Saturday, March 20, 2010

bakewell tart

someone got to the bakewell tart

I confessed some wanderlust a few weeks ago, though “some” is a bit of an understatement. See, parents get paralyzed a bit in the beginning — in the early days, just getting a cup of coffee in the morning is kind of a triumph — thus even when the kid hits a half year old (which once-Wee Jacob did this week, sniffle) and you’ve got a good routine down, you still know you’re not ready to pack everything the three of you will need for one week into suitcases and then willingly relocate to a 180 square foot stateroom for a so-called vacation.

great unsrhinkable tart doughgreat unshrinkable sweet tart doughall patched in and poked, tart shellpar-baked shell

But we’re doing it anyway and I cannot wait. The prospect of “whee! vacation!” is officially less terrifying than the number of diapers, burp cloths, types of infant first aid, teething rings and onesies we are packing into suitcases, thus, it is now or never: we’re getting on a boat. And guess who is coming with us?

jacob in his sailor suit

Don’t worry, this tart travels too. Sure, it sounds and may look like a traditional bakewell tart, but oh, I want to take it places. For example, my initial ambition had been to take it to Spain (for that aforementioned tapas party) with marcona almonds and either a Seville orange marmalade or membrillo (that I’d cook down until jam-y) base. Alas, I gave up quickly when I realized that finding unsalted, not already roasted marconas was going to be more effort than I was willing to put out on a Friday afternoon but in theory, this tart will travel nicely to Spain.

blanched almonds
spreading jam in the base
almond frangipane, to spread

Or Hawaii — macadamia nuts and pineapple, anyone? Or Vienna, with walnuts and a sour cherry jam. And heck, I’ve already taken it to Thanksgiving dinner. However, even if it never leaves its original home — lovely old Bakewell, in Derbyshire, England — this is a delicious thing, a buttery tart shell and a slick of bright raspberry jam underneath a toasty baked almond frangipane filling.

bakewell tart

I find it impossible not to like.

bakewell tart, dusted with sugar

This week: We’re sailing the deep, blue sea (or, I have heard that it is both deep and blue and will be very upset if I have been misled) thus comment responses will be slow. But new recipes will still magically appear as we work through my cooking backlog. See? Everyone wins.

One year ago: Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Cornbread and Cream Cheese Pound Cake with Strawberry Coulis
Two years ago: Pasta with Cauliflower, Walnuts and Feta and Caramel Walnut Upside-Down Banana Cake
Three years ago: Lighter-Than-Air Chocolate Cake and Bulgur Salad with Chickpeas and Roasted Red Peppers

Bakewell Tart
An amalgamation of many recipes

1 Great Unshrinkable Sweet Tart Shell, partially baked in a 9-inch removable bottom tart pan

1 cup coarsely chopped almonds, blanched if you can find them
1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest (not traditional, but just lovely in there)
1/3 cup raspberry jam
Slivered or sliced almonds, for garnish (optional)

Finely grind almonds and flour in processor. Mix in sugar, then butter, extract and orange zest. Blend until smooth. Mix in egg and egg white. Transfer filling to medium bowl. Cover and chill at least 3 hours.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Spread jam over base of tart shell. Dollop the almond filling all over, then spread it carefully with an offset spatula. If using slivered or sliced almonds as garnish, sprinkle them over the top now. Bake tart until golden and tester inserted into center of filling comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool tart in pan on rack.

To serve, push pan bottom up, releasing tart from pan. Cut tart into wedges and sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

Do ahead: Almond filling can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled. Whole tart can also be made half a day in advance. Let stand at room temperature


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