Lemon Bakewell Tart

This lemon Bakewell tart is made with lemon marmalade, a frangipane filling flavoured with lemon zest, and a lemon fondant. The tart taste of lemons offsets the super sweet icing to give a tangy kick to this Derbyshire classic.

lemon bakewell tart

A long time ago, I made a Bakewell tart. I think it was the first recipe I ever wrote with the intention that I was going to ‘blog it’. It was a plum and Amaretto Bakewell tart, using jam I’d made myself with plums from my garden, I used my favourite pastry recipe to make the pie case, and I bought fondant icing sugar for the occasion. I even dusted off my piping bags and iced a spider’s web design on top (it was October, I couldn’t help it).

I documented every step. I counted every spoonful of jam used. Then I took a quick photo before we ate it and hurried off to type it out— a two-sentence introduction and a recipe, like I’d been taught at uni, and the only format I knew. I stuck it into WordPress and hit upload and I was thrilled.

It didn’t take me too long to work out that that wasn’t really the format of blog recipes. Blog writing was very different to magazine recipe writing and so it slowly became a bit more long-winded and rambling. There was a time when I was tempted to go back and change it but I felt like that was messing with history somehow. A lot of people are hugely embarrassed of their early posts but I have a fondness for mine. It’s like Fetus-Winberry Crumble and it makes me smile. (Find it here, if anyone is interested.)

My blog and style is still evolving and I’ve just given my blog a bit of a revamp in its layout. (Thoughts welcome.) I thought it was a nice touch to do a throwback recipe today, and to see just how different my blogging style is. (I’m cautious to use the word, improved, because that’s to be decided.)

This lemon Bakewell tart is inspired by something I had at a food festival last weekend. It was Bakewell-inspired, but with a biscuit base, a crunchy lemon drizzle topping, and far too much ground almond in the frangipane filling. Naturally, I knew I could do better.

I used lemon marmalade in my lemon Bakewell tart, mainly because we have a jar in the cupboard and I love Robertson’s Silver Shred, but you could use lemon curd instead. I prefer the jelly-like texture of marmalade and I think it holds together better than lemon curd. The lemon cake mix is my old favourite because it never fails, and the thick icing is perfect made with the tangy lemon juice. It’s rare that something just works on the first try, but this does, and it’s absolutely delicious.

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lemon bakewell tart

Lemon Bakewell Tart

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Yield: one 23cm pie

Lemon Bakewell Tart

This lemon Bakewell tart is made with lemon marmalade, a frangipane filling flavoured with lemon zest, and a lemon fondant. The tart taste of lemons offsets the super sweet icing to give a tangy kick to this Derbyshire classic.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE PASTRY
  • 175g plain flour
  • 25g semolina
  • 100g cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 4tbsp cold water (Approx.)
  • FOR THE FILLING
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 100g softened butter
  • 2 medium free range eggs, beaten
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 3tbsp lemon marmalade
  • FOR THE TOPPING
  • 175g fondant icing sugar
  • A few drops of lemon juice
  • Yellow food colouring

Instructions

  1. Begin by making the pastry. Sieve the flour and semolina together in a large bowl. Add the butter cubes and use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Slowly add the water and use a knife to stir the pastry together. Add enough water that it just comes together in a ball (you may need to use your hands). Wrap the ball of pastry in clingfilm and chill for about 15 minutes.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 200°c. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until it about 3mm thick and big enough to fit the tin. Roll the pastry up onto the rolling pin, the lift it to line the tin. Use a ball of pastry offcut to press the pastry into the edges of the tin. Leave about 2cm of pastry overhanging in case the pastry shrinks. Line with a sheet of greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans, then bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the baking beans and paper, then lower the oven temperature to 180°c and return the pastry to the oven for about 10 minutes or until the base is crisp.
  3. For the frangipane filling, beat together the caster sugar and butter until pale and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs, a little at a time, and mix in until incorporated. Add the lemon zest and sieve in the flour, the use a large metal spoon to stir through. Be careful not to overbeat or the cake won’t rise.
  4. Use the back of a spoon to evenly spread the marmalade all over the base of the pastry. Pour over the cake mixture and use a spatula to smooth the top and spread it out to the edges. Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and springy to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin.
  5. Once cooled, make the fondant icing topping. Mix the icing sugar with enough lemon juice to form a thick, smooth paste. Reserve a tablespoon of the white icing and add a drop of food colouring to the rest to colour it a pale yellow. Pour the pale yellow icing over the cake, using a palate knife to spread it out to the edges. Fill a piping bag with the white icing and snip off the very tip to create a small hole, about 4mm diameter. Pipe neat lines horizontally across the yellow icing, then use the thin end of a spoon, or a cocktail stick, to drag vertically down the icing to create the feathered effect.
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