Bakewell tart is a jam- or fruit-filled almond tart. It may be derived from the Bakewell pudding, a sort of almond custard pudding traditionally considered to have been invented by mistake in the early nineteenth century at a hotel in Bakewell*, Derbyshire.
There are many variations of Bakewell tart. Some recipes use puff pastry for the base, some insist on a specific type of jam for the filling, some use fruit instead of jam, some use breadcrumbs instead of flour in the almond sponge. The version I make uses shortcrust pastry and whatever jam I have to hand, which in turn usually depends on what soft fruit was most abundant the previous summer. The tart in the photograph is filled with blackcurrant jam. Here’s the recipe.
4 oz (approx 100 g) plain flour
1 oz (approx 25 g) lard
1 oz (approx 25 g) butter
Approximately 3 generous Tablespoons (3 x 15 ml spoons) jam of your choice
2 oz (approx 50 g) butter
2 oz (approx 50 g) light brown soft sugar
2 oz (approx 50 g) plain flour
2 oz (approx 50 g) ground almonds
First make the pastry. Rub the butter and lard into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Mix with a little cold water to a soft dough. If it is flaky, add a little more water; if it is sticky add a little more flour.
Or you could use ready-made shortcrust pastry if you prefer.
Roll out the pastry on a floured work surface and use it to line a shallow tart dish about 7” (approx 18 cm) diameter.
Spread the jam over the pastry in an even layer.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Beat in the egg.
Stir in the flour and ground almonds.
Spread the mixture evenly over the jam and level the surface.
Bake the tart in a hot oven at approximately 200 C for about 25 - 30 minutes, until the filling is set and pale golden.
Serve warm or cold, with pouring cream, whipped cream or ice cream.
I expect to get about 6 slices out of a tart this size, but that depends on how large a slice you like.
The tart will keep in an airtight tin for several days, or can be frozen.
*Bakewell is a pretty small town in the beautiful Peak District National Park, and probably makes an appearance as Lambton in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice