Showing posts with label bakewell Tart. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bakewell Tart. Show all posts

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 remembered treat turns out to be a Bakewell 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 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 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 puddings. You can find them using the Blogroll.