Like the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, I'm late once again for a challenge. But I made it... or rather Jenny and I made it.
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.
I was pleasantly surprised by this challenge, in fact, everyone around the table seemed surprised. Jenny and I were very laissez faire about the whole thing and no one was expecting too much satisfaction out of the dessert. Surprisingly, the recipe rated a solid eight out of ten.
When I think of tarts, I think of oozing fillings with a pie crust. The frangipane in the Bakewell Tart was more like-cake than custardy. Could this be because it was gluten free? I have no idea.
Bakewell Tart... er... Pudding
Sweet shortcrust pastry
225g (8oz) gluten free flour mix*
1 teaspoon (5 mL) xanthan gum
30g (1oz) sugar
110g (4oz) salted butter, cold (frozen is better)
2 (2) egg yolks
2.5ml (½ tsp) vanilla extract (optional)
45-60ml (3-4 Tbsp) cold water
Sift together flour, sugar and salt. Grate butter into the flour mixture, using the large hole-side of a box grater. Using your finger tips only, and working very quickly, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Set aside. Lightly beat the egg yolks with the almond extract (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.
125g (4.5oz) unsalted butter, softened
125g (4.5oz) icing sugar
3 (3) eggs
2.5ml (½ tsp) vanilla extract
125g (4.5oz) ground almonds
30g (1oz) gluten free flour mix*
Cream butter and sugar together for about a minute or until the mixture is primrose in colour and very fluffy. 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. Really. It’ll be fine. After all three are in, pour in the 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 colour. Spoon the mixture over the jam.
Place ball of dough on parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap and squish down with your hands. Then use rolling pin and roll 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 pastry is to desired size and thickness, transfer it to tart pan, press in and trim the excess dough. Patch any holes, fissures or tears with trimmed bits.
Preheat oven to 200C/400F. Blind bake the crust for about ten minutes until golden and slightly puffy. It will not puff as much as a wheat flour crust. Remove from the oven and 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 20 minutes.
Five minutes before the tart is done, the top will be poofy and brownish. Remove from oven and strew flaked almonds 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 frangipane paste will be firm and cakelike. The crust should be crisp but not tough.
*Gluten Free Flour Mix
2 cups brown rice flour
2/3 cups potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1) Teamwork makes a challenge easy.
2) I may not have time for a challenge, but always will have some time to socialise.
3) The tartiest thing about this challenge were the two cooks.
4) Keep your guests' expectations low. That way they are pleasantly surprised. Keep 'em hungry too and they'll eat anything.
5) I owe some kids bribe money for trying some of the weird food we served.
Hop over to the Daring Kitchen to see the buzz this month. The original recipe will be posted at The Daring Kitchen and on the host blogs.
Thank you Jasmine and Annemarie!