A COUPLE of weeks ago on our Facebook page @roomforty vintage, I put out a plea for suggestions as to what people would next like to bake in our bake–along sessions on the Warrington Guardian Coronavirus Facebook page and the response was, as usual, fantastic.

Top of the list was the classic Bakewell tart.

The Bakewell tart is one of my favourite flavour combinations. There is something immensely satisfying about the texture of a Bakewell too; the sponginess of the almond frangipane perhaps topped with icing or flaked almonds, the sticky sweet and slight tartness of the jam and then the buttery crunch of pastry.

So next week on Tuesday at noon we’ll be mastering the classic Bakewell tart together. Please make a note that each Tuesday at noon will now be our new regular bake-along slot. Prior to that I’m planning to film a demo as to how to blind bake a pastry case, which will be up – I hope – on the Room Forty Facebook page.

You’ll need a pastry case for the tart prior to the bake-along. In the pre-recorded demo I’ll show how to make one by making your own pastry but you could buy shop bought pastry if you don’t feel ambitious enough or you could buy a pre-baked pastry case if you can find one in the supermarket. You’ll need a fluted 8 inch loose bottomed tart tin or pre-made pastry case.

Apologies for being absent the past couple of weeks and having to change the bake- along day. I’ve had to change the day because my kitchen is immersed in a cloud of flour and icing sugar on Fridays prepping for the Room Forty boxed afternoon tea deliveries which have been an amazing success – thank you all. And, truth be told, my trusty oven gave up the ghost last week. Every baker’s nightmare – particularly one who uses theirs to earn a living!

Gat the recipe for Bakewell tart at warringtonguardian.co.uk


For the Pastry (if you decide to pre-make and bake your own)

• 200 g plain flour

• Pinch of salt

• 50 g butter cold cut into cubes

• 50 g Trex or Lard cold cut into cubes (or 50g butter or baking margarine)

• 50 g cold water

Egg wash

• 1 egg

For the Filling.

• 120 g butter softened

• 120 g caster sugar

• 120 g ground almonds

• 50 g plain flour

• 2 eggs lightly beaten

• A few drops of almond extract

• ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

• Zest 1 small lemon

• 3 tablespoons raspberry jam (you don’t have to use raspberry, you can use any, but raspberry is the classic)

Icing and Topping

• 120 g icing sugar

• 2 teaspoons of very hot water

• 25 g toasted flaked almonds

Instructions (to make the pastry case)

• Grease a 20cm 8 inch fluted loose bottomed tart tin

If you choose to make the Pastry

• Place the Flour, Butter, Trex and salt into a food processor and blitz until you have fine breadcrumbs. If you don’t have one use your fingers rubbing the mix to fine breadcrumbs.

• Add the water. Blitz again until the pastry dough comes together into a ball or use your hands.

• Wrap the pastry in baking parchment or cling film. Flatten it out a little onto a rough disc. Place in the fridge for at least 30 mins to rest. Note: You can prepare the pastry dough the night before and leave it wrapped in the fridge.

How to Line a Tart Tin with Pastry (whether your own or shop bought)

• Take the pastry out of the fridge and start to roll it out between two large sheets of baking parchment.

• Roll from the centre outwards. Turning the dough quarter clockwise as you go.

• Release the sheets of baking parchment as you go along. This will help the dough to roll easily between the sheets of paper.

• Roll the pastry out until it is large enough to cover and overlap your tart tin. Any excess will be cut away. These cut offs can be frozen to make an offcut pie another time.

• Line your tin with the pastry, allowing plenty to hang over the sides. This is to allow for any shrinkage while it rests in the fridge and during baking.

• Use a ball of the surplus dough to press the pastry into the tart tin

• Place the pastry back into the fridge to rest for at least an hour. Cover the pastry with cling film to help prevent it drying out in the fridge

• At this stage you can also prepare the day before and leave in the fridge overnight until required.

How to Blind Bake Pastry

• Preheat the oven to 200c Fan

• Take the pastry tart out of the fridge. Prick the base very gently with a fork. Take care not to cut all the way through.

• Line the inside of the pastry with a scrunched up sheet of baking paper.

• Fill the case with plenty dried beans, or rice. Fold the clingfilm over the top of the beans to stop them falling out.

• Bake on a baking tray in the centre of the oven for 20 mins.

• After 20 min. Carefully lift up the beans to see if the base is beginning to look dry. If not, return to the oven for another 5 mins.

• Carefully remove the baking beans. Return the pastry to the oven for 5 mins to complete the bake.

• Take out of the oven. Leave to cool a little. But not completely.

• While the pastry is still warm very carefully trim the flat top edge of the pastry case using a small serrated knife. Use the frame of the tart tin as support. Slicing from the inside out will prevent the pastry edges from breaking.

• To make the egg wash. Mix the egg with a little water. No more than 1/2 a teaspoon. Give it a good whisk. Ensure all the yolk and white are mixed together.

• Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the pastry case all over with a thin coating of egg wash. This helps to seal the pastry and prevent a soggy bottom.

• Return to pastry case to the oven uncovered. Bake for a further 1 min to dry the egg wash.

• Remove from the oven and leave to one side to cool.

• Turn the oven down to 175C

Make the Frangipane Filling

1. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and smooth.

2. In a small bowl mix together the eggs, Almond Extract and Vanilla Extract. This ensures all the almond and vanilla flavours disperse evenly in the Frangipane Filling.

3. Add the egg mixture and the flour to the Butter and Sugar. Mix until well combined.

4. Add the ground Almonds and mix until well combined.

5. Add the lemon zest. Mix with a spatula

6. Cover the bottom of the pastry tart with a thin layer of jam.

7. Add the Almond Frangipane filling to a piping bag. Beginning at the inside edge. Carefully pipe the filling over the top of the jam. Using a small spatula. Evenly spread out the filling.

8. Bake for 30 – 35 mins until lightly golden and slightly risen. Testing the centre of the tart with a skewer until it comes out clean. Note. It’s normal to see a few specks of ground almond on your skewer.

9. Take out of the oven and leave in the tin to cool completely.

Make the icing topping

1. Mix the icing sugar with the very hot water. One Teaspoon at a time. Until you have a very thick, but slightly runny consistency.

2. Spread the water icing over the top of the tart. Before the icing sets. Top with toasted flaked almonds.