On the weekend of June 4, Queen Elizabeth will celebrate 70 years on the throne. If you have followed me for any length of time, you will know of my love for things British and that I spend quite a bit of time in London. So I most certainly want to celebrate this historic milestone. Because sticking with one thing for 70 years is a massive achievement anyway you look at it. And a sweet British bake seems like a good way to do so. The Royal Family even had a special contest for the “Platinum Pudding” recipe (pudding meaning dessert). Bakewell Tart is an iconic British dessert – a simple pastry case spread with jam, topped with an almond frangipane filling and covered in a sweet almond glaze. You will find it pre-packaged and shelf- stable at grocery stores or very fancily deconstructed at high end restaurants. Bakeries, museum cafes, grocery store pastry counters and small local places serve it. People make it at home, as individual tarts or sliced into bars. I love a Bakewell Tart (a good Bakewell – not a fan of the boxes on the shelf). It’s a relatively simple thing to make for a pretty stunning result.
The most traditional Bakewell is made with raspberry or cherry jam and you most often see it with a candied cherry on top. But any jam will do (in fact, this is a great recipe to keep in your back pocket for homemade jam). For this Jubilee occasion, I decided to royal things up with two British favorite spring and summer flavors – strawberries and elderflower. I added a dose of elderflower liqueur to the whole and tinted the glaze pink shade to match the Queen’s vibrant outfits. If you are a more patient and artistic person than I, search online for beautiful marbled and swirled glazes sometimes used on Bakewell. I give a recipe for a sweet pastry crust here, but I will be honest and say I often used a purchased, pre-rolled crust. I use St. Germain brand elderflower liqueur, which I find in airplane sized small bottles at a liquor store, but a bigger bottle has many uses in cocktails or baking (it’s a marvelous addition to a mimosa or just plain sparkling wine). I make jars and jars of strawberry elderflower jam each spring, but for this I try to find Tiptree strawberry jam from England or Bonne Maman. I add a few drops of pink gel food coloring to make this extra festive.
Check out my other recipes perfect for celebrating the Queen – Coronation Chicken Salad, Victoria Sponge with Rose Petal Jam, Dundee Cake, Strawberry Curd and Almond Cookies, Pimm’s Cup, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Lemon Lavender Curd Crumble Cake, Nectarine and Lemon Balm Cake.
Or enjoy this flavor combination in Strawberry Elderflower Tiramisu.
Strawberry Elderflower Bakewell Tart
- For the Crust
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) cold butter, cut into small pieces
2 to 4 Tablespoons ice water
- For the Filling
¾ cup (11 ounce jar) strawberry jam
2 Tablespoons elderflower liqueur (such as St. Germain), divided
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, unsalted
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon elderflower liqueur
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 ¼ cup almond flour
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- For the Glaze
1 Tablespoon jam-liqueur mixture
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 -3 Tablespoons milk
- For the Crust
- When ready to roll, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch tart tin with a removable bottom with cooking spray. Place the disk on a lightly floured surface and using a floured rolling pin, roll out the pastry to a round about 14 inches in diameter, to fit the tart tin with a removable bottom.. Carefully drape the pastry over the rolling pin and transfer to the pie dish. Gently fit into the bottom and sides of the dish. Trim any overhanging pastry and poke with a fork all over the bottom of the crust. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with pie whites or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes until lightly golden. Carefully remove the paper and weights and refrigerate the crust while proceed.
- Place the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to mix. Drop in the small pieces of cold butter and pulse several times until the mixture is crumbly, but some minute pieces of butter are still visible. Sprinkle the water over, a tablespoon at a time, and pulse to combine. When the pastry just comes together, dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a disk about ¾ inch thick. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour before rolling.
- For the Filling:
- Put the jam and 1 Tablespoon of liqueur in a small bowl and whisk until well combined. Scoop on Tablespoon of the mixture into a small bowl and set aside.
- Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until completely combined. Beat in the remaining 1 Tablespoon liqueur and extract until smooth. Add the almond flour and all-purpose flour until completely combined and smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Spread the jam-liqueur mixture (minus the 1 Tablespoon) evenly over the bottom of the crust (I like to use an offset spatula). Dollop spoonfuls of the almond mixture over the jam, then spread it out evenly to cover the jam, reaching to the sides of the crust. Running the offset spatula or the back of a spoon to spread it evenly without sticking. Its okay if a little jam gets in to the filling, but don’t leave any jam exposed. Bake the tart for 45 – 50 minutes, until the filling is golden brown and set. Cool completely.
- For the Glaze
- Sift the confectioners’ sugar over the jam-liqueur mixture in the bowl. Whisk to combine, then gradually, just a few drops at a time, whisk in the milk until you have a thick but pourable glaze. Add the pink food coloring a very little at a time, whisking completely until tinted as you like. Pour the glaze over the tart, spreading it into an even layer that completely covers the surface. Let the glaze set, then remove the tart from the tin, slice and serve. Covered tightly, the tart will keep in the fridge for 2 days.