Bakewell Tart


Use excess pastry to create the lattice effect

‘If housewives took greater care over the making of their pastry, there would not be half as many failures as there are.’  Scottish cook, journalist and home economist Elizabeth Craig,

It was with a little fear and trepidation that I decided to make Elizabeth Craig’s Bakewell Tart last week. Being a loyal fan of the ready-made-brigade, my pie, tart and pastry-making had so far caused no kitchen dramas. Yet armed with Elizabeth’s hints for making perfect pastry, I had no excuse…

Hailing from the town of Bakewell in Derbyshire, this tart, previously known as Bakewell Pudding, is as popular now as it was when it first appeared in the early 1800’s. A mixture of ground almonds, eggs, sugar and butter sits on top of a layer of raspberry jam – a devilish treat for batter enthusiasts. There’s really no substitute for home-made pastry, and for novices like me, short-crust is a good place to start. This recipe serves 6 though I had enough pastry leftover to form the base for another tart. Taken from Cooking with Elizabeth Craig (1939)…

For the pastry (makes about 1lb)

Sift 1lb plain flour and a pinch of salt into a basin. Lightly rub 6oz butter in with the tips of your fingers. Add 4.5oz castor sugar. Make a hollow in the centre with a wooden spoon and add half a cup of water and 1 egg. Quickly mix into a light ball of dough. Crush it down twice with the palm of your hand, and stand for 50 minutes in a cold place before using.

Tip – the cooler the baking conditions, the lighter the pastry…

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 2oz ground almonds
  • 2oz butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 jar good raspberry jam
  • 2oz castor sugar
  • drop of almond essence to flavour


  1. Cream together the butter and sugar until thick and white
  2. Stir in the egg, add the almonds and essence, and beat well
  3. Line a flat dish with 1/2 lb short-crust pastry, place a good layer of jam on the bottom and spread the mixture on top of it
  4. Cut excess pastry into even strips to create a rustic, lattice topping
  5. Bake in a quick oven for about 1/2 hour then serve hot or cold (I baked at 190 degrees/gas mark 5)
Published in: on June 3, 2010 at 10:24 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I have tasted the bakewell tart and it is simply gorgeous. It is light and very yummy and the only down side is that it leaves you wanting more than one slice.

  2. Hi, I live near Bakewell and it’s still definitely Pudding there, as it’s always been. The ‘Tart’ version is the sickly icing-type with a cherry on top. Both have their place! Yours looks lovely.

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