Bakewell Tart

Discussion in 'Desserts' started by Lee_C, Apr 25, 2019.

  1. Lee_C

    Lee_C Well-Known Member

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    This is my favourite tart ever and I've made it 3 or 4 times now so pretty much got it down to a fine art. Though I say so myself, it is to die for. :D I make two versions, basically one with icing and one with just powdered sugar. The one with icing is my favourite. Adding almond extract to the ground almonds really gives it a delicious marzipan flavour.

    I started off blind baking the pastry but have since realised it's not needed, there's no soggy bottoms, plus I found that keeping it chilled in the fridge or 15/20 minutes in the freezer before baking firms up the pastry and pretty much stops shrinking. So I always trim the edges before baking rather than after, I find it easier and neater. I have two different shortcrust pastry recipes I generally make. One is more crumbly and one has more snap. I tend to use the snappier one for this, it works well.

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    Lee_C, Apr 25, 2019
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  2. Lee_C

    Becky Administrator

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    I LOVE bakewell tart :D I don't often make it though. I think the most recent one I did was a slightly Christmassy one using a Nigella recipe - it had cranberry jam at the bottom, and was topped with orange icing. Those flavours work really well with the frangipane.

    @Norcalbaker59 is Bakewell Tart something that you ever see in the US? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bakewell_tart
     
    Becky, Apr 26, 2019
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  3. Lee_C

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Oh those tarts are gorgeous. Yes you have that one down pat. So that’s the name of this tart!!!

    In the US its call it an Italian almond tart. William Sonoma, a major high end retailer here published a recipe online under that title. So everyone who reposted on their food blogs called it that.

    I baked one a couple of years ago to take to a dinner party. Everyone loved it. Next time I’m going to tell them the correct name.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Apr 27, 2019
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  4. Lee_C

    Lee_C Well-Known Member

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    Becky, that cranberry and orange Bakewell sounds delicious! In fact I saw your post on it and photo, it looks great!

    norcalbaker, ah cool, Italian almond tart. I make a pear almond tart from a US recipe, and it's almost exactly the same as Bakewell, apart from the pears and no jam. Although to be honest, I do like to spread a layer of apricot jam onto the pastry base before spooning on the frangipane filling.

    The great thing about baking is that where I used to buy shop boxed bakewell tarts and cherry bakewells, now I'll never buy another one again, they just don't taste as good as homemade.:)
     
    Lee_C, Apr 28, 2019
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  5. Lee_C

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    I’m always impressed with how we take inspiration from other cultures. In the mid to early 90s there was a cafe in Berkeley, California that made a fresh fruit tart that was like none I’ve ever eaten. Where the classic French tart contains pastry cream, this tart shell had a layer of dark chocolate, then a thin layer of what I’m now convinced is frangipane. Over that was a thin layer of pastry cream, then fresh berries. The tart was very popular with the locals. I used to go there for a cup of earl grey tea and a slice of that tart. I would really love to be able to re-create that tart.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Apr 30, 2019
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  6. Lee_C

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    @Becky, it’s interesting that we call it an Italian almond tart here. Williams-Sonoma, a major high kitchenware store published a recipe that’s essentially a Bakewell tart. It ended up being re-posted by a lot of food bloggers, so became very popular here—but as an Italian almond tart.

    Williams m-Sonoma is a national chain, but it started as a single independent store here in the Napa Valley. Some years ago they opened a flagship store in San Francisco, so they may have gotten the inspiration for the recipe from a San Francisco bakery. The Victoria Pastry Company that’s been in business since 1911 is known for their almond tart. I lived in the City for some 10 years and for every special occasion I would but Victoria’s almond tart. And from reading the description of the Bakewell tart, I am thinking Victoria‘s tart is a Bakewell.

    Victoria pastry company is Italian bakery. They’re in North Beach, the Italian neighborhood of San Francisco. Parking in that neighborhood is almost impossible. I would drive around the block five or six times before I’d find a parking space several blocks away. All that just to buy that almond tart! Sounds like the Italians swiped it from the British, then brought it to San Francisco :p

    A few years ago I baked the Williams-Sonoma version and took the tart to a luncheon. Everyone loved it.

    I’m pretty sure a café in Berkeley in the mid-1980s used a Bakewell tart as their base for a fruit tart. They used chocolate in place of the jam; Added a very thin layer of frangipane, then topped it with a thin layer of pastry cream then covered it with fresh fruit. And OMG their modified Bakewell fruit tart was a tart that out did any and all French fruit tarts. That café was famous for that tart. And nobody could figure out how they made it. I once asked the young woman behind the counter and she said she had no idea :rolleyes:
     
    Norcalbaker59, Apr 30, 2019
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  7. Lee_C

    Becky Administrator

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    It's funny how ideas move around, get chopped and changed, and we lose track of where they come from. Who knows - maybe someone living in Bakewell stole the tart recipe from somewhere else, and we'd never know! ;)

    I remember watching a TV show a while ago looking at favourite 'English food', and all of it had its roots overseas. Immigrants come to a country and bring their food, it proves popular and the locals start eating it regularly, and before you know it we think we came up with it! It's a funny old world.
     
    Becky, Apr 30, 2019
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  8. Lee_C

    Lee_C Well-Known Member

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    Yes it's interesting. I've also wondered if the Bakewell tart is a unique British thing. I was going to suggest Germany since they specialise in all things almonds and make the best Marzipan in the world. If I lived in germany, I'd be in the Niederegger shops regularly. :D Their Marzipan is the best, nothing else I've tried comes particularly close, it's usually too sweet and a bit strong or harsh.

    Niederegger have some secret ingredient or method that makes it so perfect. Quite expensive in the UK. But I digress.

    It would seem the real origin, at least of the main Bakewell filling, is shared between Italy and France. The French pastry chefs invented Frangipane and Frangipane tarts. So the Bakewell is possibly only unique by its adding of a layer of jam and perhaps the thick icing on top along with the signature red wavy lines. And in the case of a cherry Bakewell, the cherry in the middle of the icing on top.

    https://www.bakepedia.com/baking-encyclopedia/frangipane/

    Frangipane is named after 16th century Italian nobleman Marquis Muzio Frangipani, who invented a bitter almond-scented fragrance that was used to perfume gloves while he was living in Paris. French pastry chefs were inspired and invented the recipe, which became a classic.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
    Lee_C, Apr 30, 2019
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  9. Lee_C

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Lol, food is so tied to cultural identity that it gives us our place in this vast world, connects us to our family and friends. Now I want to bake another Bakewell tart.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Apr 30, 2019
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  10. Lee_C

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Lol, they say we eat first with the eyes, but the nose plays a huge role in appetite.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Apr 30, 2019
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  11. Lee_C

    Lee_C Well-Known Member

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    Oh most definitely, nothing better than the aroma of freshly baked goods. :)


    I don't know how different my recipe is to yours but if you fancied trying it, here's how I make mine. I'm sure I don't need to tell you how to make it as you're a far more experienced and expert baker than me. Just my ingredients and amounts really. But I'll include my method anyway.

    Pastry:

    100g sweet shortcrust pastry. This is the pastry I make with a bit of biscuity snap to it. If you prefer a more crumbly pastry with a little salt, which is what I use for my pear tart and might be more like a pastry perhaps that you normally make, by all means go with that instead.

    I usually make a large amount and freeze what I don't need. But feel free to halve these amounts, it'll still make enough.
    This makes quite a lot.
    450g plain flour
    220g cold diced butter
    160g caster sugar
    2 eggs

    Mix flour, butter and sugar together in food processor. When looks like sand, add eggs and mix to a fairly firm dough.

    Shape into a ball or flatten out, wrap in cling film and chill in fridge for about 15 minutes.

    Butter a flan dish; I like using my fluted one. Remove from fridge and roll out pastry thin, as thin as you dare :p. Line dish with the pastry, airate the pastry base all over with a fork, cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes or 10/15 minutes in freezer to firm it up while making the filling.

    Frangipane filling:

    3 tablespoons good quality raspberry jam
    70g butter room temperature
    70g caster sugar
    1 large egg
    Half teaspoon lemon extract
    Teaspoon almond extract
    3 tablespoons plain/all purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    110g sifted ground almonds (4 oz)
    Flaked Almonds

    Cream butter and sugar. Then add the egg, lemon and almond extracts and combine till a wet creamy mixture. Then add the ground almonds, flour, and baking powder and continue to mix.

    Remove pastry base from fridge/freezer and spoon jam/jelly onto the base, smoothing it to the edges. Spoon frangipane mixture on top of the jam, smooth it to edges and level it flat as possible with a spatula or palette knife.

    If you decide not to have an icing top, you can now place flaked almonds on top of the filling. In fact, you can still put flaked almonds on even if you decide to have the icing.

    Bake at 190c for about 25 to 35 minutes until golden brown. Mine is usually done after about 25 minutes.

    Then when removed from tin, put onto a plate and dust with powdered sugar if not doing the icing.

    Icing:

    300g icing sugar
    Teaspoon almond extract (optional)
    3 tablespoons cold water
    Red food gel

    Make the icing after the bakewell has cooled enough.
    To make the icing, mix 300g of icing sugar with the almond extract and add the water. May need less or more water, but go a tablespoon at a time, it's too easy to make the icing too thin and runny.
    Mix it to a quite thick consistency that won't run too much but still nicely spreadable.

    Take about 3 tablespoons of the icing and place into a separate bowl ready to mix with food gel.

    Spread icing on frangipane and smooth out with palette knife or spatula.

    Squeeze a few drops of red gel into the bowl with the 3 tablespoons of icing and mix to a pinkish red colour and put into a piping bag, using a very small hole nozzle.

    Pipe thin red parallel lines across the white icing on frangipane, when the white icing has set slightly. Although you could do it straight away, it's just about trying to avoid the colour bleeding (mine bled a bit and the lines got wider) into the white. That's the hardest part for me.

    Then with a toothpick or cocktail stick, run it through the red lines to get the classic feathered effect. I didn't t really achieve that as I think my icing started to set a bit quickly.

    Then slice and enjoy! :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
    Lee_C, Apr 30, 2019
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  12. Lee_C

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for sharing your recipe @Lee_C. I saved it to my files and will give it a try.
     
    Norcalbaker59, May 1, 2019
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