Monday, May 11, 2009

Memories of childhood visitors

When I was a young girl my favourite sweet treats always came from the U.K. Growing up in Canada with relatives in England, my brothers and sister and I would always be an enthusiastic welcoming committee (on our best behaviour, naturally) when our relatives from abroad would arrive because we knew that tucked in the suitcase would be something sweet for us. We could count on a large Cadbury's milk chocolate bar for each of us, perhaps some Dolly Mixture candies or Toybox cookies but I would always cross my fingers and hope that a box of bakewell tarts would appear.

I loved the look of the pristine white icing on the individual tarts topped with a bright red cherry. There was never enough cherry filling for my liking but the delicate flavour of sweet almonds always won me over and left me wanting more. When the Marks & Spencer stores opened in Canada when I was a teenager I thought I was in heaven when I saw shelves stacked with the same bakewell tarts I loved as a child.

I just rediscovered my love for these tarts after a fellow Foodbuzzer reminded me how popular they are in England. They are easy to make and delicious to eat: a sweet dough crust, seedless raspberry or cherry jam and frangiapane cream as a topping. Here's my recipe:

Sweet dough
400g Flour
200g Sugar
200g Butter
2 eggs
4g Baking powder

Mix dry ingredients together. Crumble butter until small. Add eggs and knead until it comes together well. Wrap and chill. Roll out thinly and line a tart tin with a removable bottom. Spoon in some seedless raspberry or cherry jam and spread out along the bottom.
Frangiapane (almond) cream

125g butter
125g sugar

2 eggs
125g almond powder (ground almonds)
25g flour
10ml rum
10ml vanilla

Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs, rum, vanilla and almonds. Pipe into tart shell and smooth. Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees or until the frangiapane puffs up and is golden. Remove from oven and cool completely before removing from tart shell. Drizzle with some flat icing (confectioners sugar and water) and top with berries.
Enjoy with some friends and a good cup of tea!


Ann said...

Sounds yummo!

giz said...

such a pretty looking tart - I love the simplicity of it