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.
When I saw that this month’s Daring Bakers’ challenge was a tart, I laughed out loud. I had plenty of practice making tarts last month, so I sure was ready for this challenge! This recipe sounded delicious as I love anything almond flavored, and this tart had almond both in the pastry dough as well as in the frangipane. Some call this a tart, some call it a pudding, I would actually call it a cake-tart. The frangipane did turn out semi-spongy, but I couldn’t see any resemblance to a pudding. Whatever you wish to name it, it paired mighty well with both blueberry preserves and Nutella.
Sweet shortcrust pastry (recipe below)
Frangipane (recipe below)
1 cup blueberry preserves OR 1 cup Nutella, warmed
1. Place the chilled dough disc on a lightly floured surface. If it’s overly cold, you will need to let it become acclimatized for about 15 minutes before you roll it out. Flour the rolling pin and roll the pastry to ¼ inch thickness, by rolling in one direction only (start from the center and roll away from you), and turning the disc a quarter turn after each roll.
2. 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.
3. Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
4. Remove shell from freezer, spread as even a layer as you can of preserves or Nutella onto the pastry base. Top with frangipane, spreading to cover the entire surface of the tart.
5. Smooth the top and put into the oven for 30 minutes. Five minutes before the tart is done, the top will be brownish. Remove from oven and strew flaked almonds on top and return to the heat for the last five minutes of baking.
6. The finished tart will have a golden crust and the frangipane will be tanned 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.
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
½ tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold
2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1-2 tablespoons cold water
1. Sift together flour, sugar and salt.
2. 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.
3. Lightly beat the egg yolks with the almond extract 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.
4. Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1/2 cup ground almonds
2 tablespoons flour
1. Cream butter and sugar together for about a minute or until the mixture is primrose in color and very fluffy.
2. 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, but that’s alright.
3. After beating the eggs in, pour in the almond extract and mix for about another 30 seconds and scrape down the sides again.
4. With the beaters on, spoon in the ground nuts and the flour. Mix well. The mixture will be soft, keep its slightly curdled look and retain its pallid yellow color.