The Bakewell Tart Recipe by Franzi Thomczik of the E5 Bakehouse

4 July 2014

Cake and Crochet. An alliterative juxtaposition emphasising how flippin' fantastic it is to make a couple of granny squares whilst enjoying a Bakewell Tart. Multitasking at its best.

After all that talk of cake with pastry chef Franzi Thomczik of the E5 Bakehouse, it was only good, proper and right that there be some sort of complementary recipe. Thankfully, Franzi came up trumps and offered a titan of the afternoon tea scene. Cue….

A perfect amalgam of tradition, jam and almondy lusciousness in tart form. Small wonder this is a favourite amongst the pastry selection at the E5 Bakehouse.

The cleverness of this recipe lies in its construction of various good things that can be used in their own right (raspberry jam) or form the basis for other sweet delights (shortcrust pastry and frangipane). In addition, you can prepare each element at different stages and bring them altogether in their Bakewell Tart magnificence at a time that suits you.

Clearly this recipe has its origins a moment of culinary panic, when the in-laws were visiting at relatively short notice. They needed to be impressed and shortcrust pastry, frangipane and jam were the only ingredients one had to hand.

Hopefully, you’ll be a bit better organised than the mythical first maker of the Bakewell Tart. Franzi’s recipe is enough for 17 small tarts plus a few lemon butter biscuity things. A delightful bonus.

Raspberry Jam

  • 500g fresh or frozen Raspberries
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Pile up the sugar and raspberries in a preserving pan or large saucepan. Don’t forget to add the lemon juice! That would be disastrous.

Place on a gentle heat and keep at a simmer – stirring occasionally - until the fruit has softened and all the sugar has dissolved.

Once everything is squishy and there’s nary a hint of sugar bring it to the boiling point and boil rapidly. Keep this up for 10 to 15 minutes or until you reach the setting point.*

 Take the pan off the stovetop and give the jam a chance to settle for a few minutes. Decant into hot, sterilized jars (TIP: place a metal tea spoon in the jar before you put the hot jam in to prevent the glass from breaking) then seal.

The jam will keep for 6 months.

Alternatively you could use 700g of a good quality, shop-bought jam. And sotto voce it doesn’t necessarily need to be raspberry.  Just make sure it’s a flippin’ awesome jam. You wouldn’t want to undermine all that hard work on the shortcrust pastry and frangipane with underwhelming jam. That would be a travesty of minor proportions.

Piping the jam into the shortcrust pastry but for the sake of washing up the piping bag more than once, a tablespoon will do the job at this juncture.

 Shortcrust pastry

  • 250g butter
  • 375g flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 110g icing sugar
  • 1 medium egg
  • zest of 1 lemon
Put all ingredients - except the egg-  in a bowl and rub between your fingertips until a crumbly texture forms. Beat the egg then add it to the crumbs and work through until a dough forms. Once it comes together stop working it, otherwise it will become tough rather than light and crumbly after baking.

Wrap it in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least an hour. This will make enough pastry for the base of 17 tarts plus extra left over with which you could make some simple lemon butter biscuits. My, how the in-laws will be thrilled…


  • 150g butter, softened
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 150g ground almonds
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 45g sifted flour
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 30g rum
  • pinch of salt
Beat the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt together until pale and fluffy on medium speed. If you are using a Kenwood or Kitchenaid, use the paddle attachment.

In a separate bowl beat the eggs with a whisk and gradually add the eggs whilst the mixer is still running. Scrape down the bowl in between additions and make sure the eggs are well incorporated into the butter at each stage (this helps prevent the batter from splitting).

Add the flour and almonds, mixing minimally, and finally the rum.

Allow the mix to rest in the fridge for 30m before using and then bring out and leave for another 30 minutes before piping. It can be a bit stiff to force through the piping bag otherwise.

The frangipane can be kept for up to a week in a sealed container in the fridge. 

Franzi piping the frangipane atop the jam.
 To construct the Bakewell Tarts

Preheat the oven to 170˚c.

Roll out the shortcrust pastry on a floured surface until it is about 2.5mm thick. Cut out circles using an 88 mm pastry cutter. Remember, you’ll have a bit more pastry than for 17 tarts so use the rest for some elegant biscuits.

Place the circles in muffin trays and fill each pastry cup with 1 tablespoon of jam. Pipe each tart with frangipane and sprinkle the flaked almonds on top.

Bake for 25 minutes, turning half way.

Allow to cool before removing from the muffin tray.

To accompany tea, company and – for a true appreciation of the Bakewell’s ambrosial properties – knitting.


*WAIT! What’s the “Setting Point"?

This is the moment when the jam is ready to go into jars. You can check this moment by one of two ways. First is with a sugar thermometer, clipped onto the side of the pan. The bottom end must not touch the pan’s bottom otherwise you’ll get a dodgy temperature reading. Not what you want. When the jam is in the throes of a rolling boil, the thermometer will register 105˚c. The second, old-school Nana way to check is (appropriately) called the “wrinkle test”. Put two teaspoons of jam onto a cold saucer. Leave it alone to cool off for a couple of minutes. Then gently push the jam with a finger. If it wrinkles, setting point is reached, you’re done.

(Images: Zoë F. Willis, E5 Bakehouse)