Monday, July 27, 2009

Daring Baker Challenge: Bakewell Tart, June 2009

I know! I am posting a June challenge in July?! I have lots of excuses, but you probably aren't interested in hearing them.

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 have never made a bakewell tart, or a frangipane and so this was a new endeavor for me. The whole process went smoothly and all of the people that tried my creation really enjoyed it! I stuck to the recipe 100% and did not make it gluten free. I didn't want to eat it, so I didn't bother. This wouldn't be a hard "pie" to do a gluten free version of either.

Bakewell Tart…er…pudding

Makes one 9” tart
- mine was 10 inches

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, rolling pin
One quantity sweet shortcrust pastry (recipe follows)
Bench flour
250ml (1 cup - 8 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 400 degrees Farenheit.
Remove shell from freezer, spread as even a layer as you can of jam - I used raspberry with lotsa seeds - 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.

• You can use whichever jam you wish - doesn't matter what flavor. I used Smuckers Organic raspberry because it was my brothers and was a jam that was "wheated."
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry (pie crust)
Prep time: 15-20 minutes

Resting time: 30 minutes (minimum)

Equipment needed: bowls, box grater, cling film
8oz all purpose flour, 1oz sugar, ½ tsp salt, 4oz unsalted butter, cold (frozen is better),
2 egg yolks, ½ tsp almond extract (optional- I used vanilla instead), 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
Prep time: 10-15 minutes

Equipment needed: bowls, hand mixer, rubber spatula
4.5 oz unsalted butter, softened,
4.5 oz icing sugar- I used regular refined sugar,
3 eggs, ½ tsp almond extract- again, I used vanilla,
4.5 oz ground almonds - mine where blanched, 1oz all purpose flour
Cream butter and sugar together for about a minute or until the mixture is 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. Don’t panic- it will 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, and keep its slightly curdled look (mostly from the almonds).

I apologize for the crazy format of the font. Blogger is a little weird. I pasted in most of the post since it was already given to us Daring Bakers, as opposed to typing it out again - no way! - and this seems to mess up the normal font formatting.

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