All good things must come to an end, and that includes Christmas Week. There’s still one more recipe to share, though, on the theme of Christmas Pies and Pastries.
I had a few options, but in the end I couldn’t pass up the excuse to crack open a jar of homemade jam to make these adorable bite-sized versions of Bakewell Tart, a quintessentially British concoction of a pastry shell filled with a thin layer of jam and sweet almond frangipane, and finished with a thin layer of white almond-scented glaze.
Sure, Bakewell Tarts aren’t a traditional holiday treat, but I think a case could be made for starting a new tradition – there is something awfully festive about these teensy tarts draped in snowy white icing and capped with a sliver of bright red glace cherry, after all.
These tarts do require some work to assemble, but the good news is that they also freeze beautifully – which means you can bake up a batch or two well in advance, freeze them unfrosted in an airtight container, and then thaw them out overnight before finishing them off with icing and cherries.
Then prepare yourself for the inevitable onslaught of compliments. Because if there’s one truth when it comes to sweet treats, it’s that no one can resist desserts in bite-size. No one.
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup icing sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 2 egg yolks
- ½ tsp vinegar
- 3 tbsp ice-cold water
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup finely ground almonds
- ½ tsp almond extract
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ cup raspberry jam (or any other jam you like)
- 1½ cups icing sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 6 red glace cherries. quartered
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, icing sugar and salt and pulse to mix. Add the cold butter, and pulse five or six times, until mixture resembles coarse meal.
- In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and vinegar. With the machine running, add egg yolk mixture, then add the ice water, one tablespoon at a time, stopping as soon as the dough starts to clump together.
- Turn the dough out onto a clean surface, divide in half, and gently form each half into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least one hour or until quite firm. (You can also do this a day or two in advance.)
- While the pastry chills, begin on the frangipane filling.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in ground almonds, almond extract and vanilla. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- On lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled pastry to ⅛" thick. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 24 circles. Gently press the dough circles into the cups of a mini muffin tin, then place in the freezer to chill thoroughly for 15 minutes.
- Spoon ½ tsp jam into the bottom of each shell, then spoon in a little frangipane overtop, making sure to leave a little rim of tart shell uncovered. (Make sure not to overfill, as it will be very difficult to extract the tarts once they're baked!)
- Bake in preheated oven until filling is puffed and golden, about 18-20 minutes. Let tarts cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then carefully remove and set on a wire rack to cool off completely before frosting.
- Once the tarts are cooled, whisk together icing sugar, water and almond extract in a small bowl until you have a smooth, thick glaze. Spread a layer of icing onto the cooled tarts, then finish each one with a piece of cherry.
Welcome to day #5 of Christmas Week, a multi-blogger event co-hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen of Juanita’s Cocina. Today’s theme for Christmas Week is “Christmas Pies and Pastries”. Make sure you visit all the participating bloggers today to see what special dish they whipped up for you:
- Christmas Apple Pie from Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Fried Pies from Jen of Juanita’s Cocina
- Chocolate Angel Pie from Liz of That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Undeclared Dish from Anuradha of Baker Street
- Cheese Danish Pie from Kristen of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker
- Bakewell Tarts from Isabelle of Crumb
- Grasshopper Pie from Erin of Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
- Undeclared Dish from Erin of The Spiffy Cookie
- Cinnamon Pecan Crescent Rolls from Ramona of Curry and Comfort
- Banketstaaf (Dutch Christmas Log) from Heather of Girlichef
- Eggnog and Cranberry Christmas Braid from Cathy of The Dutch Baker’s Daughter
- Raspberry Galette from Chung-Ah of Damn Delicious