Emma Roberts: Bakewell tart - Baking with Emma

Well, it’s been a very busy few weeks for Emma’s Little Bakery but I always like to find time to make something for dessert at the weekends.

One of my many favourites is a Bakewell Tart. Unfortunately, my partner isn’t a fan of almonds so I don’t get the chance to make it very often, but when I do, I usually end up eating most of it myself if we don’t have any guests with us.

Over the years, there have been numerous different stories about how the Bakewell Tart came to be, but most have now settled on this view; Sometime in 1820, Mrs Greaves, who was the landlady of the White Horse Inn, Bakewell, at the time, invited some friends around for dinner. She instructed her cook to make a Bakewell Pudding but as the cook was inexperienced she spread the jam underneath the egg mixture instead of on top of it therefore creating a tart. The tart was served to the guests and they praised Mrs Greaves’ fabulous new dessert. She then instructed her cooks to continue using the “mistaken” recipe and that’s how the Bakewell Tart was born.

Now I doubt this recipe is the one used back then (you never know) but regardless, the final product is still delicious!

Emma’s Top Tips:

When making the pastry, you want to keep all the ingredients as cold as possible. I actually place the flour in the fridge for a hour or so before I start. Also, keep you hands cold too, you don’t want your warm mitts melting the butter

If you don’t have baking beans, you can use dry rice.

I sometimes find that jam can be a little hard to spread, so I put the jam in a large mug or small bowl and give it a good stir. This loosens it up and makes it much easier to work with.

If you’re rushed for time, you can cheat! Ready-made pastry won’t be quite as nice as homemade but it’ll do the trick. The only advice I’ll give is don’t buy the one which is already rolled out. It’s quite thin and will most likely crack when you try to place it in the tin.

You can find me and a selection of my home-made cupcakes at The Apex Craft and Gift Fair this Saturday (April 21).

For the pastry:

150g plain flour

75g butter

A pinch of salt

2-3 tablespoons of water

For the Filling:

4-5 tbsp raspberry jam

125g unsalted butter softened

100g almonds grounded

25g plain flour

125g caster sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp almond extract

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees centigrade or gas mark 6

Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Sprinkle with 3 tbsp of cold water and mix in using a round-bladed knife. Add a drop more water only if the dough will not clump together. With your hands, gather together into a firm but pliable dough, handling as little as possible.

Wrap the ball of dough in greaseproof paper or cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes

Roll out the pastry and line a 9”/23cm tart tin. Lay a sheet of greaseproof/baking paper and fill with baking beans. Cook for 15 minutes or until the pastry is a pale golden colour. Remove the baking beans and cook for a further 5 minutes reducing the oven temperature to 190 degrees centigrade or gas mark 5

Meanwhile, combine the butter, sugar, flour and almonds and then beat in the eggs, almond extract and vanilla extract.

Spread the pastry base with jam and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Spread almond mixture evenly over the jam and bake for 25-30 minutes until the filling is golden brown and set in the middle. You can tell this by gently shaking the tin. If the filling appears to ‘wobble’, then return it to oven. If the top is getting too brown then lower temperature by a further 10ºC.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

I’m a media consultant by day, baker by night, and I will be sharing my memories and favourite recipes with you each fortnight. Follow me on Twitter (EmmasLilBakery) and be my Facebook friend (EmmasLittleBakery).