A co-worker’s birthday is always a good time to remind my team that they are glad they hired me. This time, though, a super sweet baklava, or a big ass kugelhopf wouldn’t do the trick. This coworker likes their food light, not overly sweet, and beautiful. Well fuck. That rules out a lot of what I make. A frangipane tart though, that’s always a crowd pleaser, and a Bakewell Tart isn’t overly sweet, I mean the crust is barely sweetened at all. That’ll do, pig!
So I made the crust, and it rolled out so beautiful and thin that I thought the whole thing was going to go to shit because I’ve never made a crust so easily. In fact, it seems like usually I should just use the rolling pin as a can opener because every time I get the thing out I have trouble, but not this time! I blind baked the crust and let it dry out nicely because as my gurl Mary Berry says, no one likes a soggy bottom.
I made the filling before putting my little girl to bed, and when I went to pour it into the crust it didn’t pour. It was a big thicker than I remembered, and I really had to work at it to get it nice and even in the crust. As for the berries I had placed at the bottom of the crust…well…they moved to where they wanted to be and I had no choice in the matter.
In the end, though, the tart was well received by my coworkers. They’re still happy that they hired me. And I got to use my beautiful tart pan. That is success, my friends.
When mommyPrimate and I were watching The Great British Baking Show we kept wondering what the hell a “Bakewell n” was. They referred to a few different baked goods as Bakewell or Bakewell Style and we were pretty curious. When my copy of Paul Hollywood’s British Baking came in, we found out that Bakewell is a city. Oh, so it’s a regional style thing. Duh. Like in Korea they have Daegu Makchang, Jeonju Bibimbap, and Busan Odeng. Ok. I can handle that.
According to a skin-deep Google Image search, Bakewell appears to be a delightful city. Anyhow, I’m on desserts this week, and I wanted to try to make a Bakewell Tart. This meant I had to make a pastry crust. This intimidated me a bit, but after careful measuring, and a slightly more refined understanding of how dough comes together, it went pretty easily. I even managed to roll it out to the 3mm thickness required for the crust with no trouble, and put it into my tart pan with no trouble. I covered it with a bag of beans and baked it in the blind (so it wouldn’t puff up) for 15 minutes. When I removed the beans and parchment…well…
The crust had inflated a bit, next time I’ll just use more beans. A quick poke with a fork deflated it, and bam! No problem. I added the ingredients for the frangipane filling to my mixer, and a few minutes later I was spreading jam over the bottom of the tart, artfully laying in sliced strawberries (classic is raspberry, but I like strawberries better), and smoothing the frangipane over the top. It went into the oven looking a bit like oatmeal, but came out looking like this:
I set it in the fridge to chill while we went to see The Force Awakens, and after dinner it sliced beautifully. This is a picture of the first slice. Literally the first slice. I didn’t doctor this up at all. It wasn’t impossible to get out of the pan!
It tastes as good as it looks. Maybe even better.
Considering my first go-round with tarts was a complete and total failure, I feel pretty friggin’ redeemed.