Between going to the UK last year and marathoning all of The Great British Bake-Off, I’ve developed a serious hankering for a Bakewell tart (not pudding!), and the one bakery that was guaranteed to have them is a) an hour and a half from my house and b) closed.
So I found Mary Berry’s easy Bakewell recipe and was all, hey I could do this, sure I haven’t heard of some of the ingredients but that’s just because I don’t bake enough. Then I went to the grocery and was like oh, I haven’t heard of some of these because they’re not really sold in the US.
(Note that at this point I’d basically declared a personal vendetta against the lack of British bakeries in the Chicagoland area.)
Since I needed the food processor twice, I did the ground almonds the night before. Froze the blanched slivered almonds and tossed them into the food processor. (Protip: plastic knives are great for teasing out clumps of fine particles. I don’t know why I know this. I use a food processor <1/year.)
IS THIS WHAT GROUND ALMONDS LOOK LIKE?? I HAVE NO IDEA
So anyway, I then got to it. Fighting every instinct in my body to break from the recipe, I “rubbed” the butter into the flour, which I’m hoping was basically supposed to be a sensual massage, and then forgot that I was making pastry crust rather than a roti….
I tried patching it together, but the problem with using a healthy amount of flour on one’s floured surface is that it prevents the sticking together of things you do want to stick.
But, hey, the oven can sort all this, right??
So on to this “blind baking” thing. I obviously don’t own baking beans, so between this website and learning the “melting” (thermal decomposition) point of sugar, I decided to go with 22 minutes at 350F.
The good news is my mom doesn’t use sugar very often, so even if it turns out turbinado has a way lower melting point than regular, she probably won’t notice.
It’s literally in the shadow of the bag, because the bag is gigantic. See? She won’t notice.
Meanwhile, I tossed additional sugar in the food processor for a minute. I’m honestly not sure if this is any more finely granulated than the original.
It’ll melt – thermally decompose – in baking anyway! I think.
Meanwhile, I’m guessing I should have filled it a bit more but maaaanit smells so buttery. And kind of has a flake. I think that’s what having a flake tastes like, anyway. (This is before the additional five minute bake, which did turn the rest of the bottom to the same texture, which I’m assuming is a good sign.)
I added a little salt to the not-frangipane, and I’m really hoping it gets less sweet in baking. Fingers crossed!
Also, I read the “generously” part of spreading the jam and forgot the “1 tbsp” so hopefully this isn’t too much….
That’s probably like one tablespoon? I just know a tablespoon is always a lot more than I expect it to be.
Baking TV says you shouldn’t open the oven repeatedly because that fucks with the temperature, so I’ve been vicariously living through the oven light.
On the other hand, less messy than the time I made a pie without using a tin at all.
Meanwhile, since powdered sugar is infinitely more easy to find in America than icing, I halved this recipe for the icing.
I don’t know why I ate a leftover spoonful of this. ICING IS VERY SWEET.
Baking TV also makes a whole thing about how you let things cool otherwise the icing melts everywhere, so I waited possibly more than an entire minute before getting bored and dumping it on.
I’m not sure it’s a good thing that it seems to have set okay anyway.
So it sunk a bit when I took it out, which might mean I undercooked a little? I dunno, it smelled done. Assuming I have the slightest clue what these things are supposed to smell like (in this case, mainly butter).
I do think the texture’s a bit off because of the sugar, buuut well. Go to the ethnic grocery and see if they have caster sugar? Replace all the sugar with honey? Both of these options sound totally reasonable.
Nom nom nom?
Damn, pretty sure I got a soggy bottom (and definitely a little too much butter in the almond later). So the two extra minutes in the oven probably would’ve been a good idea…and also not rolling the pastry so thin in the middle. Oh well, this is what tossing things in the fridge is for.
Then again, why can’t I put it in for a few minutes on 350F…?
Hahaha I’m sure nothing will go wrong.
Note: nothing went wrong, I tossed it in the fridge which set it up but the aftertaste was basically pure butter which…uck.
Tried this again with 7oz almonds vs 2oz cane (instead of turbinado) and 5 instead of 9 tbsp butter…I ate all the leftover filling which is a good sign. I’m not sure the crust went as well though, I picked up pastry flour and somehow 2tbsp water which worked great last time was too much this time. Haha we’ll see.
Alright. The crust actually needed more butter but otherwise…yes, please.