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Bakewell Tart

December 6, 2010

I love, love, LOVE bakewell tart. It is probably my favorite dessert. I first discovered bakewell tart last Christmas when I was googling random almond desserts to make for a family holiday party. The pictures made the dessert look so rich and tasty, I had to make it. But the pictures don’t do the tart justice. You have to try it to experience the almond orgasm in your mouth. (But eat this only on the rare occasion; it’s pretty hi-calorie.)

One of my downfalls is desserts with texture (think tiramisu, with the mild, softness as you bite into an espresso/coffee liquor-soaked ladyfinger, then the melt-in-your-mouth creamy mascarpone cheese and chocolate layer, then the soft crunch of chocolate shavings on the top). Bakewell tart definitely satisfies in the texture department, with the flaky pastry crust on the base, then the tart, thin raspberry jam layer, and the almondy, custardy, chewy filling. OMG, this dessert is to die for.

It’s so easy to make, yet so impressive. Your friends will think you’re a professional baker in the making once they taste it.

Ingredients:

-pastry crust

-2 tbsp raspberry jam

-1.5 sticks butter, at room temp (I use margarine)

-3/4 cup fine caster surgar (or granulated sugar is a fine substitute)

-2 eggs

-splash of vanilla extract

-2 tsp almond extract

-1.25 cups almond meal/almond flour (Trader’s Joe’s is $4 a lb! Whole Foods is $10 a lb! Go to TJ’s)

-1.5 Tbsp flour

-zest of 1 medium lemon

-handful of almond slivers

Equipment:

-1 9-inch pie pan

-electric mixer

-spatula

-mixing bowls

-utensils

Directions:

1. Prepare the crust or pastry shell. If using frozen pie crust, make sure it’s properly defrosted before lining the pie pan with it.

2. Spread the raspberry jam with the back of spoon evenly across the pie crust. It should be very thin, almost transparent. Just enough to coat the crust.

3. Prepare the almond filling. With the electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and well-blended. Slowly add in the eggs, followed by the vanilla and almond extracts.

4. Add the almond flour, regular flour, and lemon zest.

With a spatula, gently fold in the flours and zest until well-blended. Add to the raspberry-lined pie crust.

5. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees or until a knife comes out clean. Sprinkle the almond slivers on top.

6. Bake for 25 minutes more, until golden brown and, a knife comes out clean.

7. Let cool for 1 hour before slicing and serving. Dust with powdered sugar. Your guests will LOVE this. Bon apetit!

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