Rowsley Tart (Tray Bake)

You’ve probably never heard of a Rowsley Tart. That’s because I’ve only just created it today (3rd July 2021). I’ll explain. Rowsley is a small village in Derbyshire, about three miles from Bakewell. So, it’s close to Bakewell. And my Rowsley Tart is close to a Bakewell Tart. In fact it began as one, but like many of my bakes, things happen and it changes, or should I say “develops”?

I was following a recipe for a Bakewell Tart Tray bake, but halfway through I felt that the mixture was simply not enough to fill the lined tin, so I had to improvise. Then I discovered I didn’t have a couple of the ingredients, but others instead would serve equally well and in they went.

That’s enough of my excuses and waffling. I’ll give you the original ingredients then my adjusted list. I’ll write the recipe method a little differently too, hopefully that’s OK.

Original ingredients

  • 150g plain flour
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 150g ground almonds
  • 1 egg
  • 200g raspberry jam
  • 30g flaked almonds

My ingredients (All approximate) + comments

  • 200g/7oz plain flour
  • 200g/7oz golden caster sugar
  • 275g/9½oz Morrisons “Spreadable(It’s good and very convenient, I often use it or similar soft butter spreads.)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 200g/7oz ground almonds
  • 50g/1¾oz desiccated coconut (I was running out of ground almonds, so used this. Good decision, I’ll use more next time.)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 250g/9oz damson jam (No raspberry jam, but this was homemade and probably better.)
  • 30g/1oz toasted flaked almonds (Toasted almonds taste that bit nicer; I just happened to have some to hand.)


This is what I think I did. Sorry to be so vague, but I was busy adapting “on the hoof” so didn’t make any notes until later.

1. I lined a 20 x 30cm (13” x 9”) tin with baking parchment. Rather than grease the tin and create all that messy washing up I now do it this way: Cut the parchment so it will fit in and go up all the sides then snip in at each corner at an angle of 45°. Wet the tin or the paper with water and simply sit it in neatly. Turn the oven on to reach 190°C/fan 170°/375°F/Gas 5.

NB Here’s an update and an apology. While re-reading the instruction above, I seem to remember that it may have been a 20cm/8″ square tin that I used. Sorry for any confusion.

2. Put the flour, 75g/2½oz sugar and half the salt (i.e. ¼ tsp) in a mixing bowl with about half of the butter (or “Spreadable”) and rub it in until you achieve breadcrumb consistency. Spoon blobs of this mixture into the bottom of the tin as this will make it easier to spread them over the whole surface. When it’s all covered, press the mixture down firmly (I use a plastic scraper). Bake for 15 minutes.

3. While it’s in the oven, make the frangipane mixture by combining the rest of the butter, caster sugar and salt with the ground almonds and desiccated coconut. (The soft “Spreadable” makes this easy, but butter straight from the fridge will need to be softened.)

4. Break the egg into a bowl and add the almond extract. Give it a quick whisk with a fork then add it to the rest of the frangipane ingredients and mix it all together.

5. Once the base is out of the oven, repeat the blobbing method with the jam then spread it evenly right to the edges. (I actually warmed my jam in the microwave for 20 seconds first, but I wouldn’t bother next time as the base is warm enough to help spread the jam anyway.)

6. Now for some more blobbing and spreading – this time it’s the frangipane mixture, followed by the flaked almonds.

7. Tap the tin on the work surface a couple of times to release any trapped air then bake it for about 30 minutes. Check after 20 minutes and cover with foil if it’s getting too dark. If necessary turn the temperature down a little. (I usually turn tray bake tins around at this stage. Even though ours is a fan oven, it tends to cook a little unevenly.)

8. Remove from the oven and leave in the tin for 15 minutes to cool. I cut mine in the tray using a metal bench scraper (see photo) then waited another 15 minutes before removing them individually. You can sprinkle them with icing sugar if you want. I didn’t bother, no not true, I just forgot.

I hope this hasn’t been too rambling, vague or inaccurate. I’d love to hear how it goes, so please let me know via the contact page. And remember – it’s a Rowsley Tart, not a Bakewell tart – and you saw it here first.   

I hope you give this bake a try. Click this link for further traybake recipes, or have a look at the rest of my site for lots of other great sweet and savoury recipes. Here are some that I’d love you to try:

Coffee and Walnut Blondies

Strawberry Millionaires Shortbread

Blueberry and Orange Flapjack

Whatever you bake and whoever you bake for

I hope it’s great and that you enjoy it

Best wishes