Friday, 1 May 2009

Not Mr Kipling's Cherry Bakewells...

My husband has an odd (in my view) obssession with Mr Kipling's Cherry Bakewells...those full-of-transfats-sweet-sickly tarts topped with thick icing and half a glace cherry (which he picks off and doesn't even eat!). Only when he's ill though. Which I guess makes them some sort of comfort food for when he's feeling under the weather. As you may have guessed from my tone, I'm not a fan... Even worse despite the name association, these little tarts are such a far cry from the traditional 'tart' which originates in Bakewell (Derbyshire) - Bakewell Pudding.

Usually I will humour him and buy him a pack, but last weekend when he was stuck indoors recovering from an operation and uttered those little words "cherry bakewells" I decided enough was enough. Instead I put my mind to baking some little homemade almond and raspberry tarts. I couldn't find a specific recipe in the books I had to hand so set about making some sweet pastry whilst I figured out the quantities I needed to make an almondy filling for the tarts.

They turned out just lovely...
I'm even thinking that this weekend might see a variation on this recipe to include some lemon zest and juice in the filling and lemon curd in the bottom of the tarts instead of raspberry jam!

Ingredients (for 18 tartlets)

Sweet Pastry
4 oz butter
8 oz plain flour
2 oz caster sugar
4 egg yolks

jam (I used raspberry)
4 oz butter
4 oz caster sugar
2 eggs
4 oz ground almonds
1 oz plain flour
flaked almonds


Make the pastry by combining all of the ingredients - I do this in my food processor but the 'traditional way' is to rub the butter and flour until it looks like fine breadcrumbs and then add the sugar followed by the eggs and mix until the pastry comes together. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill in the fridge.

Roll out the pastry and cut into rounds to fit your bun tin (I used my deepest bun tin which is probably half way between a normal bun tin and a muffin tin). Be careful not to tear the pastry like I did or you'll end up with sticky jam welding your little tarts to the bun tin! Fridge them for at least 20 minutes.

To make the filling, beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, then the ground almonds and flour. Put a teaspoon of jam in the bottom of each pastry case and then top with a big spoonfull of the filling mixture (the pastry might shrink a little and the filling will rise so don't fill too full).

Bake for around 10 minutes at 180C, sprinkle some flaked almonds on top of each tart and then bake for another 5 minutes or until set and golden brown.


  1. What a good idea! Am tempted to make them with a glace cherry on the top, Mr Kipling style!

  2. Thanks Nora. I guess you could use a cherry compote instead of the raspberry jam in the base of the tart and then one of those nice non-coloured glace cherries on top (I can't bear the bright red ones!!).

  3. I'm a huge Bakewell fan (the real thing not Mr Kiplings ;) ) and these look delicious.

  4. They were indeed delicious Jules! Do let me know if you try them.

    I was hoping to use my Granny's Almond Slice recipe that day but she seems to have lost it...I'm hoping Mum has a copy of it somewhere otherwise we'll be on a mission to recreate it from memory!

  5. Those would be SO awesome with about a quarter-inch of fondant icing on top