If you’re a fan of The Great British Baking Show, you may remember this recipe from an episode where the bakers are challenged by Mary Berry to make a Bakewell Tart, an English confection consisting of a short pastry shell beneath layers of jam, frangipane, and a topping of sliced almonds. Recently, pastry chef/author Gesine Prado posted a helpful instructional video on the King Arthur Facebook page demonstrating her take on the King Arthur recipe for this wonderful dessert. She made it look so easy, that I decided to give it a try. Watching the video allays any fear one might have when tackling a new recipe, and the result is spectacular. I made a couple of minor changes to the crust and filling recipe, but otherwise followed the recipe as printed, and followed Gesine’s mixing tips for the filling.
1 1/2 cups (7.5 oz/180g) unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup (2 oz/60g) confectioners’ sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (4 oz/113g) cold unsalted butter
1 large egg yolk; reserve the white for the filling
2 tablespoons heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups (4 ¼ oz/120g) almond flour
1/2 cup (3.5 oz/99g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (28g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 large egg white
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
8 tablespoons (113g) soft unsalted butter, cut into ½” pieces
¼ cup (2¾ oz/80g) seedless raspberry jam
½ cup (43g) sliced almonds
Confectioners’ sugar and raspberries, for decorating, if desired
FOR THE CRUST:
- Whisk together yolk, cream, and vanilla in small bowl. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in food processor with four 1-second pulses. Scatter cold butter pieces over flour mixture; pulse to cut butter into flour until mixture resembles coarse meal, about twenty 1-second pulses. With machine running, add egg mixture and process until dough comes together, about 12 seconds. Turn dough onto sheet of plastic wrap and press into 6-inch disk; wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 48 hours.
- Remove dough from refrigerator (if refrigerated longer than 1 hour, let stand at room temperature until malleable). Unwrap and roll on a lightly floured work surface into a 12” circle. Gently transfer the dough circle to a 9” tart pan, pressing it into the corners. Trim the dough with kitchen scissors so that you’re left with just 1/2” of overhanging dough around the perimeter of the tart. Fold the overhang down to reinforce the sides of the pastry then use the tines of a fork to poke holes across the bottom.
- Freeze the crust for 30 minutes. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Line the crust with parchment or foil and fill with pie weights, rice, or your favorite blind-baking weights.
- Bake the crust on a baking sheet (to catch any butter drips) with the weights for 20 minutes then remove the parchment or foil with the weights and bake for 5 to 10 minutes longer, until the edges and bottom of the crust are lightly golden.
- Remove the crust from the oven and allow it to cool while you prepare the filling.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F
FOR THE FILLING:
- Add almond flour, sugar, flour and salt to the bowl of a food processor and pulse 3- times to combine. Add egg and egg white, almond and vanilla extracts; process until combined, about 10 seconds. Add butter and process until no lumps remain, about 10 seconds. Scrape bottom and sides of bowl with rubber spatula and process to combine thoroughly, about 10 seconds longer. (Can be refrigerated in airtight container up to 3 days. Before using, let stand at room temperature about 30 minutes to soften, stirring 3 or 4 times.)
- Spread the raspberry jam evenly into the bottom of the slightly cooled crust. Using a piping bag (or use a plastic freezer bag and cut a ½” opening in the corner) pipe the almond filling in a circular motion to cover the jam. Alternatively, you can spoon the almond mixture over the jam, but be careful not to mix the jam into the almond filling. Once the jam is covered, gently spread it to the edges of the tart, and smooth out the surface. Sprinkle the sliced almonds evenly on top.
- Bake the tart on the baking sheet for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove the tart from the oven and allow it to cool completely on a rack. Transfer to serving plate and dust with powdered sugar and decorate with fresh raspberries, if desired. Serve at room temperature.