This lemon bakewell tart feels a bit revolutionary to be honest with you. I did quite a bit of research into bakewell tarts and nearly every recipe blind bakes the pastry. Now if I am going to completely bake a pastry case and then fill with something that needs to set in the fridge or chill, like a ganache, then I would have no choice but to bake it blind.
However, I hate blind baking pastry and if you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you may have noticed that I don’t have very many recipes where pastry is baked completely blind.
The reason for this is because it’s something I really haven’t mastered and I always get shrinkage, or my pastry isn’t the neatest. I don’t know if it’s my technique – I chill the pastry before rolling, I roll it out on a marble board without stretching or handling it too much, I push the pastry well into the sides of the tin and push it above the tin edge a little. I rest the lined tin in the fridge, I then prick the tart (always makes me laugh) with a fork, line with baking parchment and baking beans and then cook in the oven.
It always comes out shrunk or disappointing, I know this means I should try making this kind of pastry more and more till I master it and you’re right, I should. However I don’t know if it’s because of my job (I’m a software tester), but I’ve come up with a workaround :-).
As long as your fillings aren’t too wet, you can bake this lemon bakewell tart without having to blind bake your pastry and the pastry in the bottom will be cooked. Just be sure to leave your tart to cool in the tin, so the residual heat continues to cook the pastry. You can even stand your tart tin on a baking tray that has been warmed in the pre-heated oven to cook.
I’ve used this method successfully with my quince frangipane tart with ginger curd and this is what gave me the idea to try it with the lemon bakewell tart. When you’re going to bake the tart filling anyway, It feels like a bit of an annoying pointless step to go to the hassle of blind baking as well.
So, if you try this method with your lemon bakewell tart, let me know if it worked for you. I really don’t think my oven or tins are anything that others don’t have in their home. So in future I am no longer going to blind bake for quiches etc and see what results I get.
Another problem people might have with this lemon bakewell tart, is that not only have I used lemon curd instead of raspberry jam, I’ve also topped it with a layer of icing. Some purists only like a scattering of flaked almonds before baking and dusting of icing sugar when it’s finished.
When I was a kid bakewell tarts always had icing – well the Mr Kipling cherry bakewells did and that is what I’m basing my research on!
This has to be one of the nicest bakewell tarts I’ve ever had, so do give the recipe a try. My icing spiral was so neat to begin with, but the white icing had started to set by the time I tried to decorate with the cocktail stick, so do make sure to have both of your icings made before you begin.
Also, I couldn’t decide which plate to photograph this on, so the icing cracked a bit on top when I moved it from one plate to another – food blogger problems!
- ***Pate Sucree***
- 125g Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- 100g Icing Sugar, sifted
- 50g Egg (any extra reserved for egg wash)
- 250g Plain Flour, sifted
- 1g Salt
- 150g Unsalted Butter, softened
- 150g Granulated Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 150g Ground Almonds
- 30g Plain flour
- 1 Lemon, juiced
- ***Lemon Curd***
- 2 Unwaxed Lemons
- 100g Granulated Sugar
- 50g Unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 2 free-range eggs
- 300g Icing Sugar
- 2-3Tbsp Water
- 50g Icing Sugar
- Yellow Food Colouring
- ½ Lemon, juiced
- Begin by making the lemon curd, put the lemon juice, sugar and butter into a heatproof bowl. Sit the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl. Stir the mixture every now and again until all of the butter has melted.
- Lightly whisk the eggs and stir them into the lemon mixture. Stir until all of the ingredients are well combined, then leave to cook for 10-13 minutes, stirring every now and again, until the mixture is creamy and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Remove the lemon curd from the heat and place into a bowl to cool, cover the surface of the curd with cling-film and place in the fridge until ready to use.
- To make the pastry, place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until soft and smooth, add the icing sugar and cream the ingredients together until light and smooth.
- Gradually mix in the egg making sure they become fully incorporated, add in the flour and salt and mix till it becomes one big mass.
- Turn the pastry out on to a work surface, mix it all together and then shape it into a round block, cover with cling-film and refrigerate the pastry for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Roll out the chilled pastry on a lightly floured work surface and line a round tart tin that is 25-27cm in diameter, about 3cm deep. Spread the lemon curd in an even layer on the base of pastry and chill while you make the frangipane.
- Make the frangipane, cream the butter and sugar together, then gradually add the beaten eggs.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, add the ground almonds, flour and lemon juice.
- Mix for a few seconds until well incorporated. Take the chilled pastry case from the fridge spread the frangipane evenly over the curd using a bent palette knife. Brush the sides and tops of the pastry that are exposed with egg wash.
- Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/gas 5. Place the tart on a tray and bake for about 50–55 minutes until the almond filling and pastry are golden brown. Leave the tart to cool in the tin.
- When the tart is cool, remove it from the tin, tidy any edges if necessary and then make the icing.
- Sift the 300g icing sugar into a bowl and add about 3-4 tablespoons cold water to make a smooth, fairly thick icing.
- Sift the other 50g of icing sugar in a separate bowl and add the lemon juice in batches, you might not need all of the lemon juice. Add the yellow food colouring until you get your chosen colour.
- Spoon the yellow icing into a small piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle.
- When the tart has cooled completely, spoon the white icing on top and spread to form a smooth surface. Pipe parallel lines or a spiral of yellow icing over the white icing, then drag a cocktail stick through the lines to create a feathered effect.
- Leave to set before serving.
***You can use any flavour curd you like, if you don't go with lemon, leave it out of the frangipane and the icing as well.
Do you always blind bake your pastry cases? Or am I not on to anything new and you’ve been doing it this way for ages?
Let me know in the comments.
Thanks for reading.