Sunday, 28 June 2009

Back again - just in time for another Daring Baker's challenge!

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.

Hello! Its been ages I know. The last few months have been manic and the baking, I'm sad to say, has fallen by the wayside. I've been slowly getting back into it and I've made it in time for the June Daring Baker's challenge - Bakewell tarts!

Having lived in London for the past 2.5 years, I've seen Bakewell tarts in various shops and menus and have always known they are a classic English dessert. Surprisingly, though, my curiosity has never gotten the better of me and I've never actually tasted one! So, now seemed as good a time as any to give it a go.

The recipe we were given was really easy to follow and I must say I was extremely happy with the way the tart turned out. It wasn't just that it was yummy, but I thought it looked quite good as well! Like something you could have bought in a store. Now I suppose whether this is a good or bad thing really depends on your perspective. M and I are always having little debates about this - he believes that home-baked goods should look slightly imperfect and that they were made at home while I, on the other hand, believe that they should look professionally made even when made at home. What do you think?

Bakewell Tart…er…pudding
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.