The Bakewell Tart is a traditional English baked dessert tart of cake. It is a distant cousin of the original “Bakewell Pudding.” The Bakewell Tart consists of a shortcrust pastry shell, spread with jam and covered with a sponge-like filling enriched with ground almonds (Frangipane). The Derbyshire town of Bakewell claims to be the home of the authentic Bakewell Pudding. The tale told to tourists is that the tart was an accidental invention of the 1860’s, which occurred when a nobleman visiting the White Horse Inn (now called The Rutland Arms) at Bakewell and ordered a strawberry tart. The cook, instead of stirring the egg mixture into the cake, spread it on top of the jam.
For The Pastry:
1 ¼ Cups Unbleached Flour
1/3 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar
½ Teaspoon Salt
10 Tablespoons Chilled Unsalted Butter (Cut into Pieces)
2 Lightly Beaten Egg Yolks (Plus 1 Tablespoon Water)
For The Filling:
8 Tablespoons Unsalted butter
1/3 Packed Almond Paste
½ Cup Sugar
3 Lightly Beaten Eggs Plus 1 Egg White
1/3 Cup Plus 1 Tablespoon Cake Flour
1 Cup Strawberry, Raspberry or Sour Cherry Jam
For The Icing:
1 1/3 Cups Confectioner’s Sugar
2 Tablespoons Water
6 Halved Candied Cherries
To make the pastry: In a food processor combine flour, confectioner’s sugar and salt. Pulse to mix. Add the butter and process in short pulses until pea-sized crumbs form . Do this for 25 seconds. While pulsing, add the egg yolk mixture and process to form large, moist crumbs (pulse 15 seconds more). Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, shape the dough into a ball and divide it in half. Shape each half into a flat 5” dish and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Move the oven rack into the center of the oven and preheat to 400° F.
Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll out to 1/8 inch thickness. Using a 3 inch round cookie cutter, cut out 12 rounds of pastry. Transfer a round to each well of a 12 well mini tart tin or you may use individual mini tart tins. Using your fingers, press the pastry to fit into the well. Refrigerate until ready to bake.
To make the filling: In a large bowl beat the butter until light and creamy with an electric mixer. Add the almond paste and sugar. Beat until smooth and creamy. While beating, add the eggs one at a time. Blend well after each addition. Reduce the speed to low and fold in the cake flour until just blended and no lumps of flour remain. Spoon 1 heaping teaspoon of jam into each tart shell to make a thin layer ¼ inch deep. Spoon the filling into each shell, filling it just to the top. Bake in a preheated oven until (on the middle rack) the tartlets are golden. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Repeat until you have finished up making all tartlets.
For the icing: Sift the confectioner’s sugar into a bowl. Combine with 2 tablespoons of water until smooth. Spoon the icing over the cooled tartlets and tope with candied cherry half. Makes 24 tartlets