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Monday, April 24, 2006

What's for pud? Bakewell pudding... or um, tart!

Becks & Posh and Monkey Face are hosting "What's for pud?" a celebration of St George's Day and English desserts!

I chose the Bakewell Pudding;
controversially also known as the Bakewell Tart. Mine was slightly overdone* but thumbs up all round for this treat sweetened by jam and laced with almond.
Bakewell is in Derbyshire in the North of England. History has this pudding being created in the 1860s at the local inn when the landlady miscommunicated an order for a strawberry jam tart and the baker instead of using egg and sugar in the tart base, spread jam over the base and then put the egg and sugar mixture over the jam.

What is the controversy? It is claimed that the Bakewell Tart is a modern version of the Bakewell Pudding, attributed to things including class differences and commercialism of the pudding, and there are those who will only eat pudding. Most recipes are for the Bakewell Tart - being a frangipane topping that uses ground almonds for a firmer topping; the Bakewell Pudding recipe I've seen uses more eggs and almond essence so that you end up with a sort of custard filling that doesn't set.

My recipe is from Nigella's "Feast" and it is the tart.

Nigella's Bakewell Tart (adapted from Cranberry Bakewell Tart recipe)
175g Plain flour
30g Ground almonds
50g Icing sugar
125g Butter, cold and diced
1 Egg, beaten
Pinch salt
1-3 Tbl Iced water

1) Pulse together the flour, almonds and icing sugar in a food processor.
2) Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles oatmeal.
3) Beat together the beaten egg, salt and iced water, then tip into the processor as it is running to bind the pastry. "The almonds make this into a wonderfully pliable, Play-Doh of a pastry".
4) Form the pastry into a flat disc, wrap in glad wrap and leave to rest in fridge.

125g Butter
125g Caster Sugar
3 Eggs
125g Ground almond
300g Jam

5) Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C.
6) Melt the butter and leave to cool slightly. Beat together the sugar and eggs and add in the butter. Stir in the ground almond.
7) Roll out the pastry disk to fit a 26cm deep tart tin, prick the base with a fork.
8) Spread the jam on the pastry case and then pour over the almond mixture. Makes sure you cover all of the jam.
9) Bake for 45 minutes. "The filling will rise and look puffy in places but once it comes out of the oven it will fall back again to form an even surface."
10) Leave the tart to cool slightly then serve with cream or ice-cream. (The tart is also good cold!)

1) *Yes, I burnt my tart slightly! I decided to divide the mixture up between 2 smaller tins and being distracted (dangerous!) I forgot about reducing the baking time. I actually had to trim the edge of the tart... the filling looks darker in the photo, it wasn't burnt and tasted fine!
2) I used plum jam;
for Nigella's cranberry tart, she used cranberry jam (of course) and decorated with clementine flavoured royal icing.
3) I know Nigella uses her food processor a lot; you can do by hand or use a freestanding mixer.

Extra trivia:
- Plenty of shops claim to have the original recipe including the Bakewell Pudding Shop.
- Jane Austen fans, there are claims that Pride and Prejudice was written in during a stay in Bakewell.

Tagged with: and



  • At 4/23/2006 02:01:00 PM, Blogger Sam said…

    I have a Jamie Oliver Bakewell tart in the oven right now! I have made his recipe before, but thought it had too much butter so now I am trying with less. Thanks for all the history and background details!

    Happy St George's Day!


  • At 4/24/2006 07:06:00 PM, Blogger Belinda said…

    Thanks, Sam. Happy St George's Day to you too!

    I couldn't believe how much history there was to such a simple dessert.

    It is a disgusting amount of butter... especially when you melt it and see how much you're pouring in. :)

  • At 4/25/2006 03:00:00 PM, Blogger Niki said…

    Hey, are you bringing that to rehearsal tonight?? :-)
    I have my apple & rhubarb cornmeal cake in the oven to contribute to the event (a bit belated). I'll be bringing it tonight. A cake-fest!!!


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