I can think of few finer uses for jam than a bakewell tart, a scrumptious British dessert combining buttery short crust pastry with sweet fruit preserves and almond frangipane. For these mini bakewell tarts made in a muffin tin, I used raspberry jam and early autumn figs, a lovely summer-meets-fall pairing.
Biting into a bakewell tart is pure bliss – on the outside you have a flaky crust, which holds rich, chewy almond frangipane and below that, a layer of sweet jam. One of these mini bakewells is just the perfect size to have with tea. (They also freeze quite well, so you can store some away for later ... which in my case is a good idea or I'm liable to eat them all in one sitting.)
I used raspberry-lavender jam from Sqirl, but a bakewell tart can be made with just about any jam, so feel free to use this recipe with strawberry, cherry, apricot, or any other fruit preserve. The figs paired wonderfully with this particular flavor, but for a more traditional bakewell tart you could replace them with flaked almonds.
Fig and Raspberry Bakewell Tarts
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup ice water
2 cups almond meal
1 cup sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 cup raspberry jam
3 or 4 figs, cut into 12 (1/4-inch thick) slices
Confectioner's sugar, for dusting
For the crust
Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Add butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal. With the food processor running, slowly add ice water until the dough just holds together. Flatten the dough into a disc, wrap tightly, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. (Can make ahead and freeze for up to 1 month.)
Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8-inch thick. Cut out 12 (4-inch) circles and place them into the tin. Prick the bottoms with a fork and chill for 10 minutes.
Fill each crust with beans or weights and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and remove beans or weights.
For the filling
Combine almond meal and sugar in a food processor. Add butter and process until smooth. Add eggs and lemon zest and process into a uniform, smooth paste.
Spread 1 teaspoon of raspberry jam at the bottom of each crust. Fill each cup just to the top with the almond mixture and smooth it with the back of a spoon. Gently press a fig slice into the top.
Bake for 40 minutes until set and golden. Cool in pan on rack, then use a small offset spatula or knife to lift each tart from the pan.
Dust with confectioner's sugar and serve.
Crust based on Martha Stewart's pâte brisée.
(Images: Emily Ho)