Thursday, 21 February 2013

2013 A Pie Odyssey: Bakewell Tart

I happened upon a picture of Bakewell Tart while I was looking for a cake to bake and became instantly obsessed with the idea of making it. It was in itself being sold in the book as an alternative to birthday cake and I do kind of like the idea of one single candle in the middle, being served up to me instead of a huge big slab of sponge. Not that there's anything wrong with birthday cake but so many come with thick cloying icing that leaves me feeling green around the edges. I have to say the recipe in the book was a bit woolly, possibly not for complete beginners, and I decided on using my own pastry recipe which included vegetable shortening, rather than pure butter to give it a better texture. I also changed the ratio of jam, so I am presenting this here as my own recipe as I think it is, frankly, an improvement on the original!

Kat's Bakewell Tart

For the pastry:
50g unsalted butter, diced
50g vegetable shortening (Trex/Cookene etc)
pinch salt
200g plain flour
40g icing sugar
2 egg yolks
Cold water as needed

For the filling:
125g unsalted butter, softened
125g golden caster sugar (or regular if you don't have)
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 tsp almond essence OR 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
125g ground almonds
Strawberry Jam to cover pastry base - to taste, I used about 6 tbsp of The Oracle's homemade stuff and it was perfect
25g flaked almonds

23cm loose bottomed metal flan tin
Ceramic baking beans or equivalent

Preheat oven to 180c/170c fan/gas mark 4

1) Make the pastry by rubbing the butter into the flour, icing sugar and salt until it resembles porridge oats (can be done in mixer, don't overmix). Gradually add in egg yolks. At this point the pastry will likely be too dry to come together, add cold water teaspoon by teaspoon until it holds together. Be careful not to over-do it.

2) Roll pastry into a ball, wrap in clingwrap and leave to chill in fridge for at least 20 minutes. When ready roll out the dough until large enough to fill tin. Line the case with parchment paper and fill with baking beans.

3) Bake the pastry for 15 minutes, remove paper and beans and return to oven for approx 5 more minutes until the pastry starts to go pale golden. Remove from oven and leave to cool

4) In bowl or mixer cream the butter and sugar for the filling. Add alternative tablespoons of egg and almonds until all are combined (this helps stop the egg curdling). Add the almond and vanilla extracts and stir to combine. At this point it should be fairly runny.

5) When cold spoon the jam over the pastry case and then tip in the filling, making sure it is level. Sprinkle over the flaked almonds. Return to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. The centre should be firm to the touch. Leave to cool then remove from tin. Carefully.

So there you have it, using the mixer it was not a lot of effort. The pastry is my worst part, I can NEVER roll it out in to a disc, it always goes awry, but a bit of creative gap plugging usually does the trick. We ate this for dinner with creme fraiche, although The Oracle wanted custard. It was preceeded by roast pheasant, roast potatoes and leeks which, along with a nice glass of red, made for a very civilised Sunday evening.

The rest of the pie was distributed at work, and received very positive feedback, so Kat says.... BAKE TODAY!

1 comment:

Adam said...

YUMS! Next up: Bakewell Pudding perhaps...which as I discovered no more than 3 years ago is not the same as tart. It shocked me.