Daring Bakers Challenge: Bakewell Tart…er…pudding

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.

When I saw that this was going to be the June challenge I got really excited… thoughts of making 3 mini tart/puddings filled my head… however, time got the better of me, and I ended up with only 1 – a tart that was filled with lemon curd (back to the lemons my friends!) and then topped with frangipane (there is always a first time…)

While I was in Italy I spent a weekend on the Amalfi coast… and if that region is known for anything it has got to be its LEMONS!!!! Lemons have honestly got to be one of my all time favourite smells. I knew coming home that I would have to incorporate these little goodies into this baking challenge :0)

This recipe is broken into 4 parts – the sweet shortcrust pastry, making the lemon curd, frangipane and then the final directions – assembling the entire dessert together! (patience for the length of this entry)

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry

225g whole wheat pastry flour
30g sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c. butter, COLD
2 egg yolks
1 – 2 tbsp cold water

Sift together the flour, sugar and salt. Pulse in your food processor. Add your butter (you can either grate it in, or cube the butter) and pulse everything until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.

Lightly beat the egg yolks and quickly mix into the flour mixture. Again, pulse your food processor – slowly incorporating the water – you want to add the water in slowly so that you form a slightly sticky dough.

Form the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Lemon Curd
3/4 c. sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 1/2 c. water
3/4 c. lemon juice
2 tsp lemon zest (the zest of an entire lemon)
2 tsp butter
4 egg yolks, lightly beaten

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, flour, water, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Put the pot over medium heat and cook, stirring until it comes to a boil and slightly thickens.

Remove it from heat and stir in the butter. Take about 1/2 c. of the mixture and add it to the egg yolks – it’ll temper the yolks and keep them from curdling. Whisk the egg yolks well – once they’re smooth, pour them into the saucepan. Return the pan to the heat and cook it, whisking constantly – bubbles will form in the mixture. That’s when you’ll know that it’s ready to be poured into the prepared pie crust.

125g unsalted butter, room temperature
125g icing sugar
3 eggs
1/2 tsp almond extract
125g ground almonds
30g all purpose flour

Cream butter and sugar together for about a minute or until the mixture is very fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. The batter looks like its curdling… don’t worry – keep beating – it’ll be fine :0) After all three eggs are in, add the almond extract and mix, then with the beater still on, spoon in the ground almonds and flour. Mix well – you want the result to be soft, bright yellow in colour and looking slightly curdled (it’s the almonds).

Now to assemble everything together…

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Take out the pastry dough and roll in out on a lightly floured surface. Roll in one direction, picking up the dough and turning it a quarter of a turn after each roll (it prevents the dough from sticking to the counter). Once you get your desired thickness, transfer it to your tart pan.

Spread an even layer of the lemon curd onto the pastry base. Top with the frangipane, spreading to cover the entire surface (use a spatula). Smooth the top and pop it into the oven for 25 minutes.

Remove the tart from the oven and spread a handful of slivered almonds on top, return the tart to the oven for another 5 minutes.

The finished result is a tart with a golden crust and the frangipane is golden, poofy and a bit spongy-looking. Remove it from the oven and cool on a wire rack on the counter.

A taste of Italy with a British tradition :0)

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