The name for the tart comes from the village of Bakewell in Derbyshire, England, and like the best classic desserts, there seems to be a bit of lore surrounding it. The first recipe for this shortcrust pastry tart with a bottom layer of jam and a frangipane top layer appeared in 1845, but was apparently not given the moniker "Bakewell" until the 20th century. Legend goes though, that it was invented in the mid-1800s by a baker in the town, who by mistake put the layer of jam on the bottom instead of the top, where it was intended to go. There are also Bakewell puddings, similar confections, but with a flaky crust rather than a short crust.
For my version, I used an apple-rosemary jelly that I had made last fall and needed to use up. I adapted the frangipane filling recipe from Smitten Kitchen's version, and tried out the sablé crust recipe from another Chicago bakery, Floriole, straying from my usual Dorie Greenspan recipe. I love this one though-- it comes together easily (you can use your mixer!) and is a little lighter and more shortbread biscuit-like than Greenspan's. I'll still use hers for other recipes, no doubt, but Floriole's is just perfect here.
From The River Cottage Preserves Handbook
Makes 4-5 8-oz. jars
3 lbs., 6 oz. cooking apples
1 medium bunch of rosemary
7 Tblsp. apple cider vinegar
1. Coarsely chop the apples, but no need to peel or core them. Place them in a preserving pan with rosemary, reserving 6 small sprigs to put into jars. Barely cover the apples with water, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and let simmer, 45 minutes-1 hour, until the apples are quite soft.
2. Pour the contents of the pan into a jelly strainer bag (I used cheesecloth) suspended over a large bowl, and let drip for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
3. Measure the strained apple-rosemary juice. For every cup of juice, measure 1 c. sugar into a bowl and set aside. Return the juice to the cleaned-out pan and add apple-cider vinegar. Heat the liquid to a boil, then add the sugar, stirring until dissolved. Increase the heat to high and boil rapidly for 10 minutes until the setting point is reached, or liquid reaches a temperature of 220 degrees F. Remove pan from heat and skim top with a slotted spoon to remove any scum.
4. Pour jelly into warm, sterilized jars, adding a rosemary sprig to each. Cover jars and seal (make sure to follow proper canning methods--the FDA is a good resource) and use within 1 year.
Makes 1, 11-inch tart
For the sablé crust:
For the filling:
1. In a food processor, finely grind almonds and flour. Mix in the sugar, then the butter, extract, and lemon zest, blending until smooth. Add the egg and egg white and mix until incorporated. Transfer the filling to medium bowl. Cover and chill at least 3 hours (I was pressed for time so did about 1.5 hours and it was fine).
2. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spread jam over the base of tart shell. Dollop the almond filling all over the jam, then spread it carefully with an offset spatula. If you're using slivered or sliced almonds as garnish, sprinkle them over the top now.
3. Bake the tart until golden and a toothpick or fork inserted into the center of the filling comes out clean, approximately 45 minutes. Cool the tart in pan on rack.
4. To serve, push the pan bottom up, releasing tart from pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired and serve warm or at room temperature, with tea.
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