A Bakewell Tart is basically a sweet shortcrust shell topped with fruit jam or curd and frangipane. I'd never made frangipane before, so I was excited about this challenge! I decided to make Sherry Yard's blackberry-lime curd as my filling because I'd been flipping through her cookbook just before finding out about the challenge and wanted to try out the recipe. I'd never made a curd that wasn't lemon or lime, so this was also a new recipe for me!
I unfortunately underbaked the tart a bit, so the frangipane in the middle was too soft, but the tart was really delicious nonetheless (I just scraped off the oozy frangipane at the end of each slice). The sweet-tart curd went really well with the soft frangipane and overall it was just a really delicious dessert.
Next time I would probably use Dorie's sweet almond tart dough instead, only because I think it's a bit easier to work with and it has a nice crumbly texture from the addition of almond meal. I'd also make sure to bring my filling to room temperature before using it in the tart and to cook the tart until it is no longer at all wobbly in the center. I'm also interested in trying this with some different jams in the future.
Bakewell Tart with Blackberry-Lime Curd
Makes one 9” tart
Prep time: less than 10 minutes (plus time for the individual elements)
Resting time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Equipment needed: 9” tart pan or pie tin (preferably with ridged edges), rolling pin
One quantity sweet shortcrust pastry (recipe follows)
250 ml (1 cup) blackberry-lime curd, room temperature
One quantity frangipane (recipe follows)
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 an even layer of curd 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 40 minutes.
The finished tart will have a golden crust and the frangipane will be tanned, poofy and a bit spongy-looking. A tester should come out clean. Remove from the oven and cool on the counter. Serve warm.
When you slice into the tart, the almond paste will be firm, but slightly squidgy and the crust should be crisp but not tough.
Sweet shortcrust pastry
Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes (minimum)
Equipment needed: bowls, box grater, cling film
225 g (8 oz) all purpose flour
30 g (1 oz) sugar
2.5 ml (½ tsp) salt
110 g (4 oz) unsalted butter, cold (frozen is better)
2 egg yolks
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
15-30 ml (1-2 T) 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 vanilla seds 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
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Equipment needed: bowls, hand mixer, rubber spatula
125g (4.5 oz) unsalted butter, softened
125g (4.5 oz) icing (confectioners') sugar
125g (4.5 oz) ground almonds
30g (1 oz) 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.
Blackberry-Lime Curd (adapted from The Secrets of Baking by Sherry Yard)
2 pints (4 cups) fresh blackberries
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
1. Prepare a double boiler with simmering water in the bottom portion of the pan.
2. Puree the berries and pass through a fine-mesh strainer into a small bowl. Measure out 1 cup of puree and reserve the remaining puree for another use (like blackberry lime-ade...yum!)
3. Melt the butter and blackberry puree in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is fully melted. Add the sugar and lime juice, and stir until the sugar is fully dissolved.
4. Whisk together the eggs and egg yolks in the top of the double boiler. Slowly whisk in the hot blackberry mixture into the eggs in a thin stream, whisking constantly.
5. Put the top of the double boiler over the simmering water and whisk continuously for about 5 minutes, using a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl from time to time. The curd is ready when it is as thick as sour cream and registers 160 degrees on an instant read thermometer.
6. Strain the curd through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl, and let sit at room temperature until cool, stirring occasionally. While cooling, cover the curd with plastic wrap and press down so the plastic wrap touches the entire surface of the curd, to prevent a skin from forming.
7. You can now use the curd immediately, or chill it in the fridge. Just make sure to bring it to room temperature before using it in the tart. You will have extra, which is delicious on toast or pancakes!
Here are some of my personal favorites from this month. Be sure to check out all the amazing Bakewell Tarts at the Daring Kitchen.
Bakewell Tart with No-Recipe Cherry Jam
Bakewell Tart with Hazelnut Frangipane and Nutella
Bakewell Tart with Strawberry-Maple Jam
Bakewell Tart with Plum Jam or Lemon-Myrtle Curd
Mini Tarts with Lots of Flavors, Including Pear Vanilla Bean Jam
Bakewell Tart with Peach-Rosemary Jam
Bakewell Tart with Chili-Apricot Jam
Bakewell Tart with Lots of Lemon Curd
Bakewell Tart with Cherry-Thyme Jam and Cashew Frangipane
Berry and Coconut Bakewell Tarts