Bakewell tart (s) …errr…pudding (s) for the daring bakers June challenge ‘09

by Sunita on June 27, 2009

tThe 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.

Like many regional dishes there’s no “one way” to make a Bakewell Tart…er…Pudding, but most of today’s versions fall within one of two types. The first is the “pudding” where a layer of jam is covered by an almondy pastry cream and baked in puff pastry. The second is the “tart” where a rich shortcrust pastry holds jam and an almondy sponge cake-like filling.

The term “Bakewell pudding” was first penned in 1826 by Meg Dods; 20 years later Eliza Acton published a recipe that featured a baked rich egg custard overtop 2cm of jam and noted,

“This pudding is famous not only in Derbyshire, but in several of our northern counties where it is usually served on all holiday occasions.”

By the latter half of the 1800s, the egg custard evolved into a frangipane-like filling; since then the quantity of jam decreased while the almond filling increased.

Is it a tart or is it a pudding?

Someone once said something like “The Bakewell pudding is a dessert. The Bakewell tart is that girl over there.”

”As the hosts say, It’s a debate that rages on and we aren’t taking sides on this one. But we will say that many people call this pudding a tart.” After all, what’s in a name?

It consisits of three elements-

  1. Sweet shortcrust pastrty
  2. Frangipane
  3. Home made jam or curd (optional)

The following is the recipe we had to follow-

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


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.

What I did-

  • I had made the whole recipe for the pastry, in fact, a little more than was needed. In the end , I decided to make just  two small ones in 5 inch diameter pans. Saved the rest of the pastry for something else. I didn’t add the almond extract to the part I saved for later.
  • I made about a quarter of the frangipane.
  • I filled them with a home made apricot spread.
  • Finally drizzled the top with some icing sugar and decorated with slices of fresh apricots.

Recipe for the apricot filling-( makes about 1 cup). I did not need it all, and saved it for later use…probably some tiy crumbles.

What’s needed-

6 apricots, chopped

4 tblsp of honey ( more if the fruits are too tart)
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp crushed red chillies
6-7 tblsp of water

How to-

  1. Add everything to a wide pan and mix well.
  2. Place the pan over heat and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for about 7-9 minutes or till the fruit softens. Keep stirring in between.
  4. Raise the heat and stir constantly, mashing the fruit while doing so. Continue till most of the moisture evaporates and the mixture is thick and lumpy.
  5. Remove from heat and cool completely before filling the cases.

This was a relatively easy challenge. Everything came together beautifully. The apricot filling added a nice sharpness.

It was very rich though…glad I made smaller ones. All in all,a successful challenge with no hiccups at all…quite pleased with the results. Thanks ladies for hosting.

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rosa June 27, 2009 at 1:36 am

Great looking tartlets! I love apricot filling! A wonderful idea!




2 Priya June 27, 2009 at 2:15 am

the pudding…err tart looks gorgeous Sunita :-) I wish I could have a slice of it. just the bowl of jam will do too :D


3 prathibha June 27, 2009 at 3:57 am

Nice clicks..Nice to see these tartlets everywhere..


4 Audax Artifex June 27, 2009 at 6:27 am

Just love that last pix with the point of the tart…er….pudding jutting out of the page. In fact all the pixs are wonderful you have done a great job on this challenge and yes the tart is delish


5 Lisa June 27, 2009 at 7:28 am

Sunita, I’m in awe. Not only do your apricot Bakewell’s sound delicious, but my god, the photos are stunning. I need some photo tips from you! GORGEOUS, just GORGEOUS!


6 Aparna June 27, 2009 at 7:45 am

True. What’s in a name when the said tart/ pudding looks like this. :)


7 Dharm June 27, 2009 at 8:04 am

Superb tarts Sunita!! I thought of apricot too. Those pics are simply lovely!


8 Sabiilaa June 27, 2009 at 8:08 am

Beautiful looking tartlets…yumm!


9 Anita June 27, 2009 at 10:48 am

What a lovely vivid orange colour from the apricots! I love the ones on top too :)


10 Medhaa June 27, 2009 at 12:22 pm

They look so beautiful, lovely pictures.


11 anna June 27, 2009 at 12:27 pm

Ooh, I really love your filling! It’s so bright and sunshiney.


12 sara June 27, 2009 at 2:19 pm

That apricot filling sounds totally amazing! Wow. :) Yum!


13 Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy June 27, 2009 at 2:36 pm

Your tarts look so beautiful! I love the apricot filling you used. What a great combination flavors! Simply heavenly! And, your photos are so lovely, too!


14 deeba June 27, 2009 at 4:03 pm

Just beautiful Sunita. Love the perfect apricots & the beautiful jam. Wonderful pictures too…wow!!


15 isa June 27, 2009 at 4:32 pm

Love the apricot filling. Yours photos are wonderful! Great job!


16 yasmeen June 27, 2009 at 4:53 pm

Those apricots look magnificent and so do the tartlets:)


17 Anula June 27, 2009 at 4:53 pm

Your tarts look amazing :) very yummy!


18 Annemarie June 27, 2009 at 6:33 pm

Your apricots are beautiful, both before and anfter they were jelly-fied. I like the sound of the flavors that went into the jam – great combination.


19 RedChillies June 27, 2009 at 8:59 pm

The tart and the apricot filling looks amazing. The pictures are a treat.


20 Soma June 27, 2009 at 9:04 pm

love that little touch of spicy in the jam. I could just have the jam:-).. beautiful pictures.


21 Dragon June 27, 2009 at 10:04 pm

So lovely! Great job on this month’s challenge.


22 Dragon June 27, 2009 at 10:05 pm

So lovely! Great job on this month’s challenge.


23 Preethi June 28, 2009 at 3:41 am

ur presentation is incomparably the best!!!


24 Kitchen M June 28, 2009 at 4:39 am

Your apricot jam is making me drool. Looks so beautiful!


25 Sharmila June 28, 2009 at 5:12 am

This post is a visual treat Sunita! :-)
Love the way you have described the finished tart. :-)


26 Sunshinemom June 28, 2009 at 3:34 pm

Looks gorgeous!


27 DK June 28, 2009 at 4:15 pm

I would consider my learning’s almost at the end, if I see the day when my photos/baking talents reach yours! Thats like being in the zenith! That day will come………………………….(fingers crossed)!



28 CurryLeaf June 28, 2009 at 5:07 pm

Delicious.Love the apricot filling


29 Simran June 28, 2009 at 6:29 pm

Love your tart. Apricots are a nice touch


30 Valérie June 28, 2009 at 8:07 pm

It looks scrumptious! I really wanted to try this challenge with apricots, but there weren’t quite in season here yet… I love the shape of your tartlets!


31 Lauren June 28, 2009 at 10:36 pm

Yum!! Your tart looks amazing, and your photos are gorgeous =D. Beautiful job on this challenge!!


32 Meeta June 29, 2009 at 7:34 am

truly gorgeous tarts sunita! love the filling it looks chunky and too good! well done!


33 katie June 29, 2009 at 7:44 am

Your apricot spiced bakewell sounds delicious!


34 Kitty June 29, 2009 at 6:07 pm

What is left to say, but yum!


35 Kalai June 29, 2009 at 9:01 pm

Simply stunning, Sunita! The colors are amazing. :)


36 Sunita June 30, 2009 at 11:53 am

Thanks everyone for your nice words. This was an easy, but yummy challenge.

You do make me laugh, dear girl. You are too harsh on yourself; you needn’t worry, you’re doing great for yourself :-)


37 Nicisme June 30, 2009 at 4:19 pm

I think those are some of the best I’ve seen, very nice indeed.


38 breadchick July 1, 2009 at 3:31 am

Homemade apricot jam! That looks so delicious.


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