I love Bakewell tarts. Proper Bakewell tarts, that’s is, not those crummy shop-bought, factory-made excuses for a Bakewell tart. A proper Bakwell is full of velvety frangipane, a generous layer of rich jam and a delightfully flaky pastry… they are strictly a fondant-free zone! A proper Bakewell tart needs to live up to its name.
Sadly I’ve not yet visited the English town of Bakewell, but what I imagine it to be is a haven for tea time treats and old English charm. In reality, the town gets its name from a man called ‘Badeca’ and an old English word for stream, ‘wella’. But it seems to me that Bakewell was fated to deliver one of the world’s best baked goods. My interpretation of the Bakewell tart uses strawberry jam and rose kissed rhubarb, whose crimson hues peek out from beneath a scattering of flaked almonds and the buttery frangipane.
Rhubarb, Rose & Strawberry Bakewell Tart
~ For the pastry
120g unsalted butter, at room temperature
60g icing sugar
A pinch of salt
2 medium egg yolks
220g plain flour
~ For the filling
1 tsp caster sugar
2 tsp rose extract
1 tsp water
150g strawberry jam
200g caster sugar
A few drops of almond extract
2 medium eggs
200g ground almonds/almond meal
50g self-raising flour
50g flaked almonds
Icing sugar to decorate
To make the pastry, beat the butter, icing sugar and salt together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until fully incorporated. Stir in the flour until just combined (or I like to gently mix it in with my fingertips), then wrap the dough in cling film and chill for at least an hour (preferably overnight).
When your dough is ready, take it out of the fridge 20 minutes before you want to use it to allow it to come to room temperature. Roll it out between two pieces of cling film until it is 3-5mm thick. Line the base of a 10″/25cm tart tin with baking parchment, then line the tin with the pastry and chill in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
To make the filling, preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius/350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the rhubarb into 7-8cm pieces. Place the rhubarb in a small baking tray and sprinkle with caster sugar, rose extract and water. Bake for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool down.
To make the almond frangipane, place the butter, caster sugar and almond extract in the bowl of a freestanding mixer and beat until light and fluffy using the paddle attachment*. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until fully incorporated. Fold in the ground almonds/almond meal and self-raising flour until just combined. Cover the base of the pastry case with strawberry jam and dollop the almond mixture on top. Even out the mixture using a spatula or palette knife, then place the rhubarb on top, followed by the flaked almonds. Bake for 30 minutes, then cover with foil to prevent the almonds from burning and bake for a further 15-20 minutes.
Allow the tart to cool completely, then remove it from the tin and dust it with icing sugar. Keep in the fridge for up to a week.
* If you don’t have a freestanding mixer, use an electric beater with the whisk attachments.