Bakewell Tartlets

Saw a tray of the freshest deepest red cherries in the market the other week. I brought a heavy bag immediately, with the intention of making cherry jam for my bakewell tartlets.

However, I couldn’t help myself. I ate almost all the juicy sweet cherries straight from bag, leaving just enough to decorate my bakewell tartlets with. I didn’t want to buy another bag because the cherries cost $14 per kilograms. Just as well, since it would be too much of an extravagant to make jam from fresh cherries anyway. I used the jar of mixed berries jam that has been sitting at the back of my fridge instead.

I love the look of these bakewell tartlets. They are so old-fashion, with a whimsical cuteness about them.

These bakewell tartlets may look like an effort to make, but I can assure you that they are easier than cakes and cupcakes. They are absolutely fabulous for afternoon tea (or anytime of the day) with its crumbly sweet short crush pastry, layer of sweet jam and buttery almond filling. The almond flakes on top of the almond filling gives the tartlet an additional crunch and nuttness, so don't skip them.

These bakewell tartlets are definitely one of my favourites.

Bakewell Tartlets
(Adapted from Lily Vanilli Bakewell Tart)

Makes 12 tarts

For the pastry
250 grams plain flour
50 grams icing sugar
125 grams unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
1 egg, lightly beaten (about 56 grams without shell)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or 1 teaspoon vanilla essence)
Splash of milk (only if the pastry is too crumbly)

For the frangipane
85 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
85 grams caster sugar
85 grams almond meal (ground almonds)
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 egg

You will also need 12 teaspoons of jam, and a handful of almond flakes.

To make the pastry:
Place flour, icing sugar and butter in a food processor and process until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. (Or alternatively, use your hands to rub the butter into the flour and icing sugar mixture.)

Transfer mixture onto a clean surface. Add the egg and gently work it all together into a ball of dough. If the pastry is too crumbly and is not coming together, add a teaspoon of milk. Flatten dough into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Roll out the pastry between two sheets of baking paper to about 3mm-thick. Cut rounds with 8cm diameter cookie cutter to line cupcake/muffin pan. Gently press the pastry into the base of each cupcake/muffin holes, making sure you leave no air pockets around the base. Refrigerate for a further 30 minutes.

(Tip: If the pastry gets too soft and becomes too difficult to handle, just put it back into the fridge for 10 minutes or until firm.)

To make frangipane:
In an electric mixer with either whisk or paddle attachment, mix all ingredients until smooth.

To assemble:
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celsius (or 170 degrees celsius fan-forced).

Spoon a teaspoon of jam into the prepared pastry cases. Spoon or pipe the frangipane over the jam, then smooth the tops with a spatule. Sprinkle on the flaked almonds. Baked for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool. Decorate with a dab of whipped cream or buttercream and top with a fresh cherry.

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