If you’re an American, there’s a good chance that you’ve never tried, much less heard of, a Bakewell Tart. I am fortunate that a big portion of my family is from England, so I’ve grown up on these amazing almond short bread pastries with raspberry filling and maraschino cherries on top. Thank God, because they are amazing.
Until now, I have been spending boat loads of money to have these incredible tarts shipped to me from across the pond. Amazon carries them, for about $7 with free shipping, but they take for-ev-er to get here. Like, they take so long that I usually forget I even ordered them, and when they finally show up I’m all surprised.
Anyway, now I can make my own, in the form of this huge pie-shaped tart. It’s beautiful, delicious, and a perfect addition to a tea party. I’m telling you, there is nothing better than a cuppa English breakfast tea with cream and sugar, and a slice of Bakewell tart.
Recipe adapted from BBC Food
Short Crust Pastry:
11 T butter
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 + 2 T cup ground almonds
11 T softened butter
1/2 C + 2 T caster sugar
1 free range egg
1 tsp almond extract
4 tablespoons of raspberry jam. Homemade would be delicious, but Smucker’s works great too.
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp almond extract
2-3 tablespoons cold water
Pink food color
maraschino cherries, for decoration.
*a note about caster sugar- Caster sugar and granulated sugar are not the same thing. Caster sugar is a baking sugar that has a texture somewhere in between granulated and powdered sugar. If you can’t find caster sugar, put your sugar in the food processor and process until it is super fine (but not powdered) and then measure.
For the pastry, measure the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter using your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the powdered sugar. Add the egg and 2 tablespoons cold water, mixing to form soft dough.
Press the dough firmly around the sides and bottom of a 9 inch tart pan or springform pan, and transfer to the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 390 degrees.
Bake your pastry for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden. Set aside to cool a little before adding the filling.
For the filling, spread the base of the pastry with 4 tablespoons of raspberry jam.
Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the ground almonds, egg and almond extract and mix together. Spoon the mixture into the pastry and smooth the surface . It’s okay if there’s a little bit of raspberry jam peeking out around the edges..
Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake for 25–30 minutes, until golden-brown and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely in the tin.
For the icing, sift the powdered sugar into a bowl. Stir in the almond extract and about 3 tablespoons cold water to make a smooth, fairly thick icing. Place 3 tablespoons of the icing in a separate bowl and add a little pink food coloring to make a raspberry colored icing. Spoon the pink icing into a small piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle.
When the tart has cooled completely, spoon the white icing on top and spread to form a smooth surface. Pipe parallel lines of pink icing over the white icing, then drag a toothpick through the lines (at a 90 degree angle to the lines) to create a feathered effect. Decorate with maraschino cherries if desired. Leave to set in the fridge, then serve in slices.