Top Shelf Tart, Get a Faceful of This One...
*Update* June 2006: Read more information and tips on making Jamie Oliver's bakewell Tart in this updated "How to Make Bakewells" post.
clicking on any image at any time, will increase your vision to tart size ratio
For the longest time I have been lusting after a slice of Bakewell tart. Bakewell tart, with a non-sweet pastry base, layer of strawberry jam and frangipane topping is a classic English tart loosely related to the less common but more historically interesting Bakewell Pudding.
The planets aligned themselves and a sequence of events conspired to present an opportunity for me to bake the tart.
Firstly some good friends gave me the most beautiful pie dish for my birthday. I suddenly realised I hadn't had any cake on my birthday. This was an oversight that needed to be sorted out as soon as possible.
Secondly, ever since I met Jamie Oliver last year and bought his Jamie's Dinners book, I have been gazing fondly at the Bakewell Tart picture, all the time wishing it was mine.
Thirdly, despite working crazy hours I seemed to have all the ingredients needed for this particular tart without budging an inch. The last thing I wanted to do on my one precious day off was to have to go trundling round the shops for this, that and the other. Proof that the Bakewell has long been on my mind might be found in a 5lb bag of ground almonds sitting in my pantry, or a jar of top quality June Taylor strawberry jam sitting on my shelf, just waiting for the opportunity to perform together for an adoring audience.
Fourthly, although I am not one for making the world's best pastry, I'd read about Shuna's easy to make piecrust on Eggbeater and concluded that her interesting-sounding method looked like a fun one to try out.
Fifthly and finally, I had spotted the announcement for Sugar High Friday and the subject was Tarts. This was the final piece in the jigsaw puzzle, the perfect excuse to make the very thing I had been toying with making for months. Bakewell Tart.
Cooking Notes. The recipe is not included in this post, because although my tart turned out absolutely deliciously, (as my work colleagues can vouch) I think the measurements can further be improved upon. In particular I feel that Jamie's frangipane recipe contains a little too much butter. I also had to bake the tart for about 3 x longer than suggested. Additionally, although Suna's recipe was, indeed, fantastically easy, I think further chilling of Shuna's pastry recipe would have helped out the crust of this particular tart. I am more than happy to play and experiment with this one a few more times before I can share a more solid recipe for this most yummy of scrummy English desserts. (I don't think my colleagues will complain about being experimented upon either.)
The answer to yesterday's teaser can be found in the comments section of yesterday's post.