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Blackwell Tart (or Pudding!) (Daring Bakers)

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Required line: 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.

I usually get my Daring Baker challenge done by at least mid-month, but I procrastinated on this one.  I realized that it was getting very close to the 27th of the month and I needed to move fast.  I haven’t missed a challenge yet, and I wasn’t about to start!  On Thursday, I made the tart dough and chilled it in the refrigerator overnight.  On Friday I made the Frangipane and the strawberry jam (recipe found here), assembled it, and baked it very late.  Luckily, this was a fairly simple and straightforward recipe, and I didn’t run into any problems.

I used millet flour for the pastry dough with no problems, although in hindsight, I think almond flour would have been delicious as well.  I decided on strawberry jam because it’s my favorite kind and I wanted to take advantage of the delicious strawberries that are available.  I’ve never made my own jam before, but I found a recipe for Quick Strawberry Jam on Epicurious that I thought was worth trying.  It was very simple to make, and I’ll probably keep using that recipe and try it with other fruits.  After sitting in the refrigerator, it got a bit congealed, but I zapped it in the microwave for 30 seconds and it was perfect.

I really can’t say enough about the Frangipane.  It was amazing!  I knew I would love it since it had such a strong almond flavor.  I added a little bit of Amaretto for additional flavor and really liked the way it came through.

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Bakewell Tart…er…pudding

Makes one 23cm (9” tart)
Prep time: less than 10 minutes (plus time for the individual elements)
Resting time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Equipment needed: 23cm (9”) tart pan or pie tin (preferably with ridged edges), rolling pin

One quantity sweet shortcrust pastry (recipe follows)
Bench flour
250ml (1cup (8 US fl. oz)) jam or curd, warmed for spreadability
One quantity frangipane (recipe follows)
One handful blanched, flaked almonds

Assembling the tart
Place the chilled dough disc on a lightly floured surface. If it’s overly cold, you will need to let it become acclimatised for about 15 minutes before you roll it out. Flour the rolling pin and roll the pastry to 5mm (1/4”) thickness, by rolling in one direction only (start from the centre and roll away from you), and turning the disc a quarter turn after each roll. When the pastry is to the desired size and thickness, transfer it to the tart pan, press in and trim the excess dough. Patch any holes, fissures or tears with trimmed bits. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 200C/400F.

Remove shell from freezer, spread as even a layer as you can of jam onto the pastry base. Top with frangipane, spreading to cover the entire surface of the tart. Smooth the top and pop into the oven for 30 minutes. Five minutes before the tart is done, the top will be poofy and brownish. Remove from oven and strew flaked almonds on top and return to the heat for the last five minutes of baking.

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.

When you slice into the tart, the almond paste will be firm, but slightly squidgy and the crust should be crisp but not tough.

Jasmine’s notes:
• If you cannot have nuts, you can try substituting Victoria sponge for the frangipane. It’s a pretty popular popular cake, so you shouldn’t have any troubles finding one in one of your cookbooks or through a Google search. That said, our dear Natalie at Gluten a Go Go has sourced some recipes and linked to them in the related alt.db thread.
• You can use whichever jam you wish, but if you choose something with a lot of seeds, such as raspberry or blackberry, you should sieve them out.
• The jam quantity can be anywhere from 60ml (1/4 cup) to 250ml (1cup), depending upon how “damp” and strongly flavoured your preserves are. I made it with the lesser quantity of home made strawberry jam, while Annemarie made it with the greater quantity of cherry jam; we both had fabulous results. If in doubt, just split the difference and spread 150ml (2/3cup) on the crust.
Annemarie’s notes:
• The excess shortcrust can be rolled out and cut into cookie-shapes (heck, it’s pretty darned close to a shortbread dough).

Sweet shortcrust pastry

Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes (minimum)
Equipment needed: bowls, box grater, cling film

225g (8oz) all purpose flour
30g (1oz) sugar
2.5ml (½ tsp) salt
110g (4oz) unsalted butter, cold (frozen is better)
2 (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

Jasmine’s notes:
• I make this using vanilla salt and vanilla sugar.
• If you wish, you can substitute the seeds of one vanilla bean, one teaspoon of vanilla paste or one teaspoon of vanilla extract for the almond extract

Frangipane

Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Equipment needed: bowls, hand mixer, rubber spatula

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 pallid yellow colour.

Annemarie’s notes:
• Add another five minutes or more if you’re grinding your own almonds or if you’re mixing by hand (Heaven help you).

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11 Responses

  1. That looks great, Erin! I kind of wish I’d gotten my act together enough to make my own jam. But I waited until the last minute, too, and just didn’t have the energy to deal with it. I just looked at the recipe you used, and it looks easier than I thought it would be. Maybe next time. =)

  2. Great job and looks delicious!

  3. It looks phenomenal – really. I’ve only had store bought tarts before, but that looks far superior to anything I’ve ever seen!

  4. Glad you enjoyed the challenge–your tart looks great.

    Thanks for participating.

    j

  5. congrats on making your own jam to go w/this :)

  6. Congrats on the challenge! Your tart looks great. I wonder what’s in store for us next month!

  7. I love the idea of using different kinds of flour! Yum! Your jam looks like it came out great! I love homemade jam. :)

  8. Yum looks delicious!

  9. Beautifully done! This looks great :) Millet flour?! Outstanding subsitution!

  10. What a cute little tart! Glad you squeezed this one in (I seem to always do that!).

  11. Glad you found the time for a humble little tart in between all your cake making! Sounds like a success, both with the tarts and the home made jam.

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