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.
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.
• I then rolled them out and made small, 3″ tarts. Roll out dough and place in tart shell. Freeze for around an hour. Remove from freezer and line with foil and cover with pie weights.
• Blind bake tart shell 325* for 15-18 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool, slightly.
(adapted from The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham)
about 4 Cups strawberries, washed & hulled, cut in half
1/2 Cup sugar
1/2 Cup fresh lemon juice
• Choose a sunny, warm day to do this. Mash half the berries and put in a saute pan. Stir in sugar and lemon juice and cook over medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the rest of the strawberries. Turn the heat to medium and still stirring, bring to a boil. Spoon off the foam and let boil for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
• Pour the preserves into a large shallow dish so they are spread out in a thin layer. Cover with cheesecloth and put outdoors in the sunshine for at least 6 hours.
• Spoon into jars and cover. Store in fridge for up to 10 days. After that, freeze in containers.
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 pale yellow color.
• Preheat oven to 200C/400F.
• Spread as even a layer as you can of jam onto cooled pastry base. Top with frangipane, spreading to cover the entire surface of the tart. Smooth the top and sprinkle with sliced almonds.
• Bake mini tarts for 20 minutes.
• 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.