Saturday, June 27, 2009

June Daring Baker Challenge: Bakewell Tart Peachy Petits Fours





I wasn't quite so keen on baking this, or baking much at all, since it is so awfully hot outside here in Austin, Texas. That is why I didn't bake at all until today, the challenge due date! However, no matter my chagrin against sticking my head in a steamy oven, these little petits fours were worth it. I also didn't want to weigh down my tart with heavy syrupy jam and how could I dare destroy my beloved Freestone peaches (recently acquired a second bushel from Abuelo, delivered fathers day). So I made a sort of deconstructed Bakewell Tart, with all the necessary components mind you, just in a slighlty lighter and simpler way. Oh and my new watering can served as a backdrop for a few photo ops, I figured that was better than the newly aired tires on my vintage bike.


THE NECESSITIES:
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.

***my additions or changes are in stars***

Bakewell Tart…er…pudding

Makes one 23cm (9” tart)
Prep time: less than 10 minutes (plus time for the individual elements)
Resting time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Equipment needed: 23cm (9”) tart pan or pie tin (preferably with ridged edges), rolling pin

One quantity sweet shortcrust pastry (recipe follows)
Bench flour
250ml (1cup (8 US fl. oz)) jam or curd, warmed for spreadability
One quantity frangipane (recipe follows)
One handful blanched, flaked almonds

Assembling the tart
Place the chilled dough disc on a lightly floured surface. If it's overly cold, you will need to let it become acclimatised for about 15 minutes before you roll it out. Flour the rolling pin and roll the pastry to 5mm (1/4”) thickness, by rolling in one direction only (start from the centre and roll away from you), and turning the disc a quarter turn after each roll. When the pastry is to the desired size and thickness, transfer it to the tart pan, press in and trim the excess dough. Patch any holes, fissures or tears with trimmed bits. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 200C/400F.

Remove shell from freezer, spread as even a layer as you can of jam onto the pastry base. Top with frangipane, spreading to cover the entire surface of the tart. Smooth the top and pop into the oven for 30 minutes. Five minutes before the tart is done, the top will be poofy and brownish. Remove from oven and strew flaked almonds on top and return to the heat for the last five minutes of baking.

The finished tart will have a golden crust and the frangipane will be tanned, poofy and a bit spongy-looking. Remove from the oven and cool on the counter. Serve warm, with crème fraîche, whipped cream or custard sauce if you wish.

When you slice into the tart, the almond paste will be firm, but slightly squidgy and the crust should be crisp but not tough.

Sweet shortcrust pastry

Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes (minimum)
Equipment needed: bowls, box grater, cling film

225g (8oz) all purpose flour
30g (1oz) sugar
2.5ml (½ tsp) salt
110g (4oz) unsalted butter, cold (frozen is better)
2 (2) egg yolks
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract (optional)
15-30ml (1-2 Tbsp) cold water

***instead of using water or almond extract (I didn't have the latter) I used a splash or two of Disaronno that had peach ginger loose leaf tea steaping in it. If you use alcohol, Vodka is used most often, tart and pie crusts become lighter and oh so flakier.

Sift together flour, sugar and salt. Grate butter into the flour mixture, using the large hole-side of a box grater. Using your finger tips only, and working very quickly, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.

Lightly beat the egg yolks with the almond extract (if using) and quickly mix into the flour mixture. Keep mixing while dribbling in the water, only adding enough to form a cohesive and slightly sticky dough.

Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes

Frangipane

Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Equipment needed: bowls, hand mixer, rubber spatula

125g (4.5oz) unsalted butter, softened
125g (4.5oz) icing sugar *** I actually totatlly forgot to use this and put turbinado in the mixer instead! Oops, instead the frangipane was slightly denser and a little more rustic looking, but it still tasted the same.
3 (3) eggs
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract *** Again the Disaronno spiked gingerpeach tea:)
125g (4.5oz) ground almonds
30g (1oz) all purpose flour

Cream butter and sugar together for about a minute or until the mixture is primrose in colour and very fluffy. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. The batter may appear to curdle. In the words of Douglas Adams: Don’t panic. Really. It’ll be fine. After all three are in, pour in the almond extract and mix for about another 30 seconds and scrape down the sides again. With the beaters on, spoon in the ground nuts and the flour. Mix well. The mixture will be soft, keep its slightly curdled look (mostly from the almonds) and retain its pallid yellow colour.

Un peu de notes:
* For the frangipane, try to have everything the same tempurature, so room-temperature that is. The ingredients will mix better that way.
*I also didn't have enough almonds, so I tossed in a few pecans, walnuts, and I think a chashew went in there too!
* And as I didn't have enough plain almonds for the frangipane I didn't have some for the top of the tart, however since my peaches, or whatever fruit you choose to use, covered the top it didn't really matter.

Assembling the tart

Place the chilled dough disc on a lightly floured surface. If it's overly cold, you will need to let it become acclimatised for about 15 minutes before you roll it out. Flour the rolling pin and roll the pastry to 5mm (1/4”) thickness, by rolling in one direction only (start from the centre and roll away from you), and turning the disc a quarter turn after each roll. When the pastry is to the desired size and thickness, transfer it to the tart pan, press in and trim the excess dough. Patch any holes, fissures or tears with trimmed bits. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 200C/400F.

Remove shell from freezer, spread as even a layer as you can of jam onto the pastry base. ***I didn't use jam so I skipped this step and put my fruit on top!*** Top with frangipane, spreading to cover the entire surface of the tart. Smooth the top and pop into the oven for 30 minutes. Five minutes before the tart is done, the top will be poofy and brownish. Remove from oven and strew flaked almonds on top and return to the heat for the last five minutes of baking.

The finished tart will have a golden crust and the frangipane will be tanned, poofy and a bit spongy-looking. Remove from the oven and cool on the counter. ***Cut into small petits four sized squares, top with three or four slices of fresh room-temperature peach and sprinkle a bit of fresh ginger over it all. Serve warm, with crème fraîche, whipped cream or custard sauce if you wish.

When you slice into the tart, the almond paste will be firm, but slightly squidgy and the crust should be crisp but not tough.

10 comments:

Anula said...

You did a great thing with this month's challenge :) I like your idea. Your tarts look very delicious - with this yummy fruit on top!

lisamichele said...

What a creative idea to make the Bakewell into bars! Love the sliced peaches on top. Beatifully done, and they look scrumptious!

Dragon said...

How creative! Great job on this month's challenge.

Sara said...

Looks gorgeous...I love the peaches on top!:)

Em said...

I know! It's been really hot in California too! So for the next few months, I will have to bake at night.
I love how you incorporated a seasonal fruit into this challenge. Peachs are so good right now.

frenchietbd said...

It's funny how heat can make baking seem like the worst idea...well despite the heat, you did a great job. I love that you used fresh fruit because after making my Bakewell I was inspired to do it again with fresh stone fruits.

isa said...

Quelle jolie présentation! Ta tarte semble tout simplement délicieuse... Très intéressant l'utilisation du fruit frais à la place de la confiture. Félicitations!

Amy J. said...

I love your take on this month's challenge! Nice and fresh for the summer heat (I am in south Arkansas so I know what you're talkin' bout)!

ice tea: sugar high said...

those peachy petit fours look so yummy. Gorgeous!

Audax said...

Disaronno spiked gingerpeach tea yummy and the deconstructed tart looks delish and I love the yellow watering can and good work making the pastry in such hot conditions. Great work on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Australia