A classic Bakewell Tart, with Almond Frangipane filling and tart cherry jam, all over a tender shortbread-style crust! You won’t believe how awesome this traditional English treat, adapted from THE Mary Berry, tastes!
Strangely, or maybe not so much, my children seem to have always wanted to be British. From an early age, each of them has inexplicably developed a perfect British accent. My youngest, at the age of 5, (with all of the charm he could muster) even successfully convinced a waitress that we had recently adopted him from London. She looked at us – “Wow! Really?” So, how did this happen? Do all kids do this? I’ve no idea. No one we know is British. We don’t (generally) stream “Downton Abbey” nonstop. It’s not like I’d been in the habit of making this fantastic Cherry Bakewell Tart. Because if I had, we would have all wanted to be British.
Years ago, when I was visiting London for the first time, I loved the cosmopolitan feel of the city, as well as its rich history, regal castles, the fantastic architecture, the museums, and don't even get me started on Harrod's. But the food? Meh. I thought it was kind of...bland. Could it have been that I was backpacking through several cities, on the $50 a day plan, the one that was supposed to include room and board? Maybe.
Could it be I was so much younger and didn't know where to find the culinary delights of London? Again, maybe. Clearly, I didn't know where to find a Bakewell Tart. (Ok, dating myself here, but this is not what most of us used the internet for in those days.) I hadn't even heard of Mary Berry. Thank goodness now we have The Great British Baking Show (TGBBS) which stars Mary Berry, esteemed British Baker and author of 70+ cookbooks, to at least enlighten us on the baked goodness of Great Britain. One fine example is this traditional Cherry Bakewell Tart Recipe, adapted from a Mary Berry recipe. Trust me, you will wonder where this package of deliciosity (is that a word?) has been all of your life!
Since I've been watching TGBBS, I've tried Bakewell tart - a spectacular dessert that I can (not so eloquently) describe as a dense, almost custard-y almond cake in a buttery shortbread crust, slathered with delicious jam. This particular recipe called for raspberry jam, but I am partial to tart cherry jam, particularly when pairing with almond flavoring. So so crave-able! But you truly could use any flavor jam, from strawberry to apricot to fig jam and it would be amazing!
Once I made this tart, I knew what my faux-British children were looking for - A simple but scrumptious Cherry Bakewell Tart Recipe! Enjoy!
Interested in other British Desserts? Take a look at these:
Super-easy, NO BAKE! Chocolate Biscuit Cake
A-Party-in-Your-Mouth Peanut Butter Banoffee Pie
Discolsure: As an Amazon Affiliate, at no cost to you, Hummingbird Thyme receives a small commission for purchases made from links I provide. These help with cost of this website, but do not change the price you pay for the goods.
Mary Berry(-ish) Cherry Bakewell Tart
This recipe is adapted from one that appeared on The Great British Baking Show, called “Mary’s Bakewell Tart”. I changed a few things. I used Tart Cherry Jam, rather than making my own raspberry jam. I also topped the tart with sliced almonds and confectioners’ sugar, rather than a confectioners’ sugar icing, and added a couple pinches of salt.
The jam I used was This one.
The original recipe was written with weights of ingredients, in grams, rather than Imperial measurements. I calculated measurements from the weighted ingredients I used. So I recommend using the weights, as noted, if you have a scale. Special equipment needed: a 9″ Tart pan or 9″ Springform pan, either with removeable bottom. It is worth mentioning that, like many baked goods, the flavor of this tart improves over time. If you can make it a day in advance, I highly recommend it. I like to keep the tart in the refrigerator because it makes the slices much easier and prettier.
- Prep Time: 40 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 10-12 Servings 1x
- Category: Desserts
- Method: Baking
For the Crust
- 1 2/3 c. AP Flour (225 g/8 oz.)
- 11 T Butter, chilled (150 g/5.5 oz.)
- 1/4 c. Confectioners’ Sugar (25 g/1 oz.)
- 1 Lg Egg, beaten
- 2 T ice water, plus more, if necessary to form a soft dough
- 1/4 t. salt
For the Filling
- 1/3 c. Tart Cherry Jam (or substitute any of your favorite jam)
- 11 T Butter, softened (150 g/5.5 oz.)
- 3/4 c. Granulated or Baker’s Sugar (150 g)
- 1 1/2 c. Almond Flour or Finely Ground Almonds (150g, 5.5 oz.)
- 1/4 t. Salt
- 1 Lg Egg, beaten
- 1 t. Almond Extract
- 1/3 c. Sliced Almonds
- 1 T Confectioners’ Sugar, sifted
For the Crust
- In the bowl of a food processor (you could also do this by hand using a pastry cutter or your fingers), pulse together the Butter and Flour, until the largest chunks of butter are the size of large breadcrumbs or peas. Add the salt and confectioners’ sugar, and egg, pulse again. Slowly add the ice water while pulsing until the ingredients just begin to form a soft dough.
- On a floured work surface, pour out the dough and roll into a 12″ circle. Transfer the circle to your 9” tart pan or springform, allowing the dough to cover the sides of the pan about 1-2 inches. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 390F. Line the bottom and sides of the tart shell with parchment paper (or foil would work) and cover with pie weights or dried beans (see Notes). Bake 15 minutes, remove weights or beans, then the parchment. Return to oven for 5 minutes until crust appears dry. Cool on a rack for several minutes while preparing filling.
For the Filling
- Spread the jam across the slightly cooled crust.
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the almond flour, egg, salt and almond extract and mix until incorporated. The mixture should be quite thick, sort of like thick oatmeal. Spoon on top of the jam in the shell and smooth with an offset knife.
- Sprinkle the flattened top of the filling with the sliced almonds.
- Reduce oven heat to 355F. Bake 25-35 minutes until top is golden and a toothpick or skewer inserted into the center of the tart comes out clean. Let the tart cool in the pan until completely cool.
- When ready to serve, sift confectioners sugar over tart.
I use about 2 lb. dried beans as pie weights. I keep them in a Zippered plastic bag in my pantry, marked Pie Beans, reusing the same ones over and over again.
Laura I just wanted you to know the tart was a hit and my fellow book clubbers wanted the recipe. I couldn’t tell there was any jam in it though. Do you think it would hurt to increase the amount? Also I’d love to try cherry but can only find preserves and not the jam. Would that be ok to use? What do you suggest?
So glad to hear, Nanci, that everyone liked the Bakewell Tart. Regarding the amount of jam, Mary Berry’s original recipe called for 4 Tablespoons, or 1/4 cup. I didn’t feel that was quite enough to spread over my 9” crust, so I increased the amount I used to 1/3 cup. I think if you are using preserves, you may want to go to 1/2 cup, but I have never done this, so I don’t know exactly how it would work. I think the bigger pieces of fruit perhaps don’t allow the flavor to be distributed as evenly in that volume. Maybe that is why she used jam. (Her original recipe, linked in the top part of my recipe, also calls for making one’s own jam, from raspberries- i didn’t want to deal with the seeds). Anyway, I used the Stonewall Brand of Sour Cherry Jam, which can be purchased at Amazon, or is also in may grocery stores. It’s a bit more expensive than most. I will link it in my recipe, where you could buy it or at least know what the jar looks like. What a great dessert for a Book Club, thank you for making it from my recipe!
So it sounds like 1/3 C. Of the Sour Cherry Jam was enough to taste for you. Thanks for that brand recommendation, I have a store nearby that sells their products. I will look for it and make it again. Good idea to put that in the recipe. I’m sure it’s nice to know that someone tries the recipes you post. So glad I found your blog.
Thanks, Nanci! So glad you found it, too! Yes, 1/3 cup was good for me! Thanks for all your feedback! I appreciate it!
Hi again! Just put the tart together and used my scale to measure. I believe there is a misprint in the filling ingredient. When the almond flour is weighed at 150 g. it will equal 1 2/3 C not 1 1/3 C.
Also I used a 9” tart pan but the recipe didn’t specify a size. I did not prick the crust but did do the blind bake for the first part of the crust bake. I should have pricked the bottom for the second part as it did puff up slightly. Just wondered if you should make some additions to your recipe directions for novices. Can not wait to taste this.
Thanks, Nanci! I will look into these things, and adjust the recipe as needed. I truly appreciate your comments. I hope you love it as much as we did! I think Strawberry Rhubarb jam will make this absolutely divine!
Hi again, Nanci! I looked up some information on almonds, and I think there may be a slight weight difference between finely ground almonds and almond flour. I used finely ground almonds, which I think might have led to the smaller amount I posted. I think maybe the best amount might be about 1.5 cups almond flour, as 96 g = 1 cup. I may change the amount then to 1.5 cups. Regarding pan size, I mentioned it in the summary at the top of the recipe, but I think it definitely bears repeating in the recipe. I appreciate your comments. Good luck with the tart!
Did you realize you left out how much ice water to measure for the crust? I’m making this today for my book club. Using strawberry rhubarb spread. Could not find cherry jam, just the preserves.
So sorry, Nanci! I used 2 Tbsp at first, then felt it needed a bit more, so ended up about 3 T total! Thanks for noticing this! I appreciate you alerting me! Thanks so much!
Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen says
I’m actually laughing out loud at your son telling that poor waitress you’d adopted him from London. I’m a total anglophile and would LOVE to be from London :). It’s my all-time favorite city. This tart sounds absolutely heavenly. I’m going to have to try it ASAP!
Thanks, Kelsie! I was just amazed he stayed in character the entire meal.
David | Spiced says
Hahaha…I love that your kids have developed British accents? I always wanted to be British as a kid, too! Heck, I kinda still do. 🙂 But my accent abilities are pretty awful….unless you’re looking for a southern accent that’s faded over time. Haha! Anyways, I have never heard of a Bakewell Tart, but it sounds quite amazing. I agree with you about English food, but maybe I need to give TGBBS a shot. I also agree with you about Harrod’s. I think I could spend an entire day in that place!
It is a great accent – just not sure where they all picked it up and honed it so perfectly.
Freda @ Aromatic essence says
I think the British accent is pretty cool too. I’ve not heard about this tart, sounds really delicious!
heather (delicious not gorgeous) says
i think it’s the accent. british (and australian) accents sound so cool (even now, as a semi-adult). which is funny, because apparently american accents are cool in other places of the world?! guess the grass is always greener on the other side (;
I agree! Love those accents!