Saturday, June 27, 2009

June DB- Bakewell Tart Bars

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 decided to make mine with seedless raspberry jam (from the supermarket) and to make mine in a rectangular pan. I cut them into bars to serve at a lunch buffet tomorrow and plan to dip them in chocolate. I topped mine with a florentine cookie batter and re-baked for a caramel-y crunch.

Shortdough Crust
225g (8oz) all purpose flour
30g (1oz) sugar
2.5ml (½ tsp) salt
110g (4oz) unsalted butter, cold (frozen is better)
2 (2) egg yolks (I used one whole egg)
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract (optional) (I used vanilla extract)
15-30ml (1-2 Tbsp) cold water
Blitz flour, sugar, and salt in food processor. Add butter and pulse until it become fine crumbs. Lightly beat the egg with the extract. Add to processor, pulse to combine. Keep processor running while slowly pouring in water until just combined (I didn't need all the water)
Wrap in plastic and chill 30 minutes before rolling out and fitting in the bottom of an 11x7" cake pan coated with pan spray and lined with baking paper.
Spread with jam. Chill while making frangipane.

125g (4.5oz) unsalted butter, softened
125g (4.5oz) icing sugar
3 (3) eggs- room temperature!
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract
125g (4.5oz) ground almonds
30g (1oz) all purpose flour

In a standing mixer beat butter and sugar until fluffy and pale yellow. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add almond extract. If your eggs aren't cold it will form a smooth paste. Add almonds and flour and mix until well blended. Pour into jam covered pastry shell.
Bake at 400F for about 30 minutes. While it's baking make the florentine batter.

Florentine batter:
1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
3 T honey
3 T heavy cream
2 cups sliced almonds

In a heavy sauce pan combine all but the almonds, bring to a boil and boil until thickened. Quickly stir in almonds, spread over baked frangipane filling and bake at 425 for 8-10 minutes or until browned.

I let mine cool and then froze it to make it easier to cut into perfect bars.