Saturday, June 27, 2009

June Daring Bakers: Bakewell Tart

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. The flavors were absolutely delicious together...I loved this dessert!

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)
Bench flour
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
3 eggs
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!

You can see how runny my almond frangipane was in the middle! Oops!

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


  1. c'est très réussi, j'adore la confiture que tu y as mise ! superbe :)

  2. Your tart is absolutely beautiful and so tempting! I love your choice of filling, yummy!



  3. Your filling look so gorgeous. Love the vibrant color! Your tart still look delicious, although the frangipane was slightly undercook. Well done Sara!

  4. Runny or not, it looks very tasty to me! Great job!

  5. I'm going to try the blackberry-lime curd, it sounds delicious! I'm sure it tasted great even if it was a bit undercooked!

  6. your tarts look tempting and beautiful!..

  7. Your tart looks lovely! I love the filling you used. I've been wanting to try that blackberry-lime curd myself. What a great combination of flavors! Heavenly!

  8. I agree that this challenge is one we can do over and over with different additions and they'd all be delicious. The curd sounds perfect. Nice choice!

  9. Your tart looks amazingly good! The frangipane is moist and cake-like. Great job!

  10. Oh my goodness, blackberry-lime curd sounds amazing! I will definitely have to give that a try sometime! Thanks for picking me as one of your faves! :)

  11. The curd sounds so good...and gave gorgeous color to your tart, too!

  12. Oh no worries about the runny frangipane! I like things fudgey like that! This is a great rendition, the blackberry-lime curd must have really rbough out the fragrance of the almond, while balancing the sweetness with some tartness and tangy-ness!

  13. I also loved this chalenge - this tart is one of my favourite desserts now too :) Your tart looks yummy! Cheers.

  14. Mmm. I've been meaning to try that blackberry curd recipe from Sherry Yard. I love the color of it in that last picture. I think I'm going to use one of Dorie's tart crust recipes next time, too.

  15. Blackberry-Lime curd is brilliant, and your frangipane came out so perfectly smooth and light in color - fluffy'ish'! Gorgeous job, it looks delicious!!!

  16. Great job on the challenge, I had a small mishap with mine as well, it didn't seem to be baking and very giggly in the middle but browning on top,so I covered it with foil, but then later when I removed the foil I removed some of the pretty browning layer, eek.

  17. That is a fantastic color with the blackberry lime curd! I had the same issue (initially) as you with the frangipane, but it got a lot better as the tart got cooler. Either way I'm sure it was delicious!

  18. I haven't tried anything other than the usual lemon curd before either - your blackberry lime curd looks awesome!

  19. Ohhh, the blackberry lime curd sounds fantastic! Your tart looks great and doesn't look to oozy. Job well done!

  20. Blackberry lime curd! What! OMG yum- I would so love that one!

  21. The blackberry lime curd sounds amazing! Great job on this month's challenge.

  22. Great tart! And blackberry and lime curd sounds like a must-try!

  23. I never expected blackberry-lime curd to produce such a beautiful purplish pink color! I love looking at everyone's work. They all look so different yet every single one of them appears very appetizing.

  24. WOW Sara, that blackberry lime curd has my vote! I love the colour. It's gorgeous & looks great in the Bakewell. Well done on the challenge!

  25. Beautiful tart! I'm going to try your blackberry-lime curd, it sounds delicious. Nicely done!

  26. Fantastic photos! Tart looks delicious ........:-)


  27. What lovely flavours! Blackberry and lime sounds absolutely delicious. Great job on your challenge.

  28. Liked the filling you used. So it ran a bit, but as long as you liked it, nothing else matters. :)

  29. Great idea! I love lime with anything (as evidenced by my using lime in my curd, too - LOL)! Awesome job.

  30. Great job! It doesn't matter that the frangipane was still a bit liquid, it's supposed to remain moist. I also really loved this challenge!

  31. blackberry lime curd sounds amazing and it looks so pretty in your tart.

  32. Blackberry lime curd? I thought I knew food but I guess I am living under a rock...thanks for opening my eyes!!! thanks for all your wonderful Ideas...

  33. blackberry lime curd.. yummmmm. That tart looked sensational!!

  34. your tart looks fabulous... and that layer of curd is so vibrant!

  35. the blackberry lime curd sounds divine. and the color is amazing!

  36. Interesting - blackbery lime curd - will have to try that sometime, but runny or not, it still looks great.

  37. Blackberry-lime curd sounds amazing as is, so I can only imagine how fantastic it was in this tart! Great choice, and very nicely done. :)

  38. Well done - glad to know that the recipe is tasty enough not just to cope with different flavors of jam, but to handle a slightly runny center as well!

  39. Delicious filling and beautiful tart!

  40. Glad you hope to try it again. There are a number of fabulous jams the DBs have come up with, so you've lots of inspiration.

  41. What a great flavor combination! Hmmm....blackberry & lime curd--I'm drooling! Good job!!