Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Bake Well.

Dear Tarts,

Life will imitate art, or rather craft, eventually.  You can either bake a Bakewell Tart, or you can knit one.  The knitted is based on a pattern in Knitorama, by Rachael Matthews.  Her book also gives instructions for a crocheted sunny-side up egg, a knitted chocolate cake, and many other delights.  I knitted this Bakewell Tart several years ago.  Just recently, I baked the more edible Bakewell below, in a fine new French-made oblong tart pan- like this one, from Fante's. 
Bakewell Tart comes to us from Britain- it is a delicious dessert, and almost as charming a dish as Battenberg Cake- which is pure poetry to speak, and elegant to make.  We'll bake it one day, you and I.

Recipe adapted from Gourmet's Sweets- Desserts for Every Occasion, Conde Nast Books, Random House, New York, 1998.

Bakewell Tart

Pastry dough:

1/2 cup cold butter (if you use unsalted butter, add a 1/4 tsp. of salt to the dry ingredients)
1 1/4 cups flour
2 to 4 tbs. cold water

Cut the butter into the flour in the usual way- trickle in the cold water, once it holds together, wrap it up and chill it in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Roll out the dough, fit it into your tart pan (an 8 or 10" circle, or an 4" x 13" oblong), prick it on the bottom with a fork, and then line it with foil and fill it with rice, beans or pie weights.  Bake it for around 10 minutes- then remove the bean laden foil.  Return to the oven for another 5 minutes, or so.  You want it to look pale golden, and not wet.  Cool the shell while you make the filling.


1/2 cup butter (if unsalted, add a dash of salt to the filling)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup almond flour
1 whole egg
3 egg yolks

1/3 cup raspberry jam

Cream the butter and sugar, add the egg, then beat in the yolks, one at a time.  Add the flour and almond meal- mix just until combined.

Spread the jam on the bottom of the tart shell- then spoon the filling on top.

Bake the tart for 25 to 30 minutes, or until puffed and golden.  Cool in the pan.


1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract- or a mix of the two

Mix the sugar with the extract and add water until the consistency is drizzle-worthy.  Maybe, 2 or 3 teaspoons of water.  Get it onto your tart in any way you see fit- Gourmet uses a icing filled Ziploc bag with a cut corner, but it looks good if you just ladle it, or let it fall from the tines of a fork.

Serves 10- ha!  It serves 10 people who don't like tart- tart people will have this eaten in 6 to 8 ecstatic slices.