Saturday, June 27, 2009

Bakewell Tart with Thyme Infused Cherry Preserve and Cashew Frangipane

Bakewell Tart (01) by MeetaK 

Surprised to see me back doing the Daring Bakers' challenge so soon? Especially since in my last challenge post I announced it would be my last till October! If you do not know yet then let me tell you that although we packed, sold and sorted out a lot of our stuff for the anticipated move, we are not moving anymore. Due to several issues in the project, Tom was supposed to work on in Doha, we decided that the perspective initially offered to him had changed too much and Tom has oriented himself elsewhere.

So while we get back to the basics, like buying new furniture and sorting out a few other bits and bobs, I thought that getting back into the kitchen with my Daring Bakers would help me take my mind off things. Baking always does that you know?

I was glad that Ivonne and Lisa took me back with open arms. Thank you ladies!

This month we tackled the very traditional and very English Bakewell Tart (or was it pudding?). There's quite a bit of history to this tart/pudding, first appearing in writing in 1826 where the term "Bakewell Pudding" was first mentioned by Meg Dods. By the latter half of the 1800s, the egg custard evolved into a frangipane-like filling; since then the quantity of jam decreased while the almond filling increased.

The first time I ever tried the Bakewell tart was back in Doha. My mother had a formidable English friend, whose personal mission seemed to be to convince everyone around her how much injustice the British cuisine got and to prove that all the food bashing was incorrect she would organize parties, picnics and tea afternoons serving only the best the British kitchen had to offer. If it made believers out of all her guests I dare not say but I do know this: that almost everyone was wild about her Bakewell tarts. They were light crusted, with just enough of jam or curd for a flavor high and the frangipane topping was moist and rich.

I have never quite ever had a Bakewell tart of such delicious magnitude! Unfortunately mum's friend passed away several years ago and I am afraid the recipe of hers will be her well kept secret. Mum told me that at her wake ceremony they served Bakewell tarts in all shapes, sizes and flavors.

Cherry Collage by MeetaK

After living in Germany for a few years I came across a bakery in Leipzig. They were selling small tarts with buttery crusts, jam filled interiors and a topping that very much was a frangipane. It went by the name "Leipziger Lerche". I bought two not really making the bridge to the Bakewell yet. Once home however, I bit into one and at once I was reminded of the awesome tarts my mum's friend made. I gobbled down both - forgetting that one was for Tom!

Ever since then I have made the German Leipziger Lerche on a few occasions but never really could bring myself to create my own Bakewell tart. There isn't much of a difference in the recipes but under the name Leipziger Lerche I was less intimidated. When one has such impressive examples in memory it seems nothing else comes close.

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.
The recipe is very straightforward, containing 3 basic elements:

  • Shortcrust pastry for the base layer
  • Jam, preserve or curd for the filling
  • Frangipane to top it all off with

Jasmine and Annemarie gave us enough room to play around with this recipe. Making our own sweet shortcrust pastry and frangipane were the two mandatory elements for this challenge.

I've made shortcrust pastry on several occasions so that element was a breeze. I had a huge bag of cashew nuts that was begging to be used so I made my frangipane with them, which really gave it a very exquisite taste. At first I was planning on making my own jam but then had to go for my quick tweaking of a store-bought version, which I often do when I need a filling or spread for special occasions.

The Black Cherry Jam Tweaking


1 300 ml jar of black cherry with whole cherries in it
A few springs of Thyme, finely chop one or two leaving the rest whole
A few squirts of lime juice
Half a vanilla bean, insides scraped

Pour out all the contents from the jar into a saucepan. Heat then add all the other ingredients remove from heat and allow to steep.

Use this on pancakes, French toast, scones or fill in pastries, tarts and cakes or even use to top ice-creams and other creamy desserts.

 


 

Bakewell Tart (02) by MeetaK

And now to the recipe of the grand Bakewell Tart as I made.    Meeta Recipe Card Kopie

Bakewell Tart with Thyme Infused Cherry Preserve and Cashew Frangipane

Printable Version of recipe here.

Makes one 23cm (9” tart)
Prep time: less than 10 minutes (plus time for the individual elements)
Resting time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Equipment needed: 23cm (9”) tart pan or pie tin (preferably with ridged edges), rolling pin

Ingredients

One quantity sweet shortcrust pastry (recipe follows)
Bench flour
250ml (1cup (8 US fl. oz)) jam or curd, warmed for spreadability
One quantity frangipane (recipe follows)
One handful blanched, flaked cashews

Assembling the tart

Place the chilled dough disc on a lightly floured surface. If it's overly cold, you will need to let it become acclimatized for about 15 minutes before you roll it out.

Flour the rolling pin and roll the pastry to 5mm (1/4”) thickness, by rolling in one direction only (start from the centre and roll away from you), and turning the disc a quarter turn after each roll. When the pastry is to the desired size and thickness, transfer it to the tart pan, press in and trim the excess dough. Patch any holes, fissures or tears with trimmed bits. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 200C/400F.

Remove shell from freezer, spread as even a layer as you can of jam onto the pastry base. Top with frangipane, spreading to cover the entire surface of the tart. Smooth the top and pop into the oven for 30 minutes. Five minutes before the tart is done, the top will be poofy and brownish. Remove from oven and strew flaked cashews on top and return to the heat for the last five minutes of baking.

The finished tart will have a golden crust and the frangipane will be tanned, poofy and a bit spongy-looking. Remove from the oven and cool on the counter. Serve warm, with crème fraîche, whipped cream or custard sauce if you wish.

When you slice into the tart, the almond paste will be firm, but slightly squidgy and the crust should be crisp but not tough.

Notes:

  • If you cannot have nuts, you can try substituting Victoria sponge for the frangipane.
  • You can use whichever jam you wish, but if you choose something with a lot of seeds, such as raspberry or blackberry, you should sieve them out.
  • The jam quantity can be anywhere from 60ml (1/4 cup) to 250ml (1cup), depending upon how “damp” and strongly flavored your preserves are. If in doubt, just split the difference and spread 150ml (2/3cup) on the crust.
  • The excess shortcrust can be rolled out and cut into cookie-shapes.

Sweet shortcrust pastry

Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes (minimum)
Equipment needed: bowls, box grater, cling film

Ingredients

225g (8oz) all purpose flour
30g (1oz) sugar
2.5ml (½ tsp) salt
110g (4oz) unsalted butter, cold (frozen is better)
2 (2) egg yolks
1 vanilla bean (optional)
15-30ml (1-2 Tbsp) cold water

  1. Sift together flour, sugar and salt.
  2. Grate butter into the flour mixture, using the large hole-side of a box grater.
  3. Using your finger tips only, and working very quickly, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.
  4. Lightly beat the egg yolks with the seeds of the vanilla bean (if using) and quickly mix into the flour mixture. Keep mixing while dribbling in the water, only adding enough to form a cohesive and slightly sticky dough.
  5. Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes

Cashew Nut Frangipane

Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Equipment needed: bowls, hand mixer, rubber spatula

Ingredients

125g (4.5oz) unsalted butter, softened
125g (4.5oz) icing sugar
3 (3) eggs
2.5ml (½ tsp) vanilla extract
125g (4.5oz) ground cashew nuts
30g (1oz) all purpose flour

  1. Cream butter and sugar together for about a minute or until the mixture is primrose in color and very fluffy.
  2. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. The batter may appear to curdle. Don’t panic. It’ll be fine.
  3. After all three eggs are incorporated, pour in the vanilla extract and mix for about another 30 seconds and scrape down the sides again. With the beaters on, spoon in the ground nuts and the flour. Mix well. The mixture will be soft, keep its slightly curdled look (mostly from the almonds) and retain its pallid yellow color.

Notes:

  • Add another five minutes or more if you're grinding your own almonds or if you're mixing by hand.

The Food Guide_1

 

Food Guide Tips

- What cashew nuts do for you

- How to select and store cherries

- A guide to making Jams, Jellies, Preserves

 

 

 


Verdict

Bakewell Tart (04) by MeetaK

Although it cracked while baking, we loved this simple pleasure. There is noting quite like biting into lovely moist and nutty frangipane, then feeling the sticky sweetness of cherry with a touch of time and finally the crumbly pastry. It’s an unsurpassable crowd pleaser, ensuring that everyone will be licking their lips for more.

Would I make this again?
Yes – again and again. Playing around with different filling flavors will be fun. I already have the next tart lined up for a little tea party I will be having. This time I will be making them in smaller tart forms.

What did I learn from this challenge?
Nothing should intimidate you – not even the memory of a magnificent cake. As I have made the German pendant to this often, I did not experience any difficulties. It was just great to be able to get back to baking with the group!

Thanks to Jasmine and Annemarie for this great challenge.

Also a huge thanks to the lovely Claudia of Fool for Food for directing me to the right place for this lovely rectangular tart form.

You might like these previous Daring Bakers challenges:

Choc Eclairs 01framed BostiniCreamPie01a CheesecakePops 03 framed
Chocolate Éclairs Bostini Cream Pie Cheesecake Pops

 Monthly Mingle MexicanFiesta Monthly Mingle Reminder

It's time for a fiesta and everyone is invited. My gracious guest hostess is the absolutely wonderful Jenny from All Things Edible and I love the theme she picked for this month. Jenny wants us all to come party with her in her Mexican Fiesta.

Deadline is July 13th, so come on over and fiesta with us!

 


All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2009 Meeta Khurana unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

58 comments :

  1. Looks wonderful Meeta. Love the idea of using cashews instead of almonds and the thyme for an unusal twist.

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  2. Beautiful! I think every European country has a version of the the Bakewell tart. My grandma had one and I doubt she ever stepped foot in England or baked outside of her usual repertoire. I went with cherries too, seems perfect for the summer!

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  3. Beautiful! I love the cherry-cashew combo and I'll bet it tasted fantastic! A wonderful tart!

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  4. Fabulous flavors!I'm making lots of preserves these days with berries in season,must try infusing with thyme,sounds yum.Love that one of a kind rectangular tart.
    And good to know you won't be missing Weimar:)

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  5. what?! you are not moving?! wow.. that's quite a change of plans.. no wonder u are shopping around for furniture now.. hope its a good thing and you feel fine with it :)

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  6. Oh, that black cherry jam with whole cherries sounds to dye (delib. misspell). And-- the cross-section of your tart confirmed it for me. Drooool. I gotta try that cashew frangipane-- much much cheaper than almonds here! :)

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  7. Beautiful tart, superb photography and great flavors! You always amaze me!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  8. I was waiting to see this, Meeta. Interesting flavours. Looks beautiful. Mine sank a bit in the middle too. :)
    So you can make frangipane with cashews too? Did you flake them yourself?

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  9. I love the idea for the cherry thyme filling. Your tart looks beautiful!

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  10. what a nice pie and the cashew nut frangipane must be so good:) nice flavours !

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  11. Just gorgeous Meeta like I thought it would be when you twittered you were getting the post together. That cherry jam & cashew combination has won me over! Thyme adds new dimension...hope my thyme survives the summer!!

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  12. Gorgeous tart, Meeta! And the jam of yours sounds super delicious!

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  13. Gorgeous! I like your jam tweaking, and cashews don't get used enough in baking, imo. The flavors sound perfect for summer.

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  14. O what a lovely tart Meeta!! An absolute lovely combo! You can pull off anything together lady! And I loved the last pic! So so inviting! :) Great to see you back in action at the DB!! :)

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  15. I'm glad baking this beautiful tart got your mind off things for a while. It looks delicious. I knew I could count on your to be different and fantastic!

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  16. I'm so glad you participated in this challenge! I always look forward to your creations because they're so beautiful and this tart is no exception. The thyme and cherry sounds heavenly.

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  17. Wow...that is quite fantastic! I have no idea how I hopped over here but I am glad I did. What an interesting 'about' page too. I think I am going to like coming back here from time to time. I'll certainly bookmark this site...and link to mine.

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  18. How gorgeous your tart looks Meeta :-)Love your combination.

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  19. Thyme certainly adds a new twist! looks gorgeous!

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  20. Love your flavors, so original and beautiful. Using cashews instead of almonds is a wonderful twist and must be so delicious!

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  21. Your descriptions & the pictures are making me want to just dive in:-) fruity desserts are my favorite, & the thyme sounds so unusual nut good. Meeta that last picture is to die for.

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  22. Love the squared off shape...such a nice change...and cherry-cashew-thyme an inspired flavor combination. Cooking and baking really can sooth the soul, too.

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  23. Exquisite! I love the rich flavor of cashews, I would not have thought to make a frangipane with them, but it is such a great idea!

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  24. hmm.. interesting twist with thyme and cherry. lovely creation!

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  25. This looks great! I toyed with the idea of using hazelnut instead of almonds and I think I will next time since you had great success with the cashews!

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  26. I loved that last picture!!!!!!hey so u r not moving ....now thats news...may b a good one for soeren....happy shopping!

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  27. Sorry to hear the move didnt quite work out the way you planned...
    Your tart looks just lovely!! I"m sure cashews gave it a different taste and pairing it with cherries is just scrumptious! This was a really fun challenge - and tasty too!! Hugs!

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  28. Thyme and cherries....oh they remind me of summer!! And cashew frangipane...I bet it has a sublime flavour!! Yummy!!

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  29. I haven't tried cashews for frangipane. Will do it next time. Yours looks beautiful as ever!

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  30. Love the idea of cashew frangipane. and thyme infused preserve.Innovative and must try.The tart looks amazing

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  31. Gorgeous!
    Good luck to Tom.
    U will have fun buying new furniture !!!

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  32. hello... hapi blogging... have a nice day! just visiting here....

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  33. Scrumptious-looking.

    Glad you're getting back into the swing of things.

    Hugs from New York,
    Paz

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  34. Hey meeta. I am a regular reader of your blog though i don't leave comments often. I see most of them sharing my opinion and hence, don't bother you with another one....anyway, this time....i want to let you know that another blog carries same content as yours for tart er pudding(word to word.....) i wanted to just let you know...it is finger licking food. pls delete this comment just in case finger licking comes back biting :) super work! with your blog. Sorry to know about your move....good luck! Love you.

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  35. cashew frangipine? Oh my god, what a genius idea! I LOVE it! It looks SO good!

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  36. What a fantastic combination of flavors!

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  37. Thyme in a dessert? How come I never thought of this before? Sounds delicious.

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  38. So glad that you re-join Daring Bakers. That tart looks gorgeous. Love the sound of that cherry-thyme filling.

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  39. thank you everyone for your comments. it's good to be back. the thyme gave the cherry preserve a wonderful twist. something to try!

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  40. MMMMM...Meeta: your bakewell tarte looks incredible, fabulous!

    I love your flavours combo! apart & so delicious!

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  41. They look absolutely delicious Meeta! I love your combination of flavours and beautiful photography as usual.

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  42. I'd love to make a cashew one, but it is the one nut we can't have right now.
    How is Soren taking the not moving? Sad and disappointed or happy to not be leaving his friends? (And I bet your friends are thrilled to be keeping you close.)

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  43. Oh wow, your tart is absolutely beautiful. I love the flavour of the jam and that you had used cashew instead of almond. Fantastic job and lovely photo.

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  44. I love the results with the rectangular tart pan you used. Very very pretty.
    This tart is perfect for brunch. And so simple. Great job!

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  45. Great job with your tart Meeta - love the flavors! Plus,it looks fantastic.

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  46. Great job on this challenge! I love the change up with the cashews instead of the almonds, but the Thyme infused cherry preserve is what really caught my eye. Delicious!

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  47. Outstanding Meeta! The cashews alone make me swoon, the deep cherry color takes this one over the top!
    Intimidation by such impressive examples in memory :) oh yes I do understand that one.
    Sounds like perhaps the dust maybe settling a little and things will return to the normal wildness ...

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  48. Amazing and I can completely understand how therapeutic this must have been for you! :)

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  49. Absolutely lovely. The cashew topping sounds quite interesting.

    Thanks for participating.
    j

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  50. thnak you for all your lovely comments.

    Jenny: Soeren is fine on the whole but the change and bit of turmoil is also showing on his attitude. he is easily irritated and bursts into tears etc. we need to get some serenity into the house and back to a routine, which we are doing slowly. we'll be going on vacation and i think that will help a lot - all of us!
    Thanks for checking up on us!
    Hugs!

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  51. Would it be selfish of me to say that I'm sort of glad you're not moving? Because that means that ... fingeres crossed ... maybe I can meet you in "Berlin" one day???

    :o)

    I'm a big fan of using thyme in sweet baking so I loooooove this!

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  52. no ivonne! it's not selfish at all as a matter of fact it makes me feel good. but forget berlin! come to weimar and I'll show you around the gorgeous region of the thuringia forest and the city of goethe and schiller!

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  53. Beautiful presentation! I love the flavor combination and the garnish adds so much. Lovely pics.

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  54. As always, your tart looks beautiful, Meeta. The last picture makes it seem like its on a table in front of me. All I need is a fork :P

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  55. hi superb idea.......
    mah baby loves it....
    gr8 effort.....well done....

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  56. Looks wonderful.Its too cool to eat its delicious.

    Merry

    Free Direct TV

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Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta