One of the newer bakery items at Beans & Butter Coffeehouse that we have been featuring this summer is the Bakewell Tart. What is this delicious dessert, and where does it come from? We will be answering this and more, so read on!
What is the Bakewell Tart?
The Bakewell Tart is made up of a shortcrust pastry shell, topped with a layer of jam, followed by a layer of frangipane, and topped with sliced almonds. We then cover the tart with a dusting of powdered sugar. We use raspberry jam in our Bakewell Tarts, but other flavors of jam can be used.
What is Shortcrust Pastry?
Shortcrust pastry is the British term for what we Americans would call pie crust or pie dough and a variation of the French term is pâte brisée. The ratio of fat to flour is different in a shortcrust than in the typical US pie dough. Shortcrust has double the amount of flour to fat, making it crumbly in texture, almost cookie-like.
What is Frangipane?
Frangipane is an almond pastry cream that is used in many baked items. We use frangipane in our Bakewell Tarts, as well as our Almond Croissants. We prepare our frangipane in the bakery with almond paste, eggs, butter, sugar, flour, and almond extract. It is whipped into a delectable, fluffy consistency that owner Michael Simmons refers to as the alchemy of baking. It makes everything taste good!
Why is it Called Bakewell?
This tart is named after the town that it was created in. Bakewell is a market town in Derbyshire, England, which is located on the River Wye in the Eastern Midlands in an area called the Peak District.
The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop created the Bakewell Pudding and the Bakewell Tart. Both recipes remain a trade secret to this shop and were developed back in the 1800s. Our Bakewell Tartlet served at Beans & Butter appears to be similar to the original almond flaked Bakewell Tart. The original iced Bakewell Tart has a layer of fondant on top, along with a maraschino cherry.
Of note in the Bakewell area is Chatsworth House, dating back to the 16th century, which has beautiful gardens, art, and furniture. Chatsworth House is open to the public for tours. PBS produced a documentary about Chatsworth House that is worth watching if you are interested in learning more about this stately manor.
We Love the Bakewell Tart!
The Bakewell Tart has been an immediate success since it was added to the menu at Beans & Butter Coffeehouse. Bonnie Knowlton, one of our Beans & Butter bakers, brought in some mini tarts that she baked. We tried a tartlet and determined that the flavor combination and ingredients would be a perfect fit for us. The tart is delicious for a breakfast, afternoon, or evening treat. It’s not overly sweet, which we also love. The Bakewell Tartlets sell out fast, so if you see one when you visit us, give it a try! They are delicious with either tea or coffee.