This tart came about as a way of marrying my two favourite English tea time treats, Eccles cakes and Bakewell tarts. I don’t always want to choose between them at the bakery and it is not always prudent to have both. This way I can have both but not feel too greedy, the ginormous wedge I serve myself probably nullifies my efforts though.
I have made this tart several times now over the past year and have been meaning to include it in my blog but it has never quite survived long enough to reach the photography stage. It is a really lovely tart, a bit more going on than your average Bakewell tart but the frangipane and the juicy fruit marry up beautifully. It is the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea.
I usually make my own ground almonds as I find shop bought just tastes a little bland. Sometimes that is what you are looking for in this ingredient but on this occasion I toasted and ground up my own almonds. I toasted them a little over here but it was a happy accident as it gave this particular tart a lovely biscuit flavour and a gold frangipane colour. If you don’t want to go to the trouble then you can use shop bought ground almonds totally guilt free but the results are slightly different as although the frangipane topping is softer it is not quite as almondy. I suggest using a dash of almond extract along with the vanilla extract if you are going that way.
My Eccles cake mixture depends totally on what I have in my cupboard. I was lucky enough this weekend to have a grand stock of dried fruit but even so the marriage of currants and sultanas is traditional and in my mind the best. I couldn’t resist adding a little stem ginger though as I think it’s pretty fabulous. The marmalade was included in lieu of mixed peel since a certain somebody in my household refuses point blank to eat mixed peel and this way I can still achieve the citrus note without offending my husband. If you still happen to have mincemeat leftover from Christmas though then by all means use it here to clear out your cupboards. Eccles cakes are just boozeless and suetless mincemeat anyway.
For the Pastry
270g plain flour
100g unsalted butter, fridge cold
100g caster sugar
pinch of salt
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
For the Eccles Mixture
1½ tbsp breakfast marmalade
60g light brown sugar
pinch of nutmeg
1 tsp mixed spice
1 ball of stem ginger, finely chopped
pinch of salt
For the Frangipane
Adapted from Richard Bertinet’s Almond Cream
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g caster sugar
125g ground almonds
25g plain flour
1 egg and 1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
20g flaked almonds to decorate
1 x 18cm round loose-bottomed tart tin
- To begin with make your pastry. Take the butter out of the fridge and slice very finely with a sharp knife, then place in a large mixing bowl with the flour.
- Tear the butter up and coat thoroughly with the flour, then begin to rub gently between your fingertips until you reach very rough breadcrumbs, don’t take it too fine. It should take less than 5 minutes.
- Add the sugar, salt, egg and egg yolk then bring together into a dough. Tip it out onto the work surface and press together to form a ball. Wrap in baking parchment and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile make the eccles mixture. Melt the butter together with the marmalade in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat then add the rest of the ingredients, stir together and set aside to cool.
- Then make your frangipane by creaming the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy.
- Add the ground almonds and mix together until fully incorporated.
- Add the flour and egg and egg yolk and vanilla and carry on mixing until smooth. Place the frangipane in a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
- Once the frangipane is in the fridge you can roll out your pastry. Roll until it is about 3mm thick and line the pastry into your tart tin. Leave the edges untrimmed then place the pastry tart tin in the fridge for 15 minutes to rest. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
- Once ready you can assemble your tart. Spread the eccles mixture onto the bottom of the tart in an even layer. Then spoon the frangipane on top to cover completely, smoothing it down on top. Finally scatter the flaked almonds on the top.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes then cover the tart with foil to stop from browning any further and bake for another 20 minutes. Leave in the tin to cool for about half an hour, then trim the pastry around the edges and remove from the tart tin.
- Serve at room temperature at 4pm with a lovely cup of tea.