Don't ask me what is a Bakewell Tart cause frankly I have no clue whatsoever! However based on the initial pictures made by my fellow Daring Bakers it looked like a normal frangipane tart with the exception of a layer of jam in-between. I guess this type of tart is not that popular here in Singapore as I've not seen it in the bakeries that I have frequented. Anyway, this month's challenge again gives us the liberty of using any filing that we choose to pair off with the pastry crust and the franginpane. I toyed with many ideas, even to the extent of doing a chocolate crust. As June was nearly coming to an end, and partially due to my fault of having waited so long to do this challenge, I had to settle for something less exotic. However I did manage to squeeze in two different preserve/jam flavours.
The first is a cran-raspberry preserve. Using frozen berries, I placed 60g of raspberries, 30g cranberries with 30g sugar and 1 tablespoon of lemon zest into a saucepan. Place over a low heat and simmer, stirring, until the mixture becomes thick. There is no need to add any pectin as the cranberries have natural pectin which will help to thicken the jam. The second preserve/jam flavour is a pineapple one. In fact this preserve is commonly used for pineapple tarts which is a local speciality biscuit favoured during the Chinese New Year. I used a can of Dole crushed pineapple, juice removed and added in 1 stick of cinnamon, 2 annise seed and 3 cloves. The entire mixture was then placed over a very low fire and cooked for about an hour until it became thick and sticky.
Cran-Raspberry and Pineapple Coconut Bakewell Tartelettes
Makes ten 3-inch tartelettes
Sweet shortcrust pastry:
225g all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
110g (4oz) unsalted butter, cold (frozen is better)
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp lemon extract (optional, and you can use any other extract or flavouring of your choosing)
1-2 Tbsp cold water
125g unsalted butter, softened
125g icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract extract
125g ground almonds (or other nut of your choice)
30g all purpose flour
Jam or preserve of your choice
For the Dough:
1) Sift together flour, sugar and salt. Grate butter into the flour mixture, using the large hole-side of a box grater. Using your finger tips only, and working very quickly, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.Lightly beat the egg yolks with the almond extract (if using) and quickly mix into the flour mixture. Keep mixing while dribbling in the water, only adding enough to form a cohesive and slightly sticky dough.
2) Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
For the frangipane:
1) Cream butter and sugar together for about a minute or until the mixture is primrose in colour and very fluffy. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. The batter may appear to curdle. In the words of Douglas Adams: Don’t panic. Really. It’ll be fine. After all three are in, pour in the almond extract and mix for about another 30 seconds and scrape down the sides again. With the beaters on, spoon in the ground nuts and the flour. Mix well. The mixture will be soft, keep its slightly curdled look (mostly from the almonds) and retain its pallid yellow colour.
Assemble the tartelettes:
1) Place the chilled dough disc on a lightly floured surface. If it's overly cold, you will need to let it become acclimatised for about 15 minutes before you roll it out.
2) Flour the rolling pin and roll the pastry to 5mm (1/4”) thickness, by rolling in one direction only (start from the centre and roll away from you), and turning the disc a quarter turn after each roll. When the pastry is to the desired size and thickness, transfer it to the tart pans, press in and trim the excess dough. Patch any holes, fissures or tears with trimmed bits.
3) Place the tarts on a baking sheet line with parchment paper and chill in the freezer for 15 minutes. (I made the tart dough the night before and kept the shells in the fridge overnight)
4) Preheat oven to 200C/400F. Position a rack in the center of the oven. (I did a variation to the original recipe by blind baking [using beans placed on top of a parchment paper] on the tart shells half way and then filing it with jam and frangipane. I then continued with the rest of the baking thereafter.)
5) Remove shell from freezer, spread as even a layer as you can of jam onto the pastry base. Top with frangipane, spreading to cover the entire surface of the tart. Smooth the top and pop into the oven for 30 minutes. Five minutes before the tart is done, the top will be poofy and brownish.