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Tuesday 2 August 2011

Sluttishly Sweet: Mini Bakewell Tarts

It's FINALLY picnic weather, so it's time to bust out the tiny foods, cram them into a hamper and rush to a park before your bottle of Buck's Fizz gets warm. I love baking and the novelty of miniature foods so these tiny Bakewell tarts were super fun (and incredibly easy) to cook. They're so small there's no need to blind bake them, so they just need half an hour in the oven. I use these little tart cases which are only 12cm across.

I've used a packet of shortcrust pastry and I'm not going to apologise for it. Life's too short for me to continue to bungle making my own. Almond essence, ground almonds AND flaked almonds might sound like overkill, but you really do need them all for that delicious, sweet frangipane taste.

Mini Bakewell Tarts (makes 8)

You will need:
  • Packet of shortcrust pastry
  • 200g unsalted butter, room temperature, cubed
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp almond essence
  • 200g ground almonds
  • Lemon zest
  • 4 eggs plus one yolk, beaten
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 4 tbsp raspberry jam
  • 4 tbsp flaked almonds

Make it!
  1. Grease and lightly flour eight mini tart cases. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4.
  2. Roll out a handful of shortcrust pastry to roughly the thickness of a two pence piece. Work quickly so it stays cold. Drape it over a tart case, pushing it into the corners with a lump of leftover pastry. Trim the edges and repeat for the remaining cases. Pop back into the fridge while you get on with the filling.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar until pale, then add the almond essence. Stir in the ground almonds and lemon zest.
  4. Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition until smooth and creamy. Fold in the flour (if it starts to curdle, fold in the flour straight away to try to fix it. Don't get too hung up about it though, it'll taste ace anyway.)
  5. Get the pastry cases out of the fridge and add half a tablespoon of jam to each one - more if you prefer - and spread it out evenly. Divide the filling between them and place in the oven.
  6. After 15 minutes, take the tarts out and sprinkle them with flaked almonds. Bake until the filling is golden-brown and springy, and firm in the middle.
Pop a Bakewell Tartini in your Thermos and enjoy these in the sunshine. Why not pack some epic mini scones and tiny tortilla tarts too?

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