Victoria shares a recipe for one of Britain's favourite desserts, but with a gluten free twist.
A Bakewell Tart (or Pudding) by any other name would taste as sweet, so who really cares what you call it? Well, as it turns out, the fine people of Bakewell itself, who are firmly on Team Pudding. I’m going to cut to the chase here and begin by making the potentially inflammatory confession that I always call this Derbyshire delicacy a tart, even if everyone from Bakewell does call it a pudding. But what’s in a name?
This tart/pudding debate brings to mind a similar anomaly in Britain’s rich and peculiar history, surrounding the pronunciation of Shrewsbury. It is a fact I only discovered when a very good friend from Shrewsbury had her pronunciation of the county town of Shropshire, in which she was born, corrected by a patronising idiot in the pub. It seems that everyone from Shrewsbury pronounces it “shroozberry” (or even “shoozberry”. Losing the first “r” is apparently de rigueur
there), while everyone from anywhere else insists on calling it “shrohzberry”.
I was born nowhere near either Bakewell or Shrewsbury, so I will stick to saying tart and "shroh" along with the rest of the outsiders. Correct me or not as you choose, I’ll be too busy eating this beauty to notice, and, besides, it’s the same land and the same pastry, so (pedants aside) who really cares?
Back to the glory of the Bakewell Tart. It’s mostly almonds anyway, so it struck me that this would be a fairly simple recipe to adapt for gluten dodgers (nut allergy sufferers: run for the hills!). I often put ground almonds in gluten-free pastry anyway, as it tends to make the end results more stable and less likely for it to shatter on unmoulding. It also makes it even richer, so arguably even more delicious.
I like this tart best with the traditional raspberry jam, but I have used blackcurrant and gooseberry with great results. I’d personally steer clear of anything lacking in acidity, like strawberry, and go for something with a bit more oomph to stand up to the richness of the almonds and butter, but do whatever you like, it's your tart. I like to serve it hot with custard or a generous blob of clotted cream, but it’s equally lovely served cold and eaten on the go.
Gluten-free Bakewell Tart
This quantity makes a 10-inch round tart.
For the pastry
100g icing sugar
50g ground almonds
250g rice flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum
A pinch of salt
The scraped out seeds of 1 vanilla pod
125g unsalted butter
For the filling
300g raspberry jam
250g unsalted butter
250g caster sugar
2 eggs, beaten
275g ground almonds
Seeds of 1 vanilla pod
50g rice flour
A pinch of salt
1 tbsp. Amaretto
To make the pastry, put all of the dry ingredients into the food processor and blitz – this means you won’t have to sift anything! Next, add the butter the food processor and blitz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the vanilla and beaten eggs and blitz again until the mixture comes together to form a dough. Wrap the pastry in cling film and pop it in the fridge for 30 – 45 minutes to chill.
In the meantime, make the frangipane filling. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Gradually add in the eggs a little at a time, followed by the remaining ingredients and whisk thoroughly until you have a smooth batter. Pop the frangipane in the fridge until you need it.
Preheat the oven to 180˚C (160˚C fan)/350˚F/Gas Mark 4
Roll the pastry between two sheets of cling film to the thickness of a £1 coin. Remove the top layer of cling film and upturn the pastry into the tart tin. Press the pastry gently into the tin and press the edges with your thumb to remove the excess. Gently remove the cling film. Pop the tart case into the freezer for 20 – 30 minutes, or until very firm. There is no need to blind bake gluten free pastry.
Spread the raspberry jam over the base of the pastry. Next, dollop the frangipane filling on top of the jam and use a palette knife to smooth over the top. Scatter with the flaked almonds and bake for 40 – 45 minutes, or until the filling is firm and golden. Leave the tart to cool slightly before turning out.
Inspired? For more sweet tart recipes visit Great British Chefs.