Bakewell tart is one of the most traditional desserts in British food. It is loved across the UK, not just in its town of origin, Bakewell in the Peak District. Traditionally, the tart has a layer of jam on the pastry base which is then covered with a delicious frangipane (almond and egg) cake-like topping and finished halfway though baking with a sprinkling of flaked almonds.
In this Christmas Bakewell tart, the jam has been replaced by a thick, meaty layer of sweet mincemeat and just a tiny pinch of mixed spice in the frangipane topping. This gives the tart a really Christmas flavor and also results in a more moist, almost sponge-like cake. It really is delicious and too good to keep just for Christmas.
- For the Tart Shell
- 1 pound/450 g shortcrust pastry
- 1 egg white (lightly beaten)
- For the Filling
- 1/2 jar mincemeat (homemade or store-bought)
- 1 1/2 sticks/150 g of butter
- 3/4 cup/150 g of caster/superfine sugar
- 3 medium eggs plus 1 yolk (beaten)
- 1 1/2 cups/150 g almonds (ground)
- 1 medium lemon (zested)
- Tiny pinch mixed spice (or pumpkin pie spice mix)
Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this tart is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.
Gather the ingredients and preheat the oven to 170 C/ 325 F/Gas 3.
Prepare the Tart Shell
On a lightly floured board, roll out the pastry to about 5 mm/1/4-inch thick.
Grease and line a 20 cm/8-inch deep tart tin with the pastry. Trim the top edge and crimp to make it look neat if you wish.
Prick the base all over with a fork, then chill the pastry in the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes.
Line the tart shell with a sheet of greaseproof paper and fill with pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastry is a pale golden color.
Spread the base of the case with the mincemeat to create a good thick layer, then put to one side to cool.
Prepare the Frangipane
Using an electric hand whisk or a stand mixer, cream together the butter and the sugar until it is whipped and lighter in color.
With the mixer still running, add the beaten egg and egg yolk a little at a time. Keep the mixer running throughout and make sure all the egg is incorporated.
Using a tablespoon or fine spatula, carefully fold in the ground almond, lemon zest, and mixed spice.
Carefully spread the frangipane mixture on top of the mincemeat.
Bake for 40 minutes. If using, sprinkle the flaked almonds on to the surface after 20 mins and bake for a further 20 minutes or until golden and set.
Remove from the oven.
Serve warm or cold with custard, a little ice cream or whipped cream, as you like.