From Bakewell to Lifewell!

This post comes as a matter of urgency since Aunty Annie wants my Cherry Bakewell Tart recipe in exchange for her Lime and Blueberry cake and I can’t wait a single day more without getting my hands on that zesty moist masterpiece of hers. Annie is in fact not my Aunt, she is a childhood school friend, a mere month older than myself. Why call her Aunty Annie?! Because she got her shizz together! She is one of those members of your circle of friends that will undoubtedly end up being referred to as an Aunty by your kids since she is the exemplary epitomisation of womanhood! She works, she socialises, she is active, she sews, she is stunning, both inside and out, and of course she bakes! Not only does she bake well but she does life well!

Well… as a matter of fact she can’t actually Bakewell yet! But I am willing to surrender my Bakewell Tart recipe on the condition that she hands over her goods 😉 The Bakewell Tart is a British classic and one of my all time favourite teatime treats. The cherry and almond flavours complement each other spectacularly and, for me, it always has to be topped with a generous layer of icing. This tempting treat is not only popular with Brits but it also went down a storm in Argentina when it of course made the cut to appear on the menu of a British teatime afternoon. Other contenders included shortbread (of course!), scones (of double course!) and Luji’s famous Coffee and Walnut cake – hopefully I can get her to write a Hopscoff post soon *hint hint*!

 

When Luji and I spent the afternoon baking in preparation for the tea party it became apparent that any baking with ground almonds hasn’t really hit the market over there yet… since one cannot actually buy ground almonds! This seems hard to believe since over here upon every corner you turn you will find gluten free almond based recipes across the cakey board! But fear not! Making your own ground almonds is easy peasy lemon squeezy. All you have to do is soak the almonds in boiling water for a few minutes and then the skin will slip of straight away. Dry the almonds well and then place them in a food processor to whizz up and Bob’s your uncle! Granted that this won’t get you that fine consistency needed for making macaroons, but it surprisingly adds to the texture of a Bakewell tart. I actually prefer grounding my own almonds now, if I have a bit more time on my hands.

So if you are feeling at a bit of a loose end today and are not quite sure how to do life well, try Bake(ing)well! Give it a go… Mr Kippling eat your heart out 😉

The Cherry Bakewell Tart

Ingredients

Pastry 

225g plain flour

1tbsp caster sugar

110g butter

a little water

Filling

a jar of cherry jam

200g butter

200g caster sugar

4 free-range eggs

100g ground almonds

100g self-raising flour

2tsp almond extract

Icing 

400g icing sugar

3 tbsp water

glacé cherries (or topping of your choice!)

Method 

  1. To make the pastry mix together the flour, butter and sugar until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs and then add a little water until the pastry comes together to form a ball. Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and place in the fridge for about 20mins.
  2. In the meantime preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4 and prepare the filling. Start by beating together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Next add one egg and a tbsp of ground almonds at a time until all have been used up and all is well combined. Then add the flour and almond essence, stirring everything together.
  3. Grease a baking dish, remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover the baking dish with the pastry.
  4. Place an even layer of jam over the base of the pastry. The traditional jam used here is cherry but strawberry also works very well!
  5. Pour the filling over the layer of jam and then place in the oven for about 40mins. When ready it should be golden and slightly firm to touch. I often end up cooking it for about 50mins-1hour but this will all depend on the size of the dish used. The deeper the dish used the longer it will need to be cooked for.
  6. Leave the tart to cool completely and in the meantime mix the icing sugar and water together. The quantities may need to be adjusted according to the consistency that you like. I like my icing thick so often end up adding more icing sugar. For a runnier consistency add more water.
  7. Decorate the top of the tart with glacé cherries or an alternative could be chocolate buttons! (I mean who even likes the cherries anyway!? We always end up picking them off!)
  8. Enjoy with a cuppa!

 

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Bakewell Tart (no one really likes the cherries!)

Happy Bakewelling and Lifewelling!

nat

 

 

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