My first memory of a Bakewell tart was, as a child. They would appear on Sunday tea time in a box from Mr Kipling. They reminded me of a clown’s face consisting of just the nose. Buttery pastry case, filled with something sweet and topped with pure white icing, centred with a single glace cherry.
I later learnt that a regular Bakewell tart, associated with the town of Bakewell in Derbyshire in the 1860s is a little more restrained and certainly less sweet.
Its roots are firmly planted in English history, This sweet treat with a strong almond flavour became a popular tea-time, high tea delicacy. It consists of a shortcrust pastry shell spread with jam and then topped with a layer of delicious frangipane finished with flaked almonds and glace cherries. Purists would say it should be left unadorned except for a light scattering of toasted flaked almonds. I have made a few interpretations over the years, almost all, well-received
With its crisp, short and buttery pastry case the perfect edible receptacle to hold the soft gooey frangipane.
A dessert my family love but I am not keen on.
I had a few attempts at making this tar, I first used aquafaba but I wanted something with more body. I had made some vegan condensed milk for a recipe and had some left so I thought I would try it along with some soya cream. I was very happy with the results.
Another idea that worked was using Cracked vegan egg liquid, just replacing the vegan condensed milk with equal measures of that.
I made this one both vegan and gluten-free. Not one person noticed or missed the eggs. It was polished off with relish.
Tips and FAQ’s
- If you using a flax egg then you need to mix 1 tbsp of ground flaxseeds mix 3 tbsp of warm water. Mix and leave to thicken and then use.
- If you are coeliac or intolerant then please make sure that your ingredients are gluten-free, such as ground almonds.
- Can I freeze my Bakewell tarts? The answer is yes. I would suggest that you freeze them before you decorate them.
- I suggest you get the tarts in the oven once they are filled. the raising agents start to work once combined.
- To store them then I suggest you use an airtight container, they will keep well for up to 5 days.
What you need
Use a cherry conserve or jam, shop bought or homemade. These are equally good with raspberry jam.
I know these sticky blighters may seem a bit 1970 but in my mind, they have their uses. I cannot use them without popping a couple in my mouth. I now use natural glace cherries, If you are coeliac then please check the labels as some are not gluten-free.
These you can buy ready toasted. If not just buy the untoasted and a few minutes in a pan will lightly toast them.
The recipe I have listed is the one I use all the time. Unlike wheat-flour pastry which you chill before using, gluten-free pastry just needs a little rest. Chilled, gluten-free pastry is unworkable and breaks and splits.
Vegan condensed milk
Now there are quite a few brands of condensed milk available now. Me I prefer the Carnation brand.
Plain dairy-free yoghurt
For this recipe use an unsweetened plain dairy-free yoghurt, if you do not have a soya allergy then I would suggest that would be a good option because of its higher protein content. Any other vegan plain yoghurt will do the same job.
Dairy-free single cream
Either use an oat or soya-based single cream. They are such good quality.
Mini Bakewell Tarts
- Preparation 30 Minutes
- Baking Time 25 Minutes
- Makes 12
Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, egg-free and dairy-free
Ingredients for the pastry
- Preheat the oven to 200c
- For the pastry place the flour, ground almonds and dairy-free butter in a large bowl. Rub together gently until it resembles breadcrumbs, you could also use a pastry cutter.
- Add the water a little at a time and with your hands bring it together until it forms a ball. This can also be done in a food processor.
- Roll out on a floured board to slightly larger than a tart tin and then lift carefully into the tin. Press in around the sides and then gently prick the bottom with a fork, not right through the pastry.
- Cover the pastry with a sheet of baking parchment and fill it with baking beans.
- Place into the oven for 10 minutes, remove from the oven and leave in the tin for 10 minutes before removing onto a cooling rack.
- Once fully cooled you can then decorate with glace cherries and toasted flaked almonds.
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If you make this, don’t forget to tag me on Twitter as @veganalchemist1 or my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/thegfveganalchemist I love seeing your versions of the recipes. I would love to hear your comments too.