One of the things I really like about Bakewell Tart is how it is utterly unlike what I always used to think a Bakewell Tart was, with lots of white icing and a glace cherry. This almond and jam concoction is far more fun. It’s also one of my husband’s favourites, so he’s delighted we’ve hit this week in the bake through!
In Love, Lies and Lemon Pies, this is actually a technical challenge set for Bake Club by Miss Anderson, testing their knowledge of different techniques they’ve learned so far – including the basics like creaming together butter and sugar, making pastry, separating eggs and baking blind. It’s a bit fiddly, with different stages involving chilling and cooling and such, but it’s worth the effort.
And, because we haven’t had one for a while, I thought we should have a snippet from the Bakewell Tart chapter of the book, before we get to the recipe. Warning, though, we’re quite far into the book by now, so spoilers ahead!
“So we won’t tell them. Nobody here would, anyway. They’re all your friends. Even Grace.” Much as it pained me to admit it.
“I know.” His voice was soft. “I know.”
“And I’m your friend.” More than, maybe, if he’d let me.
He looked up, and the brightness of his eyes caught in my heart all over again. “Just my friend?”
I didn’t think about it too much. If I had, I’d have talked myself out of it before I even moved. Instead, I rose up on my tiptoes, one hand against his chest, and pressed my lips against his.
Everything else ceased to matter, for as long as we were touching. All thoughts of baking, of competitions, of the others in the kitchen, even of my mum, or his dad – they all floated away. All I could think about was the way his hands felt at my waist, all I could feel was his breath mingling with mine. All I could care about was that moment, just the two of us.
But eventually, the real world intruded, in the form of Hugo opening the kitchen door, saying, “Oh! Sorry!” very loudly, and slamming the door again. The sound of laughter soon followed from behind it.
I pulled away, dropping back down to my normal height, and trying not to blush as I looked up at Mac.
“So, not just a friend?” he said, after a moment.
“Not just a friend.” Now it was my turn to look at my feet, but Mac’s quick fingers caught my chin and kept me looking at him.
“So, we’re… more than friends?” I had no idea what else to call it. Guys like Mac didn’t date girls like me. I couldn’t imagine for a moment walking into school on Monday as Mac’s girlfriend, and I dreaded to think about what Mrs Tyler would say once word got around.
Mac’s smile was slow but warm. “More than friends. Sounds good.”
For a long moment, I could do nothing but smile back at him. But eventually, the sounds from the kitchen became too loud to ignore, and it was time to return to the real world.
For the pastry
- 150g plain flour
- 75g cold, diced butter
- a pinch of salt
- 25g caster sugar
- 1 egg, separated
- 1 tsp cold water
For the filling
- 3 whole eggs and 1 egg yolks
- 3 tbsp raspberry jam
- 150g room temperature butter
- 150g caster sugar
- 150g ground almonds
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp flaked almonds
Make the pastry by putting the flour, butter, sugar and salt in a bowl then using your fingertips to rub them together until they resemble breadcrumbs (this is Holly’s very favourite part about baking!)
Add the egg yolk and water and mix with your hands until the dough comes together
Flatten the dough into a disc, wrap in clingfilm then chill for 30 minutes
Once chilled, roll the pastry out onto a floured surface to a 3mm thickness
Line a greased 20cm tart tin with the pastry. If it starts to fall apart (like mine did!) just patch it up with any leftover scraps of pastry. It’s not the end of the world. Once it’s even, prick the base with a fork.
Chill for another 20 minutes, while you heat the oven to 180ºC / fan 160ºC / gas mark 4
Bake blind for 20 minutes, until the pastry is a pale golden colour (for notes on how to bake blind, see my Asparagus Quiche recipe)
Now for the filling!
Brush the inside of the pastry case with a little egg white, then cook for another 2 minutes. Cool slightly
Spread the jam in an even layer over the base of the pastry case
Cream together the butter and sugar, then gradually add the eggs
Fold in the ground almonds and lemon zest
Spoon the mixture carefully over the jam and spread level
Bake for 20 minutes
Scatter with the flaked almonds and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until it’s golden and set
Cool to room temperature, dust with icing sugar and serve with cream or custard