Bakewell tart (of which this is a poshed-up version) was always a favourite in our family when I was growing up in the British Midlands, not far from the Peak District. Then when I worked as a cook in...Read more
Blackberry frangipane tart
Bakewell tart with knobs on! A simple classic of crisp shortcrust pastry and almond sponge, with a layer of blackberry jam, topped with more blackberries and toasted almonds. Feel free to change the jam/fruit to suit whatever is in season - apricots, cherries, any kind of berry, or soft pears all work well. If you roll the pastry thinly, there is no need to blind bake. I like this best served cold, with a dollop of clotted cream or creme fraiche on the side. The pastry recipe will make enough for three tarts this size - it freezes beautifully (and actually behaves even better after freezing). I don't add sugar to the pastry, then the spare pastry can be used for savoury pies too, and there is sugar enough in the filling. You can use store-bought shortcrust pastry, but if it is the ready-rolled type, you will need to roll it out much more thinly (don't be tempted to use puff pastry, it will be soggy and disgusting). I tend to use dairy-free baking block because we have children in our family with dairy allergies, but you can use butter if you prefer. Because there are so many other flavours going on, the difference is taste is indiscernible, and if you are new to pastry, the non-dairy version is more pliable and less apt to tear.
For the shortcrust pastry:
- 250 g Plain flour
- 175 g Non-dairy block margarine or butter, very cold, cut into cubes
- 1 Egg
- 1 tbs Cold water
For the filling and topping
- 100 g Butter or margarine, softened at room temp
- 100 g Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 75 g Self-raising flour
- 75 g Ground almonds
- 0.5 tsp Natural almond extract
- 4 tbs Blackberry jam
- 1 handful Blackberries (fresh or frozen are fine)
- 1 handful Flaked (or slivered) almonds
- 2 tsp Icing sugar
- For the pastry, put the flour and butter/margarine into a food processor and whiz until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. (If you don't have a processor you can rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips, in a mixing bowl). Add the egg and water, and pulse the processor until the mixture starts to form a dough. (If you are making the pastry by hand, add the egg and water to the flour/butter or margarine mix and stir with a blunt table knife until the dough comes together). Tip the dough onto a lightly-floured surface and pat into a disc. Wrap in clingfilm or greaseproof paper, and refrigerate for at least half an hour (make it the day before if you wish). Once the pastry is well chilled, cut off just over one third of the pastry and roll out very thinly on a floured surface until it is slightly larger than your tart tin. Roll the pastry around your pin, then unroll over your tin. Push the pastry gently into the tin - if you like, you can use a small ball of surplus pastry to push the pastry right into the corners of the tin . Chill the pastry case while you make the filling. Any pastry trimmings can be added to the other leftover pastry and frozen for future use.
- Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan, and put a baking sheet or low-sided roasting tray in the oven to heat up (this helps the bottom of the tart to crisp up).
- For the filling, beat the sugar and butter/margarine until smooth, then whisk in the eggs, one at a time (don't worry if it slightly curdles). Fold in the flour and ground almonds, and the almond extract (be careful to measure the extract - it is strong stuff, and you want frangipane, not marzipan).
- Spoon the jam into the chilled pastry case and spread evenly with the back of a spoon. Spoon the frangipane sponge mix on top of the jam and spread evenly. Scatter the blackberries over the top, then sprinkle generously with flaked almonds. Put a little icing sugar into a tea strainer or small sieve and lightly sift over the top of the almonds and blackberries.
- Put the tin onto the heated tray and bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until the tart is a deep golden brown and feels just firm to the touch when pressed. Check after 20 minutes - if the top is becoming too brown, cover very loosely with some foil and continue to bake. Allow to cool for ten minutes before removing from the tin.
- Slice and serve just warm or at room temperature, with creme fraiche or clotted cream if you wish.