It's been quiet on the blog front lately, as I'm somewhat otherwise occupied these days with my beautiful two month old daughter (!). In fact, not only do I barely blog anymore - I barely ever cook anymore! My partner comes home every night and cooks dinners as I have my hands full and have usually had a pretty full on day. As for lunches, even if my lovely baby decided to sleep for longer than 40 minutes at a time (gah!), I certainly wouldn't feel like cooking (and photographing) delicious gourmet meals. In fact I always have to hope there are leftovers, otherwise I might not get lunches at all!
I don't want to let the blog completely wither and die though. Luckily, I have some photos and recipes filed away that I haven't gotten around to posting yet from way back when I was featuring United Kingdom recipes. It might take me more than one 40 minute nap to get each post up, but I'm keen to get back to it - especially since I've been contacted by readers who miss my posts :)
The posting will be less frequent than previously, at least for now - but I'm still here :)
I'm actually really excited to share this one with you, partly because I just love the photos of it and also because it was delicious and easy to make. It's called a Bakewell Tart, and it's a classic English afternoon tea delight. It's shortcrust pastry filled with jam and topped with almond-y frangipane.
A couple of notes on mine, before I go on to the recipe.
- I've used only 1/4 tsp almond extract, because I've never really been a fan of the taste of almond extract. It would be more traditional to use more, so if you like the taste feel free to up it to a tsp.
- Mine (you might see in the pics) came out slightly undercooked, so I've added an extra 5 minutes to the cooking time. This will vary anyway, depending on your oven, so use your own discretion.
- I've used raspberry jam here, you can also use cherry or strawberry.
- The jam is meant to make a nice distinct layer that you can see when sliced. I looked at some other blog pictures of Bakewell Tarts before and thought their layers of jam looked a little thin, so I added mine very generously. Alas, it still seemed to get absorbed by the frangipane during baking and didn't make much of a distinct layer when sliced. I'm sure if I was on the Great British Bake-Off, such a sin would be the end of me. If you don't care about that kind of thing, then don't worry because it still tastes crazy good. If you want to try and get the jam layer nice and distinct then I would suggest adding a super generous amount of jam - and then adding a whole heap more.
For the pastry:
250g plain wholemeal flour
Ice cold water
170g caster sugar
170g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
170g almond meal
1/4 tsp almond extract
150ml canola oil
Icing sugar, to decorate
1. Preheat your oven to 190 degrees C.
2. Put the pastry ingredients in a food processor and blitz until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs (alternatively, use your fingertips to rub the margarine into the flour until the same consistency), then add just enough ice cold water for it to come together as a dough ball. It shouldn't stick to your fingers when you touch it, if you slip up and add a bit too much and end up with sticky dough then just add a little more flour until you get it right.
3. Roll out the dough to about 3mm or so and line a tart tin with it (one with a removable bottom is best). Prick the base with a fork and bake for 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile you can mix together all the other ingredients except the jam and the icing sugar.
5. Spread a generous layer of jam over the pastry base and pour the frangipane batter over the top. Bake for 10 minutes and then lower the temperature to 180 degrees C and bake for a further 30 minutes.
6. Leave it to cool and then decorate with icing sugar. You could also decorate with flaked almonds, if you like.
I'm featuring lots of recipes from the United Kingdom,
Check out my other recipe posts here: