This Bakewell pastry is made up of three components, a shortcrust pastry, fruit preserves, and frangipane. The charming tarts, I mean hostesses, strongly urged making the crust the traditional way by hand. Modifying recipes to accommodate multiple food allergies is akin to baking without a net, so I make no apologies for any little advantage I could squeeze from my appliances after I replaced all the butter, eggs, almond extract, almond meal, and almonds. (You can see the original recipe here.)
The June Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart... er... pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800's in England.
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry:
1 3/4 C all purpose flour
2 Tbs granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C nondairy margarine*, cold
3-4 Tbs cold water
*Note: one of the reasons I like to use Earth Balance is because it doesn't taste salty like some other nondairy margarines do. If you use a different margarine, you may want to reduce the amount of salt in the pastry.
Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Give a spin to mix. Cut margarine into small pieces and add. Whiz again until mixture forms into crumbs. (You may need to stop to scrape down the sides.) While mixing, slowly add cold water until dough forms a ball. Shape into a disk, wrap up in plastic wrap, and place in fridge for at least half an hour.
The fruit component for my Bakewell Tart was homemade raspberry jam supplied by my mom, who traditionally makes jam and jellies for most of our very grateful family. I'd say she was very well preserved, but she might squish me.
The frangipane, based on butter, eggs, and ground almonds, called for a great deal of creativity to adapt, but in the end I reached for two of my favorite subs, soy yogurt to make up the bulk from the egg and ground flax seed both to bind the mixture and give it some nuttiness. (I also adjusted the amount of ground flax seed and flour.) Plus I added a little baking powder to get some rise and keep it from being too dense.
1/2 C nondairy margarine, softened
1 C powdered sugar
3/4 C soy yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C all purpose flour (increase to 1 C)*
1/4 C ground flax seed
1/2 tsp baking powder
*Note: I reversed the proportions of flour to flax seed and calculated the amount of flour at one Cup, but I liked the way the mixture looked at half a Cup of flour so much, that I stopped. The "Frangepane" was still wet in the middle after baking, so the initial calculation was right.
Cream the margarine and powdered sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the soy yogurt and vanilla extract while continuing to mix. Ignore the resulting cottage cheese texture. It'll be just fine, I promise. Sift together the flour, flax seed, and baking powder, then mix them in, as well. See how nice and smooth it gets? Take a deep breath and get ready to assemble your masterpiece.
Start by taking your disk of shortcrust dough and rolling it out on a well floured surface to 1/4" thick. The Tarts recommend rolling in one direction (away from you,) then giving the dough a quarter turn and repeating. That worked well until the circle became larger, at which point I began turning the rolling pin. The recipe calls for a 9" fluted tart pan. To my chagrin, I discovered at this late stage that I am the proud owner of an 8" and and 11" pan. It's a good thing the extra dough can be used to make cookies!
After transferring the dough to the tart pan, trim the extra and put it in the freezer for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 400F at during this time. Remove shell from freezer and spread 1/2 to 1 C of jam as evenly as possible. The jam may need to be warmed to spread well. Gently turn out Frangipane mixture into tart pan, and smooth with an icing spatula. The original recipe calls for almonds sprinkled on the crust toward the end of the baking period. I sprinkled some raw sugar on at this stage instead to give it a little sparkle. Bake for thirty minutes.
The tart wasn't perfect, since it was a little pudding like in the center, but that's attributable to the smaller pan and thicker frangipane, as well as the shortage of flour. Thanks to Jasmine and Annemarie for a great challenge, and be sure to check out all the other Daring Bakers!