Bakewell Slices

By Julian Day
from Classic Artisan Baking

If you like Bakewell tart but have only ever eaten the commercially produced variety, you’re in for a treat. No sign here of sickly sweet fondant icing or a neon-bright cherry on top – just a sweet pastry base, good raspberry jam and fragrant frangipane paste topped with almonds. It is excellent as a teatime treat or, served warm with cream, it makes a brilliant dessert.

Makes 12

2⁄3 cup raspberry jam

pâte sablée
11⁄2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1⁄3 cup ground almonds
1⁄3 cup sugar
11 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature, cubed
1 egg yolk

9 tablespoons salted butter, soft
3⁄4 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 3⁄4 cups ground almonds
1⁄3 cup slivered almonds, to decorate

14 x 8 x 11⁄4-inch baking pan
baking parchment
baking beans

To make the pâte sablée, put the flour, ground almonds and sugar in a large bowl and stir until evenly mixed. Add the butter and use your fingertips to rub it into the mixture until the texture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and, still using your hands, mix and knead until the dough binds together into a tight, smooth ball – it can seem like it will never bind, but have patience, it will!

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes until firm.

Preheat the oven to 170˚C (325˚F) Gas 3.

Remove the pâte sablée from the refrigerator and allow to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes before using.

On a lightly floured work surface, carefully roll out the pâte sablée until about 1⁄4 inch thick and use it to line the baking pan. The pastry is fragile to handle but any gaps can be repaired using surplus pastry. Gently press along the sides and into the corners and trim off the excess pastry with a sharp knife. Prick the base in a few places with a fork and line the tart case with a sheet of baking parchment. Fill the tart case with baking beans and blind bake in the preheated oven for 15–20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Leave the oven on.

Spread the raspberry jam evenly over the cooled pastry base.

To make the filling, cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the ground almonds and whisk thoroughly.

Spoon the filling over the jam base and spread to the sides of the pan. Sprinkle the slivered almonds over the top and bake in the hot oven for 30–35 minutes or until the filling is golden on top and feels firm in the middle. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before cutting into 12 slices.

The slices will keep for 5–7 days in an airtight container.

To read the full review for Classic Artisan Baking, please click here

Classic Artisan Baking by Julian Day is published by Ryland Peters & Small, and distributed by Thomas Allen & Son in Canada. Copyright © 2012. Excerpted by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission from the publisher.