Bakewell, Well-Baked

Steeped in centuries of tradition, the bakewell tart is perhaps the quintessential pastry of England, invited to every party, from daily tea time nibbles to grand celebrations alike. Jam and almond frangipan daintily layered in a shortcrust shell, many variations of this simple assembly exit, creating controversy amongst fiercely loyal fans. The question is: Soft, custard-like interior, or fluffy, cake-like crumb? Although the bakewell failed to make such a splash across the pond here in America, never providing me the opportunity to try it previously, I had always believe that the pudding-eque version would be far better. What’s the point of baking a sponge cake into a rigid crust, anyway? It was due time to finally see what the big deal was for myself, so this month’s Daring Baker challenge was quite appealing.

The June Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart… er… pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800’s in England.

Being a crazy yankee though, I just had to go muck things up and make a dessert that looked absolutely nothing like a tart, bakewell or otherwise.

All the components are there, only rearranged and reinterpreted. Strawberry jam demispheres, softly jelled with agar, form the base, on top of which rests a slab of chocolate shortcrust pastry. A deep green pistachio frangipan, even more dense and rich than I could have imagined, follows to complete the standard requirements for a bakewell tart.  Garnished simply with fresh strawberries, mint leaves, and chocolate decorations, it was fun to eat as it was to make.  Although I would have prefered the frangipan to be slightly lighter, it was undeniably delicious.

No longer a foreign oddity, I can easily see the appeal of the bakewell tart.  If for nothing else, the simplicity of the recipe allows a lot of room for creativity, and truly lets fantastic ingredients shine.  That’s the sort of dessert that I think everyone can appreciate!


73 thoughts on “Bakewell, Well-Baked

  1. “If for nothing else, the simplicity of the recipe allows a lot of room for creativity, and truly lets fantastic ingredients shine.”

    I really have to agree with that. I was so pleasantly surprised by this recipe.

  2. That is stunning! I was going to do pistachio frangipane myself, but decided to just keep it basic this time around. Amazing job as ALWAYS, and you have to give me some photo tips, chicky!

  3. What er um he I’m stunned speechless what a creative job you did on this challenge and it looks much to good to eat but I would in an instant. Bravo bravo bravo and kudos to you for this EXCELLENT result. Cheers from Audax

  4. I’ll second Audax’s comment. That’s quite some re-intepretation! Now you’ll have to find a name for it, because that just isn’t pudding! :)

  5. I tried to come up with a creative twist on this challenge, and nothing came to mind. So not only am I so impressed by your Tart, but I am a bit jealous because I lacked the creativity to come with such a unique version. Clearly I have a lot to learn from you.

  6. That is a work of art! I love it. I had a teacher in nutrition school that used to remind us all the time “Where everyone thinks alike, no one thinks at all”. I think yours is the perfect Bakewell Tart!


  8. A stunning creation! The frangipan sounds so intriguing, too. What a delectable combination of tastes and textures!

  9. Everytime I visit your blog and see a baking challenge I must prepare myself. Then I scroll down and literally gasp. Your creations are so beautiful Hannah!

  10. As always, a wonderful and interesting take on the challenge – I especially like the strawberry jam demispheres (maybe because demispheres is just fun to say!). Beautiful job!

  11. This is such a unique, fancy take on the Bakewell Tart! It’s so creative and nearly too beautiful to eat… but it sounds delicious too!

  12. MMMM, I love the variation of flavors you used and as always your plating is specatular! You’re so creative.

  13. Deconstructed Bakewell Tart, I love it! And the pistachio frangipane looks delicious! Gorgeous presentation, I’m really impressed! Way to go!

  14. Hannah,
    I always love checking out your Daring Baker posts because they always involve a twist or a new intepretation of the classic recipes.

  15. Just have to say, I’m English and it isn’t a neccessity at every party! Looks very individual though, but I need mine topped with neon sugared cherries :)

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