paper, sprinkled a little caster sugar over the bottom of the tart shell, and baked it for a further five minutes. Doing this helps the bottom of the pastry to crisp up before you cover it with a wet filling.
I used lingonberry jam in the bottom of this tart (because why not?), but really, you can use any jam. Raspberry would be perfect, but plum, blueberry, cherry, or even fig would be delicious! I particularly liked the effect of the lingonberry jam because it was a reduced-sugar jam, which suits my not-very-sweet palate. Depending on your location, you may or may not be able to find lingonberry jam. I believe that in some parts of the world it’s sold in IKEA, since lingonberries are common in Swedish cuisine.
I hope you have success with this recipe! Channel your inner Mary Berry and I’m sure you’ll be fine. Drop me a line in the comments below and let me know how it turned out. Happy baking!
Lingonberry Bakewell Tart
For the Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
75g cold butter, cubed
1/4 cup icing sugar, sifted
1.5 cups gluten-free plain flour
approx. 1/2 cup ice water
1 tbsp caster sugar
- Preheat oven to 180ºC. In a mixing bowl, stir together icing sugar, flour, and cubed butter. Use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles find breadcrumbs.
- Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until a dough forms.
- Press the dough into a tart case using your fingers, ensuring that there is an even layer of dough across the bottom and sides of the case.
- Cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge to chill for half an hour.
- Remove the pastry case from the fridge, and prick the bottom of the tart case with a fork. Place a piece of baking paper over the pastry, and fill the interior with baking beads. Bake for 5 minutes.
- Remove the baking beads and baking paper, and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of caster sugar over the tart case. Return to oven for a further 5 minutes, then remove and set aside.
For the Almond Frangipane filling
50g butter, cubed
1 cup almond meal
1/2 cup caster sugar
3 tbsp lingonberry jam
- In a mixing bowl, stir together almond meal, caster sugar, and butter. Use your fingers to rub butter into mix until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add egg, and stir until incorporated.
- Spread lingonberry jam over the bottom of the tart case in an even layer. Spoon almond mixture over jam, spreading it out towards the sides of the pastry (don’t worry if it doesn’t reach the whole way, it will expand during baking).
- Place tart in the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the frangipane comes out clean.
- Allow to cool slightly before serving. Serve with whipped cream or custard, garnished with toasted flaked almonds, if you so desire.
Keeping time: 4 days in the fridge.