Bakewell Tarts

7 Oct

My boss at my office job is a very scary and fiery Scots woman – At least that’s what most people who do not know her on a personal level would describe her (on a good day). I spent the first 2 years at my job almost pissing my dacks whenever she spoke to me or made any sound at all from her office. In private, I called her “the land mine” and I would always tread with caution.

5 years have gone by now… and I have grown to actually love this Scots woman. In reality, behind the tough as nails crusty exterior she really is all Marsh and Mellow. She’s my Agony Auntie sent from heaven – always there to give a listening ear, an extremely loyal friend and a very understanding boss. She’s also keen on dogs… and Rod Stewart and secretly watches Junior Master Chef, which made me realise she’s more human than I had initially perceived.

For her birthday, I’ve made her Bakewell tarts – which I have heard her rave about. I’ve never had these tarts before or even heard of them but I think they must be popular in the UK. I’ve researched a few recipes on the internet and these tarts are made of a few components. Shortcrust pastry for the base, a thin layer of jam on the baked shortcrust pastry, a layer of frangipane filling (almond filling) and a thin layer of white icing topped with a glace cherry.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY scary lady!! May you have many more fantastic years to come! xoxo

Ingredients for sweet shortcrust pastry:

  • 175 grams Butter
  • 100 grams Caster sugar
  • 25 grams egg
  • lemon zest from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla essence
  • 250 grams plain flour – sifted
  • 1 egg white to brush the pastry so keeps the crunch

Ingredients for Frangipane filling:

  • 150 grams Butter
  • 100 grams Caster sugar
  • lemon zest from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 150 grams eggs
  • 150 grams almond meal
  • 20 grams plain flour

Other ingredients:

  • Raspberry or strawberry jam
  • icing sugar and a couple of drops of warm water for the icing
  • glace cherries

Method for the shortcrust pastry:

  1. Cream the butter and the sugar until all the sugar dissolves. (You can use the paddle attachment of an electric mixer for this or cream by hand.)
  2. Add lemon zest and vanilla to the egg and add half the egg mixture to the butter mixture slowly (2 additions).
  3. Sift the flour.
  4. Add flour to the mixture and mix till combined with a wooden spoon or on slow speed in the electric mixer (*Do not overmix at this stage*)
  5. Wrap the dough in glad wrap and rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or until it is ready to be use
  6. Preheat your oven to 180°C.
  7. Roll out your pastry to about 1cm thick and line your tart tins with the pastry.
  8. Prick the pastry with a fork and blind bake them in the oven for 5 minutes or until the pastry looks just cooked.

9. Remove the weights that are used from the blind baking and bake the pastry till they turn a nice light brown colour.

10. Brush the pastry with a little egg white and bake for another 3-5 minutes. (This is to seal the pastry)

11. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool completely.

Method for the almond filling:

  1. Add vanilla to the egg.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer.
  3. Add the egg mixture to the butter mixture little by little.
  4. Add the almond meal and flour and mix till the mixture comes together.
  5. Put the almond filling into a piping bag (if you haven’t got a piping bag, it’s ok.)
  6. Spread a little jam inside the shortcrust pastry and pipe/spoon the almond filling into the tart cases.
  7. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
  8. Allow tarts to cool completely on the bench.

Method for the white icing:

  1. Add a few drops of water to the icing sugar and mix together till you get a spreadable consistency.

Assembly:

  1. Pour or spread the icing onto each tart and top with glace cherry.


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