Thursday, 9 July 2009

Bakewell Tarts

Sometimes a major recalibration involves a rolling pin and the scales.  Whilst browsing some of my favourite food blogs I checked into teandwheatenbread.blogspot.  Where I was inspired by two good old soul food favourites.

As soon as I read them I went out to buy the relevant ingredients and set about a dinner I feel we haven't eaten the likes of for too long.  I mean, as vibrant, seasonal, innovative, healthy, local, shmokel that salads and fish, grilled meat, complex carbohydrates, exotic grains from Peru are; sometimes it is lasagne and bakewell tarts which the heart desires!  

The gooseberry & elderflower twist was courtesy of some imaginative homemade jam made by fabulous chef and caterer Barbara Landell Mills.  The pastry recipe below is one I have used for 15 years and it is very reliable and easy, especially if being made in a food processor.

Boy it was so good!  

Gooseberry & Elderflower Bakewell Tarts 
  • 1 quantity of pastry (recipe below)
  • Some Jam of your choice, they all work (Cherry, Strawberry, Raspberry) or if lucky like me, then gooseberry and elderflower!
  • 125gms caster sugar
  • 125gms soft butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon brandy
  • 125gms ground almonds
  • 2 Tablespoons of plain flour
The Pastry - This makes a double amount 
  • 500gms Plain White Flour
  • 290gms Unsalted Butter chilled 
  • 1 Dessert spoon caster sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 egg
  • 80mls ice cold water
  1. Put the flour and chilled butter in the blender and pulse until breadcrumbs.
  2. Add the salt, sugar and a quick blitz.
  3. Add the egg and water and pulse until the dough forms a ball.
  4. Finish by hand and leave to 'rest'.
  5. Roll out to fit a fluted tin, or in my case I used a bun tin.
  6. When you have eased the pastry into the shell, allow the pastry to chill in fridge. At this stage pre heat the oven to 180C.
Finishing the Bakewell's
  1. To make the frangipane, whisk the butter with caster sugar.
  2. Add the eggs, one by one, fully whipping them in before adding the next.
  3. Beat in the brandy.
  4. Stir in the ground almonds.
  5. Stir in the flour.
  6. When the pastry is chilled, fill the bottom of the shell with a teaspoon of jam of your choice.  
  7. Add a dessertspoon of frangipane, then sprinkle with flaked almonds.
  8. Bake in the oven for 25/30 minutes, until the frangipane looks golden.
  9. Allow to cool on a cooling rack.  Dust with icing sugar and serve with cream if feeling very naughty!

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