Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Almost Mary Berry Bakewell Delight

There is something about the combination of flavors and textures of a Bakewell Tart that I just love. There is the custardy almond filling juxtaposed with the raspberry jam and a nice crust, too. It smells heavenly of raspberry and almond, too.

The Bakewell Tart is a British favorite. Recently I borrowed a Mary Berry book from the library. She was the female of the two judges on the first six episodes or so of the Great British Baking Show and she has a nice, easy way with recipes. The Bakewell Tart was in her Fast Cakes - Everyday Cakes  book.

As I do, I messed with the recipe right off the bat. I had a nice round sheet of ready made pie pastry in the fridge which I wanted to use up, so instead of the given tart crust, I used that. I also put it into a deep dish pie plate instead of into a fluted tart pan. Because of my dairy allergy, I used room temperature non-dairy butter for the filling.You'll notice that if you use weights for your ingredients that the butter, sugar and almond flour are all very similar weights...4 oz... and the jam is half that. Proportions are such an important of baking!

 Beyond swapping out the pastry for the tart dough and using margarine instead of real butter, I pretty much stuck to the recipe until right before I put it into the oven, when I folded over the excess pastry from the sides of the pan, folding it over the almond filling as you would a crostata. I also topped the filling, just inside that folded pastry, with halved fresh raspberries...just a few for decoration, really.

This pastry is sublime, especially if you like raspberry jam, which I do. The pastry is flaky and golden, the filling is soft and delectable, and the jam ties the almond flavors to the fruit flavor. Do try it!

For those who follow this blog to know a bit about what is happening in our life, Sweetie is in the midst of another project. This time it is a door replacement on the farmhouse. As usual he is doing a super job. This will be a fairly utilitarian door, so I probably won't even post photos. It allow safety access from the bedrooms to the east side of the property in case of fire or another disaster. It's entirely possible that it will be used rarely, but it's still good to know that, once ready to use, I can stop worrying about people getting stuck in a bedroom in a disaster.

On the creative front, I'm making some more tea cups on painted table legs for going in the garden. They are meant for decoration, but do also hold water or seed for birds. I'll post some photos once they are finished.

Almond Bakewell Pastry
based on a recipe by Mary Berry
Serves 8

1 round ReadyCrust pie pastry or pie dough for 1 crust
1/2 cup (4 oz, 114g, 1 stick) butter, softened (I used non-dairy margarine)
1/2 cup (4 oz, 100g) sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon (4 oz, 100g) almond flour
1 teaspoon almond extract
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) raspberry jam
a few sliced or slivered almonds (or raspberries in my case)

Line a 9" pie plate with the pie crust dough, rolled out thinly. Prick the bottom all over and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F/Convection 350 degrees F (I used 375 degrees F) and put a baking sheet in the oven on the shelf just above the center. (Putting the filled pie tin on this preheated metal sheet helps crisp up the bottom crust.)

For the filling, put the butter and sugar into a mixer or food processor and mix until fluffy and light. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix again until thoroughly incorporated. Add the almond flour and the almond extract and mix one last time until thoroughly mixed.

Spread the base of the pie dough with the jam evenly, then pour the filling over the top. Fold down any pastry dough that is above the filling, overlapping as necessary, and then scatter almonds or place halved fresh raspberries over the filling randomly or in a nice pattern.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes (because I used a higher heat, mine took a little less than 20 minutes with Convection), or until the pastry is pale golden brown at the edges and the filling is set.

Leave to cool in the pie plate. Serve cut into wedges.

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