Today is quite a special day for two reasons. Firstly, one of my very close friends is turning 20 today! Woo! So it’s time to say goodbye to using your teenage years as an excuse for ridiculous antics. Unfortunately, I have also left my teen years behind and I have yet to come up with an adequate explanation for my own antics. O well. :) I made this tart for her birthday as what’s a birthday without some sort of treat? Normally I’d opt for a cake, but I heard her talk about how much she liked bakewell tarts (albeit the ones with icing and cherries!) and I had some ground almonds which were itching to be used.
Secondly, today is also pi today! The day we celebrate that irrational number that we’re taught about in school and how those decimals just NEVER END. Mind boggling stuff for an 11 year old. Anyways, in honour of this mystic number, I made a pie! er. well technically it’s a tart, but they’re practically the same thing. So please, just work with me. lol.
I used a few different recipes for this tart. The sweet crust pastry recipe came from Smitten Kitchen. It is adapted from a Dorie Greenspan recipe and it claims to be unshrinkable. Woah there, I thought, could this really be true? The pictures certainly seemed to show a perfectly formed tart shell, no shriveled and mishapen edges to be seen. Apparently, the secret to it’s success is that the rolled out tart is frozen for at least 30 minutes before it is put in the oven.
I had a mixed success with my attempt at the “Unshrinkable Pie Crust”. I confess it did shrink a little bit, however when I took out the tart three quarters of the way through… well it hadn’t shrunk a bit! It was only when I returned it for it to go nice and golden brown that those edges sauntered slyly away from the the tin. O well. I am determined to try again as I’m convinced it’s me and not the recipe which is at fault. Or maybe I could blame the oven. :)
The filling for the Bakewell tart is from the BBC Goodfood website. The only change I made was to add a 1/2 tsp of almond extract to the frangipane. I might add a wee bit more jam next time as well. But there will definitely be a next time! The tart was delicious, with good almond flavour (thanks to the added kick from the almond extract…?) and the lemon zest adds a real ‘zing’ to the finish. Definitely don’t skip the lemon zest!
The pastry was also nice and crumbly. It wasn’t too tough and nor was it soggy, which is always good. As a side note, brushing on egg white halfway through prebaking the tart shell helps form a barrier against whatever filling you later put in. Finally the crust was also buttery with just the right amount of sweetness. I was slightly disappointed that it shrunk, but as I said, I think the error was on my end. O well. I’ll just have to try again!
So without further ado, the Birthday and Pi Day Bakewell Tart!
Traditional Bakewell Tart
- 1 short crust pastry recipe (find it here from Smitten Kitchen)
- 2 heaped tbsp raspberry jam
- 150g unsalted butter , at room temperature
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 150g caster sugar
- 3 eggs , beaten
- egg yolk
- 150g ground almonds
- lemon, zested
- 1 tbsp flaked almonds
- Partially bake the tart according to the recipe’s directions. Usually, the crust will be covered with buttered foil and beans/pie weights. After 20-25 minutes (or whatever your recipes states), remove from the oven, remove the foil and take out the beans, brush the inside of the pastry case with a little egg white and cook for a further 2-5 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly.
- Spread the jam in an even layer over the base of the pastry case.
- Cream together the butter and caster sugar. Gradually add the beaten eggs and egg yolk. Fold in the ground almonds and lemon zest. Carefully spoon the mixture over the jam and spread level. Bake for 20 minutes. Scatter with the flaked almonds and continue to cook for a further 15-20 minutes until golden and set.
- Cool to room temperature, dust with icing sugar and serve with pouring cream or custard.
And that’s it! Simple as that. :)