Bakewell Tart with Thyme Infused Cherry Preserve and Cashew Frangipane

Recipe from What's For Lunch, Honey?    

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

Ingredients

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 cashews

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 cashews 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.

Notes:

  • If you cannot have nuts, you can try substituting Victoria sponge for the frangipane.
  • You can use whichever jam you wish, but if you choose something with a lot of seeds, such as raspberry or blackberry, you should sieve them out.
  • The jam quantity can be anywhere from 60ml (1/4 cup) to 250ml (1cup), depending upon how “damp” and strongly flavoured your preserves are. If in doubt, just split the difference and spread 150ml (2/3cup) on the crust.
  • The excess shortcrust can be rolled out and cut into cookie-shapes.

Sweet shortcrust pastry

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

Ingredients

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
1 vanilla bean (optional)
15-30ml (1-2 Tbsp) cold water

  1. Sift together flour, sugar and salt.
  2. Grate butter into the flour mixture, using the large hole-side of a box grater.
  3. Using your finger tips only, and working very quickly, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.
  4. Lightly beat the egg yolks with the seeds of the vanilla bean (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.
  5. Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes

Cashew Nut Frangipane

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

Ingredients

125g (4.5oz) unsalted butter, softened
125g (4.5oz) icing sugar
3 (3) eggs
2.5ml (½ tsp) vanilla extract
125g (4.5oz) ground cashew nuts
30g (1oz) all purpose flour

  1. Cream butter and sugar together for about a minute or until the mixture is primrose in colour and very fluffy.
  2. 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. Don’t panic. It’ll be fine.
  3. After all three eggs are incorporated, pour in the vanilla 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 color.

Notes:

  • Add another five minutes or more if you're grinding your own almonds or if you're mixing by hand.