There’s something so magical about the Bakewell Tart. Its essence is a shortcrust pastry case topped with a layer of jam, usually strawberry or raspberry, and a frangipane style sponge mixture and it just works.
I’ve used frangipane before and the cake batter was a lot wetter this time, so I blind baked the pastry, which I don’t normally do for frangipane. Blind baking is a part baking of the pastry shell to dry and colour the pastry so the pastry doesn’t absorb the moisture from the filling and create an undercooked pastry shell and the dreaded soggy bottom.
Whilst you can use ceramic baking beans to blind bake, I prefer using rice. It’s a lot cheaper and gets into the corners of the tart tin better thereby giving you a more even blind bake. Just set aside a container of “blind baking rice” to reuse over and over again. I’d replace it every year, and when the rice starts to burn, you know it’s gone its course.
For this recipe, I’d advise using a 23cm loose bottomed fluted tart tin.
175g plain flour
75g Stork, cubed
40g caster sugar
1 tbsp cold water
2 tbsp raspberry jam
100g granulated sugar
125g Stork, melted
125g ground almonds
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Place the flour into a medium bowl and add the cubed Stork. Rub them between your fingertips until it reaches a breadcrumb consistency. Add the sugar, egg and water and using one hand, bring the pastry together into a ball.
- On a floured surface, roll out the pastry until it is 5mm thick – it will become thinner when we work it in the tart tin, so don’t worry if it’s slightly thicker but do not make it thinner or it will be hard to handle.
- Remove the base from your tart tin and lifting up the pastry without breaking, slip the base underneath the pastry. Fold the edges into the centre and place the base with the pastry on it back into the tin and unfold the edges.
- Make sure that the pastry is tucked neatly into the edges. Take the rolling pin and roll the flutes so the pastry cuts off. Using the scraps, fill in any gaps in the base and sides. Then slightly press the pastry in the flutes so it sits proud by about 2mm around the edge.
- Take a large square of foil and place into the tart tin, making sure it touches the edges. Pour in your rice, or ceramic baking beans, and spread out so it evenly covers the foil.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Then remove the foil and rice.
- Whilst baking, prepare the filling by beating the eggs and sugar until they are slightly lighter and thicker. Add the melted Stork and ground almonds and whisk until it is well combined.
- Spread the jam over the base of the blind baked shell, working from the centre outwards. Pour over the liquid frangipane batter and then bake for 25 – 30 minutes until the frangipane is set and is a nice golden colour on top.
- Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before taking the tin off and removing the tart from the base. Serve with hot custard or cream.