Thursday, 21 July 2016

Bakewell tarts

I'm sorry this post is so late. I can explain. You see, my cousin got married in London a week or so ago and I took advantage of being over the other side of the world to take a break and recover from the first half of the year, which has been - all cake, pies and tarts aside - pretty brutal. So I've been in my spiritual home, Scandinavia, eating my weight in cardamom buns and trying to sleep in for the first time in ages only to be in a particular place at a particular time of the year where the sun rises at 3.49am (after setting not that many hours earlier). But before that I was in Hobart. Hobart where stone fruit weighs down the limbs of backyard trees, where berries grow by the side of the road, free for the taking... but not so much in winter. Which is where jam comes in - jam made in the warmer months so even with coats and heaters on, it feels like summer. At least in terms of dessert.

I made these bakewell tarts back in early July with the assistance of my favourite Tasmanian red-haired baker, whose mum (an amazing cook in her own right) was responsible for the incredible jam that oozed out of these like a lovely sweet surprise... which sadly I don't have any photographic evidence of. On the southernmost tip of the southern hemisphere we were fighting fast diminishing late afternoon light when these came out of the oven. So you'll just have to trust me that they're good. Very good. Fruity, with smooth frangiapane, the crunch of flaked almonds, and a crisp, crumbly, shortcrust pastry. Save yourself the airfare and the jetlag, making these conjures summer in the depths of winter. And afterwards you can sleep in.

Bakewell tarts
Adapted from a recipe by BBC Food

You can use any sort of jam for this, even any combination of jams. Our top pick would be plumberry - a dark, decadent blend of raspberry and plum. We made a half quantity of this recipe and got 12 tarts. If you decide to go this route, beat three eggs together and then divide in half as you'll need one and a half eggs for both pastry and the topping.

375g plain flour 
225g unsalted butter , cold and diced 
75g caster sugar 
3 eggs 

1 heaped teaspoon jam per tart, whatever takes your fancy
150g unsalted butter, at room temperature 
150g caster sugar 
3 eggs, beaten 
egg yolk 
150g ground almonds 
1 lemon, zested
1 tablespoon flaked almonds

To make the pastry, crumb the flour, butter and sugar with your hands until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs or throw the ingredients into a food processor until the same result is achieved.  

Add the eggs and mix until the dough comes together. Add more flour if it's too sticky. Flatten into a disc, and refrigerate while you make the topping: 

Cream together the butter and sugar. Then gradually add the beaten eggs and egg yolk. Fold in the ground almonds and lemon zest.

Preheat the oven to 160 C.

Roll out dough and cut circles from it large enough to fill about 2 dozen mini pies in a muffin tin (I used the lid of a cannister and cut around it with a knife). 

Put a heaped teaspoon of jam into the bottom of each tart, then carefully spoon topping mixture to cover it. Bake for 20 minutes, then sprinkle with flaked almonds and bake for a further 10 - 15 minutes or until golden brown and set.

1 comment:

  1. These look lovely Alice. Mouthwatering.And I'm so glad to see that you have arrived home safe and sound. I do hope that the trip to your spiritual home was everything you hoped too.D