I had a week off work and one afternoon found myself rummaging frantically through kitchen cupboards. You know that point when it all gets so over packed that every time you open a cabinet door, you’re assaulted by a suicidal bottle or jar?During my cleaning frenzy, I noticed most of the room was being taken up by bags of ground almonds, no doubt from an afternoon making French Macarons … full bags of unopened dried figs and apricots, dried rose petal’s, coconut flour, rose syrups…. I felt like Howard Carter, discovering Tutankhamun’s tomb, when asked what he saw through the hole in the chamber wall “WONDERFUL THINGS!!” So I made a pact with myself that I would save more money this month and bake all my own coffee time treats…
Hubster and I sat down and discussed the status of our house deposit savings last week….and reckon we have another year to go, to buy an acceptable house we’d be happy in… so we’ve tightened our belts another notch and trying to save an extra euro, here and there wherever we can…. My efforts, are to be thrifty, go back to Aldi, less Fallon & Byrne and bake my own treats…. I may even make my own pasta again….
The first of my thrifty bakes, a Bakewell Tart. Using the same Frangipane filling I used in a previous post, but without the pears and adding layer of my absolute favourite jam, ‘Bonne Maman’ Raspberry Preserve and fresh raspberries. Of course, use whichever jam you wish, Bonne Maman happens to be my favourite, I will never compromise….well, okay, St.Dalfour make a gorgeous raspberry jam too…. I also used a rectangular tart dish which I bought Dunnes Stores for €9 in their ‘Con•sid•ered’ collection for Helen James, Use a round one if you with but I felt a rectangular made it easier to slice up into bars.
Speaking of the ”Considered’ range in Dunnes, there are some gorgeous accessories and I’m sure there are new additions… there are also preserves, luxury jam’s, syrups etc..
For The Pastry:
- 9oz plain flour
- 2oz icing sugar
- 5oz unsalted butter
- 1 large egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 4oz butter
- 4oz caster sugar
- 5oz ground almonds
- 1oz plain flour
- 3 large eggs
- The zest of a lemon
- 2 tablespoons amaretto (optional)
- raspberry jam
- eggwash (1 egg and a little water beaten together)
- Slivered almonds and fresh raspberrries
Firstly, make your shortcrust pastry, the cardinal rule is to keep it as cold as possible, freeze the butter beforehand, chopping in cubes first really helps… Rub the butter into the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs, add the egg and egg yolk and it should bind together into a dough. Form the pastry into a disc, wrap in cling film and refrigerate it for an hour.
Remove the pastry from the fridge, roll it out between two sheets of cling film until it’s the desired size, the benefit of this is that you’re not adding more flour to the dough, drying it out and it’ll be easier to lift it into the tin. When you have the pastry rolled out to the size you want it, peel one side of the film off the dough and place it, dough side down into a buttered tin, push the pastry into the corners and edges and the bits that hang over the sides? Leave them there while you blind bake, the pastry will shrink a little so it’s best to have some extra attached. . Place the pastry lined tin in the freezer for a further 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180˚C, with a fork, prick the base of the pastry and place a sheet of baking parchment over the pastry. If you have baking beans, pour them over the parchment, if you don’t-don’t worry! Grab some dried kidney beans and use them instead….then keep them for the next time…just write on the jar “baking beans” so you don’t cook them into a chili.. Then bake for 20 minutes, remove the beans and parchment, brush the pastry with egg wash and bake for a further 6 -8 minutes until golden. Remove and allow to cool slightly.
Let’s get started on the Frangipane filling…
Beat sugar and eggs until light and fluffy, add the eggs, one by one and then add the almond, amaretto (use almond extract if you haven’t got any, don’t buy it especially) zest and flour.
Spoon raspberry jam onto the baked pastry, about 3 tablespoons should do it, and then cover it all with the frangipane filling. Push some raspberries down into the frangipane and strew some almonds on top, bake for 35 minutes until it’s golden and a skewer comes out clean. The tart might seem a little wet and unset but this is the almonds and it’s perfectly normal. Allow to cool and sieve some icing sugar on top, enjoy with a big mug of tea, or like my great Aunt, a little butterscotch Angel Delight on the side, like she used to do.
I hope you enjoy! It’s not as labour intensive as it seems, it’s so worth all the effort though as it’s such a gorgeous tart and makes lovely bars, if you slice it into little rectangles.. let me know how you get on!!!!