Exceeding good Bakewell Tart

My Daughter asked me what was the best treat I could think of when I was little.

I could think of many: Strawberry bon bons bought by the ¼ from Berry’s shop on East Street, South Molton , North  Devon where I grew up.

A pomegranate half and a pin to eat it with. The gold top off the milk. Clotted cream ice cream from Parracombe…where my father would take us in the hopes of spying out Elkie Brookes (I was under the impression she owned that ice cream parlour but no, she just lived near by), Pearl’s a Singer blasting out from his Citroen’s stereo.

Strawberries dipped in sugar and Nestle’s condensed milk eaten by the spoonful. I’ve always had a sweet tooth! In fact my mother banned Mr  Berry from selling me condensed milk and ever after I had to walk all the way up the hill to Solo’s for my fix, the advantage being it was cheaper.

When we used to make the long journey to Wales in various cramped cars to see my Grandma (my father had a penchant for an MG) to keep us mutinous children and springer spaniel quiet in the back we were fed ‘shop bought’ bakewell tarts…of the Mr Kipling variety. A treat indeed!

Lizzie declared she had never had a Bakewell Tart – shop bought or otherwise. How remiss! Below is my remedy and very, very delicious it is.


Bakewell Tart

Sweet shortcrust pastry

215g plain flour

30g icing sugar

120g cold butter, cut into small cubes

2 medium egg yolks

2 tbsp cold water


I normally make my pastry the traditional way rubbing the butter into the dry ingredients but for this pastry I feel if you can it is better to use a food processor. The less it is handled the better.

  • Quickly pulse the dry ingredients together in the food processor
  • Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs
  • Add the egg and water and either tip into a bowl and work together by hand or pulse again until it comes together in a smooth pastry ball
  • Tip onto a floured surface and roll to the required diameter
  • Lightly grease your tin (I used 23cm loose bottomed one) and line it carefully with the pastry but not too deeply
  • Wrap in cling film and set into the fridge for a bit of a rest

If you are not using an Aga you will need to blind bake this case in a pre-heated oven 160C fan/180C/ gas mark 4.

  • 2 tbsp really good quality raspberry jam
  • Spread jam evenly over pastry case, leaving a gap of approx. 1 cm from the edge all the way around

Frangipane filling

75g butter

75g caster sugar

75g ground almonds

Finely grated zest of one lemon

1 medium egg, beaten

  • Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  • Fold in the remaining ingredients and place the mixture into a piping bag with a large 12mm nozzle (or no nozzle at all)
  • Pipe mixture evenly over the jam layer smoothing out gently with a palette knife
  • Place tart tin straight onto the floor of your baking oven (3/4/5 oven Aga’s)
  • If you have a two oven Aga place tin inside a large roasting tin and set on the floor of the roasting oven with the cold plain shelf above on the 3rd set of runners
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes…keep checking especially if using a 2 oven Aga…the filling should be golden and firm to the touch
  • Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before removing from the tin


200g icing sugar

1 tsp almond extract

Red glace cherries to decorate, halved

  • Put the icing sugar into a mixing bowl with the almond extract
  • Stir adding a little water until you have a thick, smooth fondant
  • Pour the fondant icing into the tart tin until level and providing a thick covering
  • Decorate with the cherries (or however you like…you could substitute strawberries/blueberries for raspberries…including the jam)
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Posted in Aga Tips, Memories of an Aga, Recipes

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