Classic Bakewell tart for Christmas

  • Food News
  • Saturday, 14 Dec 2019

Ingredients for the Bakewell tart with cranberries.

BAKEWELL pudding is a classic English dessert which made famous the town of Bakewell in Derbyshire, England. Three shops in the town have claimed to have the original recipe for Bakewell pudding and its variants, one of which is a Cherry Bakewell, also known as the Bakewell tart.

For our Christmas Bakewell tart, we use cranberries because it is so festive, especially when decorated with pumpkin seeds and almond flakes. I love the way the cranberries burst as they are baked, releasing veins of red that streak across the frangipane filling.

The tartness of the cranberries also cuts through the sweet filling to give a good balance of sour and sweet. If you cannot find fresh cranberries, you can search the frozen section. I do not recommend dried cranberries as they may make the whole dessert overly sweet. You can substitute with raspberries or pitted cherries, though.

The frangipane filling has quite a history on its own, with the French and Italians claiming to be the originators. The word frangipane, like the flower frangipani, means perfumed, and if you have tasted this, you would agree how wonderfully fragrant it is. Although the traditional recipe calls for castor sugar, I prefer to use soft brown sugar because it is less sweet and gives a better flavour.

This is one of the tarts that I make quite often because it is relatively easy to prepare ahead of time. I have frozen tubs of frangipane filling ready to thaw and bake at any time. I also bake them into mini tartlets, bite-size morsels that are perfect as gifts and stocking-stuffers.

Bakewell tart with cranberries

Ingredients:Shortcrust pastry

200g flour

100g butter

50ml water

2 tbsp castor sugar

¼ tsp salt

Frangipane filling

3 large eggs

200g unsalted butter

200g soft brown sugar

200g ground almonds

100g strawberry jam


30g almond flakes

15g pumpkin seeds

40g fresh or frozen cranberries


1. Sift flour with sugar and salt. Cut butter into flour with a pastry cutter or dinner knife until they resemble coarse breadcrumbs.

2. Gather the dough into a small ball, drizzling water a little at a time, taking care not to overwork the dough. Next, set it aside to rest for at least 30 minutes.

3. Roll out dough with a rolling pin and press into a 9-inch tart tin. Then, prick pie dough all over with a fork.

4. Blind bake for 15 minutes at 200°C. Allow crust to cool completely before filling.

5. Crack eggs into a mixing bowl, add sugar and whisk until dissolved.

6. Add butter and ground almonds and whisk into a paste.

7. Spread an even layer of strawberry jam on bottom of pie crust. Then, fill with frangipane filling to the rim of the crust.

8. Press cranberries into the filling along the rim to form a wreath of red, followed by green pumpkin seeds flanking the red, and finally white almond flakes in all the open areas. Bake for 40 minutes at 150°C.

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Bakewell tart , christmas


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