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Celebration Bakewell Tart

January 11, 2012

Sarah and I were walking home having dropped our children at school. “So did you make a cake to celebrate Poppy passing her test?” she said.

Instant maternal guilt. Why hadn’t I made a cake? I’m always making cakes – people moan because there’s too much cake to eat……well that’s not strictly true; they moan because there’s too much cake of the sort they don’t want to eat – like cake with bits of fruit in (Arlo), or made with funny ingredients like potato (Poppy) or beetroot.  We ate chocolate beetroot cake for weeks while I was perfecting the recipe – nice cake eventually, but no one had much enthusiasm left by the end of the process.

So to remedy the situation (the lack of celebratory cake rather than beetroot cake ennui) I made Bakewell Tart. This is one of Poppy’s favourites. I think it’s because she loved the Disney film “Cinderella” when she was little: there’s a scene where Cinderella makes a pie and then holds it in one hand and trims the excess pastry off  – possibly while singing to a bluebird or two – or maybe some mice? A seminal moment.

Anyway, rub 4oz of butter into 9oz of plain flour and add cold water to mix it bit by bit. (You can leave it to rest for a while, but if you make this pastry which has slightly more flour than the traditional half fat to flour, then it’s easier to handle and you don’t need to). Line a flan dish – mine is 8″ round – and bake it in a moderate oven for 10 minutes or so.  Mix together 4oz of soft butter, 4oz caster sugar, 4oz self raising flour, 4oz ground almonds 2eggs and enough water to make the mixture gloopy. If the butter is very soft you can do this all at the same time, if not start by creaming butter and sugar then adding eggs, then folding in flour and almonds. Cover the pastry case with a nice lot of jam (probably half a pound), and then spread the cake mixture carefully on top. Make sure the cake mix touches the edges or the jam will bubble up the sides. Bake in a moderate oven for about 45 minutes. Mix a bit of icing sugar with water and drizzle on the top.

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