Cherry Bakewell Tart

With a crisp and buttery shortbread crust, cherry jam, and an almond frangipane sponge layer, this Cherry Bakewell Tart is a perfect breakfast or dessert.

Cherry Bakewell Tart: a buttery shortbread crust, cherry jam, and almond frangipane sponge combine for a perfect not-so-sweet dessert or breakfast treat. {Bunsen Burner Bakery} #bakewelltart #bakewell #almond #cherry #dessert #breakfastA long, long time ago (we’re talking a decade here), I participated in monthly challenges with a group known as the Daring Bakers.  Each month, someone would select a recipe that was either a bit off the beaten path or something a little more challenging.  Then everyone would make a version and discuss the results.

There was a even a Daring Cooks side of things, too.  (I could sure use that now to spice up the dinner rut we’re stuck in!)

Cherry Bakewell Tart: a buttery shortbread crust, cherry jam, and almond frangipane sponge combine for a perfect not-so-sweet dessert or breakfast treat. {Bunsen Burner Bakery} #bakewelltart #bakewell #almond #cherry #dessert #breakfast

Participation in the group encouraged me to try many things I don’t particularly like enough to make by hand (French macarons, cannoli shells) or things that require so much time, it’s just plain easier to buy them in the store (puff pastry, phyllo dough).

Cherry Bakewell Tart: a buttery shortbread crust, cherry jam, and almond frangipane sponge combine for a perfect not-so-sweet dessert or breakfast treat. {Bunsen Burner Bakery} #bakewelltart #bakewell #almond #cherry #dessert #breakfast

One month, a member chose a traditional British Bakewell Tart for the challenge.  I’m pretty sure this is my favorite thing I made while part of the group.  I’m a big fan of fruit-flavored sweets and love almond in any form.  I sliced away at that Bakewell Tart for breakfast for a week and was truly sad when it was gone.

Cherry Bakewell Tart: a buttery shortbread crust, cherry jam, and almond frangipane sponge combine for a perfect not-so-sweet dessert or breakfast treat. {Bunsen Burner Bakery} #bakewelltart #bakewell #almond #cherry #dessert #breakfast

Fast forward 10ish years, and I came across the old Bakewell Tart post on my old blog… and obviously had to make it again.  Immediately.  Would it be as good as I remembered it?  Did 10 years of memories exaggerate my enjoyment?

Not in the least.  Still as absolutely delicious as I remembered it!  (But really, fruit + almond pretty much has to be amazing, right?)

Cherry Bakewell Tart: a buttery shortbread crust, cherry jam, and almond frangipane sponge combine for a perfect not-so-sweet dessert or breakfast treat. {Bunsen Burner Bakery} #bakewelltart #bakewell #almond #cherry #dessert #breakfast

So what on earth is a Bakewell Tart, anyway?  It’s a not-super-sweet dessert with a layers of a shortbread crust, fruity jam, spongy frangipane, and flaked almonds.  It’s not challenging to make, although it is a little time consuming with chilling the dough.  But trust me: this is well worth the effort.

Cherry Bakewell Tart: a buttery shortbread crust, cherry jam, and almond frangipane sponge combine for a perfect not-so-sweet dessert or breakfast treat. {Bunsen Burner Bakery} #bakewelltart #bakewell #almond #cherry #dessert #breakfast

I don’t think there’s a traditional flavor of jam that is generally used, but I used a sour cherry jam.  Cherry pairs so well with the almond and I definitely recommend it, although of course any other flavor of jam can be used.  I used storebought jam (because that newborn life..) but this is the perfect way to showcase your own homemade fruit preserves, too.

Cherry Bakewell Tart: a buttery shortbread crust, cherry jam, and almond frangipane sponge combine for a perfect not-so-sweet dessert or breakfast treat. {Bunsen Burner Bakery} #bakewelltart #bakewell #almond #cherry #dessert #breakfast

Bakewell Tarts aren’t particularly common here in the U.S. (I never heard of one before the Daring Bakers’ challenge, and I’ve never seen one since!), so I think it’s a fun unexpected treat for a gathering or party.  When everyone else brings cupcakes to a gathering, you get to stand out just a little.

Breakfast, brunch, dessert, mid-afternoon snack – I’ll take a slice of a Bakewell Tart for any of these, please.

Cherry Bakewell Tart

With a crisp and buttery shortbread crust, cherry jam, and an almond frangipane sponge layer, this Cherry Bakewell Tart is a perfect breakfast or dessert.

Ingredients:

For the shortbread crust:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, frozen
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons cold water
For the frangipane:
  • 9 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 1/3 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
For assembly:
  • 1 cup cherry jam

Directions:

  1. To make the shortbread crust, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.  Grate the frozen butter into the mixture and rub the butter into the flour, using fingers or a pastry cutter, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  2. Lightly beat the egg yolks with the almond extract and stir this into the flour mixture.  Continue to mix while adding just enough water to form a sticky dough.  Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness.  Transfer the dough to the tart pan, pressing along the sides and trimming any excess dough.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 °F.  Once oven is up to temperature, line the top of the dough with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans.  Blind bake the crust for 10 minutes, then remove the pie weights and parchment paper and bake for an additional 5 minutes until just barely golden.  Reduce oven temperature to 375 °F and set crust aside to cool.
  4. To make the frangipane, cream together the butter and sugar using a mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the almond extract and beat for an additional 30 seconds.  Spoon in the ground nuts and flour while the mixer is running and combine well.
  5. Spread 1 cup of jam evenly along the shortbread crust.  Top with the frangipane, spreading to cover the entire surface of the tart.  Smooth the top and bake at 375 °F for 20 minutes.  Remove the tart from the oven and scatter the sliced almonds across the top.  Return to the oven and bake an additional 5-10 minutes, until golden brown and a tester inserted into the center of the tart comes out clean.  Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Bakewell Tart will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Cherry Bakewell Tart: a buttery shortbread crust, cherry jam, and almond frangipane sponge combine for a perfect not-so-sweet dessert or breakfast treat. {Bunsen Burner Bakery} #bakewelltart #bakewell #almond #cherry #dessert #breakfast