Lemon Bakewell Tart

I saw WinberryCrumbles’ lemon bakewell tart, and thought, I simply MUST make a gluten-free version with my own twists. My tart has spiced GF pastry, and the spiced frangipane filling has a base layer of lemon curd, dried zest, & optional herbs.

Start the night before by making the pastry, drying the zest, and leave the filling butter out to soften.

Serves: 12 – 16


Ingredients

For the pastry:

  • 200g gluten-free flour, plus additional for rolling
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 75g icing sugar
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 90g cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg, beaten (62-70g when weighed in its shell)
  • Vegetable oil or cold butter, to grease tin

For the filling:

  • 2 unwaxed lemons, largely grated zest only (reserve the juice for the topping)
  • 2 pinches of white caster sugar
  • 110g unsalted butter, softened
  • 110g golden caster sugar (golden granulated will also work)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten (they should total 125-135g when weighed in their shells)
  • 120g gluten-free flour
  • 30g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp ground mace (cinnamon or nutmeg are good substitutes)
  • 4 large dessert spoonfuls of lemon curd (home-made, or shop-bought)
  • A small handful of fresh basil leaves, or mint leaves (optional; see footnote)

For the topping:

  • 3 dessert spoonfuls + of  lemon juice (see Filling Ingredients)
  • 200g icing sugar (weigh before sifting)
  • Yellow food colouring (paste or gel is best)

Kit

  • A citrus grater, and a plate
  • 1 large and 1 medium mixing bowls, plus a small bowl for beaten egg
  • A sieve
  • Clingfilm
  • A round, loose-based, non-stick tart/flan or pie tin (24-25cm in diameter)
  • Baking/parchment paper
  • Baking beads/beans for blind-baking
  • A pastry brush
  • An electric mixer (hand-held or stand), if you don’t want to cream by hand
  • Cooling rack
  • A large dessert spoon
  • A piping bag (optional)

Steps
Drying the filling zest:

  1. Use a citrus grater or a very large-sized grater on the lemons to create strands or mini-shards.
  2. Place the zest on a plate, and put 2 pinches of white caster sugar over. Use your fingers to mix it up until all bits are evenly coated with sugar, breaking up any clumps.
  3. Leave on the countertop to dry out overnight.

Making the pastry (see Pastry footnote):

  1. Sift the flour, ginger, sugar, and almonds into a large bowl. Add the butter and rub in with your fingers until you have a consistency like breadcrumbs.
  2. Add 1/4 of the beaten egg, and mix it manually just until fully combined. Pull it together into a ball – if it seems too terribly crumbly, add a drop or two more of the beaten egg just until the ball holds together. Flatten it into a thick disc and wrap in clingfilm. Put into the fridge for at least an hour, or ideally, overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 190 C (170 C fan-assisted). Lightly grease your tin and line it with paper.
  4. Lightly flour a work surface and a rolling pin. Roll out the chilled dough approximately the thickness of a pound coin, to fit the tin so the pastry goes at least 3cm up the sides. If you’re using a fluted tin, ensure the pastry is pushed into each nook and cranny through the paper. Lightly prick it all over with a fork.
  5. Line the pastry case with baking paper, and pour in baking beads/beans. Blind-bake for around 10 minutes, then remove from the oven. Tip out the beads/beans and remove the lining paper; return the tin to the oven, and bake for an additional 10 minutes, just until the pastry’s browned but not burning.
  6. Remove the tin from the oven, and brush the pastry all over with the remaining beaten egg to seal it for the filling. Let it cool for around 10-15 minutes.
  7. Lower the oven temperature to 180 C (160 C fan-assisted).

Making the filling:

  1. Whisk the golden caster sugar and butter until pale and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs, a bit at a time, and whisk vigourously until very smooth. Sift in the flour, ground almonds, and spice, and fold together gently.
  2. Sprinkle the dried/sugared lemon zest over the base of the cooled pastry. Spread over the lemon curd, and scatter finely ripped-up/chopped fresh basil or mint leaves over (optional – see last footnote).
  3. Spread the filling over and smooth the top. Bake for around 25 minutes, turning the tin halfway through for even baking, until it’s firmly set – touch lightly in the centre and it springs back quickly – and it’s golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a cooling rack for about an hour.

Making the toppings:

  1. Sift the icing sugar into a small bowl, and stir in 3 large dessert spoonfuls of lemon juice. Give it a really good stir until it’s fully combined. You want it thick but spreadable, so use a few more drops of lemon juice if you need.
  2. Set aside 1 heaped dessert spoonful of the topping. To the rest, add some yellow food colouring and mix thoroughly.
  3. Spread the yellow icing over the cooled tart evenly for full coverage.
  4. Transfer the uncoloured icing to a piping bag and snip off the end to a very small width. Pipe parallel lines across the top of the tart, then use a toothpick or skewer to draw across the lines to create a feathered effect (see Decoration footnote).

Pastry Notes
You don’t want the dough to be too damp, even though wetter pastry is easier to handle – it can be really tough in the baked tart, and it can also shrink out of shape when baked. Err on the side of just a teeny bit too crumbly – you’ll work it together when you roll it out, and you can always patch up in the tin.

It takes MUCH less egg than you think it will – so start with only 1/4 of a large beaten egg.

Preparation Tips
As suggested in the recipe description, you can save time on the day of serving by doing some prep the night before:
1) Grate two lemons, mix the zest with sugar, and leave on a plate on the counter overnight
2) Make the pastry (Steps 1 & 2) and leave in the fridge overnight
3) Cube the butter for the filling and leave to soften on the counter overnight

The day of serving, you simply need to roll out and bake the pastry, make the frangipane filling, bake/cool, and top with the icings.

Alternate Decoration
If you don’t want to pipe, you can splatter the uncoloured icing over the top in the Jackson Pollock-y design of your choice.

Optional Additions
If you have fresh basil leaves, this is a great time to use them. I have a Lemon & Basil Cake recipe to show you how these 2 ingredients work well together. Rip up/finely chop a handful of crushed fresh basil leaves and sprinkle them over the curd before spreading the filling over. Fresh mint leaves are an excellent substitute depending on your taste.

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