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Derbyshire Bakewell Tart

This dessert comes from Bakewell, a town in Derbyshire, England, home of the beautiful Peak District. It dates back to the 1860s. Bakewell tart, or Bakewell pudding as it is sometimes known locally, is an almond shortcrust pastry crust filled with frangipane or custard. Go back 150 years and these fillings were interchangeable, but these days the frangipani filling is more common. Sometimes this dessert is made with puff pastry and other times with shortcrust pastry. You can use shop-bought pastry for this tart. If you are making your own, add 1/3 cup (55g) almond flour (ground almonds) to the pastry mixture.

Sometimes Bakewell tart is topped with royal icing but some people prefer not to do this because it makes it very sweet. As is the case with many desserts dating back a long time, there are various ways to prepare this classic dish when you make it yourself instead of buying it. Try a slice of this with a cup of tea or coffee in the afternoon, as a tasty and satisfying sweet snack between lunch and dinner.

We are using a shop-bought shortcrust pastry crust here just to save time, but you can make your own if you prefer. Puff pastry is better for the old-fashioned custard fillings but shortcrust pastry is stronger so it encases the frangipane better. Next the tart has a layer of ham, and finally the filling. You can choose between lemon and clementine zest in this recipe, and you will also need jam, butter, sugar, egg, flour, almonds, and baking powder.

How to Make a Bakewell Tart
Summary: This delicious, traditional English dessert comes from Derbyshire. It features a tasty shortcrust pastry crust along with a fruity, rich frangipane filling for perfect balance.
Cuisine: English
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 6 oz (150g) shortcrust pastry
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry or raspberry jam
  • 2 oz (60g) white sugar
  • 2 oz (60g) butter
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon or clementine zest
  • 1 or 2 drops almond extract (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (plain flour)
  • 4 oz (115g) ground almonds
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • Flaked almonds, for topping (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 C).
  2. Grease or line an 8-inch (20cm) fluted tart pan (use a springform one if you have it).
  3. Now you can roll the pastry into a circle a little bigger than the pan.
  4. Cut a ¾-inch (1½ cm) strip off the pastry.
  5. Use it to line the bottom edge of the pan with the cut part facing inwards.
  6. Wet it with water then add the rest of the pastry to cover the base and sides.
  7. Trim off the edges, then use a fork to prick a few holes in the pastry.
  8. Spread the jam over the base.
  9. Beat the sugar and butter until creamy.
  10. Beat the egg and lemon or clementine zest.
  11. Gradually add this to the creamed sugar and butter.
  12. Now you can add a little almond extract (just a drop or 2) if you like.
  13. Mix the flour with the ground almonds.
  14. Fold this mixture into the wet mixture with a metal spoon, a spoon at a time.
  15. Add the baking powder with the final flour additional.
  16. Now you can spread this mixture over the jam layer.
  17. Bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown.
  18. Sprinkle some flaked almonds on top if liked.

Photo Description:

This classic English tart is easy to make and the flavour is delicious. You can buy Bakewell tarts but the homemade kind is always better. The shortcrust pastry is topped with a layer of jam and then a gorgeous citrus and almond layer which is beautifully sweet and soft. A wedge of this served with tea or coffee makes a wonderful snack, or you might like to treat yourself to some after dinner. Bakewell tart, or Bakewell pudding, originates from Derbyshire, England, and this classic recipe has stood the test of time because it is so tasty.

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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hi, my name is Christine and I would like to welcome you to TeaTime Recipes. Tea has always been a favourite of mine and I adore the tradition of serving this wonderful beverage with all kinds of little snacks both sweet and savoury. Read More