Although I’m proud to be a Yorkshireman, I’ve lived in rural Derbyshire, not far from Bakewell, for over twenty years. And among Derbyshire folk, opinion is divided on which is the “proper” authentic fruit to use in a Bakewell Tart: raspberry or cherry. Anyway, here’s my lovely cherry version, but if you’re a raspberryite, simply replace the cherry elements with raspberry ones. (And if you fancy blueberries, go for it, your secret will be safe with me.)
Serves: 10 slices, 12 if you’re frugal or have a big family
Time: About 1 hour 45 minutes
Level: Reasonably easy, but getting the pastry into the tin can be quite “interesting”
Need: A 20cm/8” tart tin, ideally with a loose bottom
- 200g/7oz plain flour
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- Small pinch of salt
- 100g/3½oz cold unsalted butter, in small pieces
- 1 medium egg
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 – 3 tsp cold water
- 100g/3½oz unsalted butter, softened
- 100g/3½oz golden caster sugar (white is OK too)
- 2 large eggs
- 50g/1¾oz plain flour
- 75g/2½oz ground almonds
- ½ tsp almond extract
- ½ tsp cherry extract (don’t worry if you don’t have any, just leave it out)
- 100g/3½oz cherry jam
- 100g/3½oz fresh cherries (reserve about 10 for decoration, de-stone the rest and cut into halves)
- 25g/1oz flaked almonds
- 1 tsp icing sugar to dust (optional)
I think I’m guilty of waffling on quite a bit below, so feel free to skip the green bits.
1. First, make the pastry. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, icing sugar and salt. Add in the butter and rub in until breadcrumb consistency.
2. Lightly beat the egg then add the lemon juice and 2 tsp cold water. Stir this into the dry mixture using a round bladed knife. Add another tsp of cold water if it seems very dry.
Stages 1 & 2 can be done by hand or in a food processor. If you use a food processor, take care not to over mix.
3. Open out a sheet of cling film then gather the mixture into a dough, kneading it very briefly. Place onto the cling film and form it into a disc shape as you wrap it. Leave in the fridge for about 20 – 30 minutes.
4. While the dough is chilling, turn the oven on to 200°C / Fan 180°C / 400°F / Gas 6.
5. To make the frangipane filling, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding a tsp of flour if the mixture begins to split. Stir in the rest of the flour, the ground almonds and whatever extracts you’re using. Set aside.
As before, this can be done in your food processor, but it’s also easy with just a wooden spoon, which is a lot easier to wash up.
6. Bring the chilled pastry out of the fridge and roll it out into a circle big enough to line the bottom of the tin and the sides plus a little to spare.
You can do this on a lightly floured surface, but what I find works well is to put the dough onto a large sheet of cling film, or two sheets in a cross shape. I then put the sheet I used to wrap the dough over the top and roll out the dough. When the circle is big enough I remove the top sheet and use the bottom sheets to invert the dough into the tin. The cling film can then be filled for blind baking.
7. However you choose to get the dough into your tin, make sure it’s pressed gently into all the fluted parts and “corners”. I use a floured knuckle, or you could use a small ball of spare dough.
This pastry is quite fragile and easily tears, but don’t panic, it can just as easily be repaired, use some of the extra overhanging dough to patch any tears.
8. Either using the cling film or a piece of scrunched up parchment, fill the tart with baking beans or dried rice and blind bake for 12 – 15 minutes. Remove the cling film and beans then bake for a further 5 – 7 minutes, until it has begun to colour. Use a sharp knife to trim away any extra pastry. Turn the oven down to 180°C / Fan 160°C / 350°F / Gas 4.
9. Spread the jam over the base of the pastry case then add the cherry halves spread evenly, cut-side down.
They’re cut-side down to reduce the likelihood of the frangipane having pink “splodges” from the juice. If you want pink “splodges” then put them cut-side up.
10. Put blobs of frangipane over the jam and cherries then gently spread them out, avoiding stirring the jam layer unless, as above, you want a swirly pink colour.
11. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes then scatter on the flaked almonds and bake for a further 15 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin before slicing.
12. To decorate you could simply dust with icing sugar. A more appealing option, in my opinion, is to use the reserved cherries. Wash them first and dry gently with kitchen paper as this will give them a shine. A small blob of jam will help keep them upright and in place. And, if you want, you could still dust with icing sugar.
I hope you enjoy this lovely tart. If you want to see more similar recipes click here.
Two other tasty tarts, that I think you’ll love are these:
Please have a look at my site for lots of other recipes, sweet and savoury.
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