I’m not a huge jam-lover, but I do love it in bakes and when I was sent a selection of conserves from Mackays new Hand Stirred range arrived my whole family was instantly clamouring about what to make first. In the end my parents vote won, and a Bakewell Tart was made up with the Cherry Conserve*.
Completely different to the kind found in packets (covered in icing with a glace cherry on top!), proper bakewell tart is crisp pastry spread with jam, and topped with an almond filling which is then baked. Pretty simple, but it looks spectacular. I’m afraid I have no pictures of the making process as my dad actually did the baking for this one; I was busy packing ready for the start of my placement year!
- Pastry case – we used a ready rolled sheet of pastry, but adapt this recipe here by replacing the savoury ingredients with a spoonful of sugar if you want to make your own!
- 2 tablespoons of cherry jam or conserve
- 1/2 cup each of – butter, caster sugar, and ground almonds
- 1 egg
- Almond extract (if you have it, we didn’t!)
- A handful of flaked almonds
First you want to prep your pastry case. Line your chosen flan dish with the pastry, and blind bake; top with baking paper, fill with baking beans and bake for 10 mins, then remove the beans/paper and continue until golden and crisp. Let cool, then spread the pastry with the jam. Use more/less depending on your judgement!
Now for the almond filling. Melt the butter, and then let cool slightly. Stir in the sugar, followed by the ground almonds, egg and extract. Pour into the pastry case, scatter over the flaked almonds, and bake at 200C for 30-35 mins, covering in things are browning too quickly. There’s no pictures of the inside of our tart as it was slightly underbaked, but still pretty yummy!
As for the jam, the unanimous decision was that it was nice, but nothing special. It didn’t seem to have much of a definitive cherry flavour, and instead just tasted of a generic fruit jam. Perhaps a little disappointing, but it was well-rounded with a good balance of sharp and sweet. The texture was also pretty spot on – thick and sticky, but not dry. A bugbear of mine is runny jam, so even for someone on the gate about jam this was pretty good! I’m looking forward to baking with the other flavours – raspberry next!
What do you like to bake with jam?