Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Bakewell Tartlettes

I have been waiting to make these tartlets for a really long time. I got some 3" chef's rings just over a month ago to be able to make them. I think that almonds and cherries go together so well, and have always been a fan of the Bakewell tart. But these tartlets are adorable.

I must say, however, that they weren't especially easy. They aren't too time consuming, but having had no past experience of lining a bottomless ring with pastry, I faced a challenge. I found that the easiest way to line them was to cut out a disc for the base, a rectangular strip for the sides and a thin strip to fuse the base and sides.
I also found that the first few tartlettes I put in the oven baked too quickly, so I turned the oven down to 180C/350F/mark 4 which was just right.

Bakewell Tartlettes
Makes 10 3-inch tartlettes

For the pastry
225g plain flour
30g sugar
½ tsp salt
110g cold/frozen unsalted butter
2 egg yolks
½ tsp almond extract
1-2 tbsp cold water
For the frangipane
125g soft unsalted butter
125g icing sugar
3 eggs
½ tsp almond extract
125g ground almonds
30g plain flour

Jam or preserves (Bonne Maman Black Cherry Preserves favoured)

1. For the pastry, sift together the flour, sugar and salt. Grate the butter (on the larger hole-side of a  a grater) into the flour mixture and, using your fingertips, quickly incorporate by rubbing the butter into the flour. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs yolks and almond extract and add this to the butter-flour mixture. Keep mixing and gradually add in enough water to create a slightly sticky dough. Mould the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for at least  30 minutes.

2. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out to a 5mm thickness. Line the pastry rings with the dough and place on baking sheets lined with baking paper. Freeze the baking sheets for 15 minutes and preheat the oven to 160C/350F/mark 4.

3. For the frangipane, cream together the butter and sugar and, once very pale and fluffy, beat in the eggs, one at a time. Do not worry if the mixture curdles. Mix in the almond extract, ground almonds and flour.

4. Remove the baking sheets from the freezer and fill the pastry cases with baking paper and rice/baking beans. Bake for about 5 minutes in the middle of the oven. Remove the rice and baking paper inside the cases and bake for a further 5 minutes.

5. Allow the pastry to cool for about 10 minutes before spreading an even layer of jam in each case and filling with frangipane. Carefully smooth the tops and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the filling has risen and is light golden brown.

6. Allow to cool a little before dusting with icing sugar and serving with cream.

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