Bakewell Tart

Ever since I ran across this video & recipe I've developed an instant righteousness about Bakewell Tart.  Nobody has ever heard of it around here.  The injustice!  I keep having to explain what it is.  My explanations being what they are (stunted, reluctant, and full of 'err's), I settled upon this one: it's basically butter, almonds, and sugar in a pie crust with a bit of raspberry jam.  This seems to simultaneously please and put people on edge.  Unless of course they have an faddish, ironic adoration of fat, in which case they pronounce the absurdly rich tart "awesome."  Why did I sweeten to this tart so quickly?  Because it's British, of course.  And how!  The infinitesimal amount of fruit present is in the form of jam and buried beneath a vast stratum of stiff, buttery whiteness.

My version is flecked with brown because I couldn't find the recommended blanched almonds.  Instead I just put some raw almonds in the food processor.  I have to say if you consider the crust a given, this is one the easiest tarts ever.  Mix ground almonds, butter, sugar, and eggs together.  Spread the crust with raspberry jam.  Spread the almond mixture evenly on top of that, and bake it well.  I'm waiting for the rotten fruit to hit me for that one.

Adapted from Elaine Lemm and Smitten Kitchen

1 baked tart shell or pie crust

1 1/2 sticks butter

3/4 cup white sugar

2 large eggs and one yolk

1/2 cups almonds

zest of one lemon

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2 tablespoons raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Warm butter until soft but not liquid.  In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar together.  Whisk in eggs, yolk, lemon zest, and almond extract.  In a food processor grind almonds thoroughly but not into a paste (i.e. don't turn it into almond butter).  Mix ground almonds into the butter/egg/sugar mixture.  Spread raspberry jam on the bottom of the tart shell or pie crust.  Spread filling evenly on top of raspberry jam.  Bake for 50 minutes.

6 January 2011