Bakewell tart is a favourite at our house at Christmas, although not in its traditional form.
Bakewell tarts are a traditional English cake made from pastry, an almond cake filling and jam. However, there are lots of variations on this basic recipe and people make them in different ways depending on where they are from, family recipes and – of course – personal taste.
Some people make them as full tarts which you can take a slice of, but we always had mini individual versions.
Our recipe is one which my Nan used to make each year at Christmas and which she had to amend to suit the tastes of 6 fussy granddaughters.
It’s a simplified version, which we loved as kids, with the almond taken out. She would make a grown-up batch with it in, and one for us kids without. To be honest, the kids’ one is still my preferred version now!
When we were kids it was a wonderful moment each year when our Nan would arrive at our house with an old Quality Street tin filled to the brim with her wonderful baking… mince pies, jam tarts and – best of all – bakewells. Mum had to keep a close eye on the tin to make sure it wasn’t all gobbled up straight away.
I won’t include a full recipe as really the simplified version is very easy and can be whipped up in no time, especially if you buy ready-made pastry, like I often do.
All you need to do is cut out a circle of shortcrust pastry and pop it into a greased pie tin. Add a half teaspoon of strawberry jam and cover liberally with a simple Victoria sponge cake mix (4oz SR Flour, 4oz Butter, 4oz Sugar, 2 eggs, vanilla and a dash of baking powder).
Bake them in the oven for around 15 mins on 180 degrees and you’ll have delicious little cake/pie combinations which you can decorate with water icing. Delicious!
If you want to make the ‘grown-up’ version then you can substitute some of the flour for ground almonds and add a little almond extract to taste.
Give them a go, they are easy and delicious!