Saturday, June 27, 2009

Daring Bakers June Tarts

Imagine having a strong memory of a treat that you had once, many, many years ago, but not having any idea what it was called or how to make it. That's why this challenge is a personal favorite...my remembered treat turns out to be a Bakewell Tart...er pudding...although it was called something Italian when I first had it.

The June Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart... er... pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800's in England.
Bakewell tarts…er…puddings combine a number of dessert elements but still let you show off your area’s seasonal fruits.

Like many regional dishes there’s no “one way” to make a Bakewell Tart…er…Pudding, but most of today’s versions fall within one of two types. The first is the “pudding” where a layer of jam is covered by an almondy pastry cream and baked in puff pastry. The second is the “tart” where a rich shortcrust pastry holds jam and an almondy sponge cake-like filling.

The version we’re daring you to make is a combination of the two: a sweet almond-flavoured shortcrust pastry, frangipane and jam.

The combination of textures is awesome! Crisp but tender buttery shortbread on the bottom, sweet tart strawberry-raspberry jam (in my version) giving just a bit of oozyness, and a light baked topping which is enriched with the finely ground almonds so it has a delightful almond flavor in a moist dense cake. All in all a delightful summer treat.

I followed the recipe given HERE, using a purchased jam. It is called A Red Duet and made by Mountain Fruit Company in Chico, CA. It is like the essence of summer with tangy strawberry and bright raspberry flavors in 'a natural fruit spread'. It went so well with the almond flavors.

Of all the Daring Bakers challenges, this one seemed to be one of the easier...the pastry was easy to make and held its shape well and baked up crisp but tender and the frangipane was simple to mix together and easy to spread over the jam, plus there was no trouble with the baking or removing it from the tart pan. It is perhaps my favorite because I have longed for this tart for such a long time...never suspecting that it was a Bakewell Tart...er pudding. Thank you Jasmine and Annemarie for choosing this memorable tart.


For those few of you who enjoy the tales from the Land of St. Honore', return there with me now...
Sitting in a cafe on a little side street, she sipped her tea and used her fork to pick up the last crumbs of the dessert. There was something special about the combination of a red, fruity jam and an almondy topping all inside a short, sweet crust. She was just about to ask the server what it was called when she realized that she was late for her bus, so she quickly gathered her things and sprinted down the block to the bus stop.

Many years passed and her life did, too. She became a busy professional and had no time to sit in cafes drinking tea.

Eventually she decided that she needed a creative outlet...pushing papers all day is a very low form of creativity...so she started painting still life compositions. Her favorites included some food in the arrangements. Seasonal fruits in a painting seemed to bring an extra depth to the works.

One day she was passing a bakery and she saw a golden brown tart scattered on top with sliced almonds. It was so beautiful that she decided to paint it. She bought a small one and a larger seven inch one. She tried an arrangement with just the small tart, one with a few berries added, and one with some ice cream.too. Eventually she finished her painting and sat down to eat a piece of the tart. Imagine her astonishment to find that it was the same dessert she had enjoyed all those years ago!

The next day she left on a business trip and when she returned, the bakery selling the tart had gone out of business, another victim of the recession. It may be a while before she has another tart like that one, but the sweet memory will carry her far.

As is often the case, there are many, many talented and gutsy Daring Bakers who have baked dozens and dozens and dozens of creative and beautiful Bakewell Tarts...er puddings. You can find them using the Blogroll.

20 comments:

Engineer Baker said...

Gorgeous! I love that final photo.

Amanda said...

Your tart looks great! I love the raspberries and ice cream garnish. I bet that was perfect.

I think I'll have a little bit of ice cream with my tart. If I go back to it. :)

lisamichele said...

Elle, your tart is SO gorgeous, and your photos really capture every detail, including the deep red raspberries and creamy ice cream! Spectacular all around!

lisamichele said...

Elle, your tart is SO gorgeous, and your photos really capture every detail, including the deep red raspberries and creamy ice cream! Spectacular all around!

Dharm said...

I almost thought there wasnt going to be a story this time - but I"m glad there was one at the end!! I love how your tart turned out and i'm so pleased you 'recovered' a lost memory!! You think maybe Bond should visit the Land of St Honore one day??!! LOL

Claire said...

I am one of the few who enjoys your stories. I do hope she finds out the name of that lovely dessert soon...she must name her painting! ;-) SO lovely.

Lauren said...

Lovely story =D. I'm glad you redisovered the lost treat! Your tart looks amazing!!

Melinda said...

Alas, I am no longer a Daring Baker buddy but I love Bakewell Tarts. I do love the many different regional and home baked versions here in England. It doesn't have raisins in it which amazes me...a baked treat here usually has raisins in it!
Yours look quite delicious, and spot on on how one should look.

breadchick said...

Elle, your jam sounds fantastic and your "recession tart" story wonderful as usual.

MeetaK said...

raspberries and ice-cream and a bakewell! it looks great. lovely going elle!

Peabody said...

I'm sorry I missed out on making these. They look like something I would love. Yours turned out lovely...you can send that for my birthday. ;)

ice tea: sugar high said...

Gorgeous tart! Great job on this month's challenge

Susan/Wild Yeast said...

Lovely tart, lovely story, lovely painting.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I always love your stories!
I love your tart, it's wonderful to discover a memory and solve a mystery.

Andreas said...

The combination of tart, fresh fruit and ice cream is superb.
And the slightly unfocused/looking-through-frosted-glas effect on the fork comes out ver nice.

Katie said...

Your tart looks wonderful and I love how you have made one of the photos look like its been painted - so pretty

giz said...

Love that you used raspberries with this one. It's gorgeous in it's simplicity even if the recipe isn't entirely so simple.

Simona said...

What a beautiful tart you made! And the photos really show it.

jasmine said...

Elle,

I'm so happy you liked this tart, it looks lovely.

Thanks for participating.
j

Jenny said...

Love the pictures Elle.