Quite possibly the BEST Bakewell Tart recipe (whether gluten free or not)… Made with a crisp gluten free, rice free almond pastry to perfectly complement the frangipane.
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The BEST gluten free Bakewell Tart recipe
Yearning for a really good gluten free Bakewell Tart? Then look no further. Because this recipe is way better than the one I found in the town from which it takes its name… Read on to find out more…
What is a Bakewell Tart?
The very British Bakewell Tart is a most divine sweet pastry dessert… A crisp, SHORTCRUST pastry case filled with a generous layer of raspberry or strawberry jam and topped to the brim with soft, moist, luscious almond frangipane.
For the record… A Bakewell PUDDING is a different dessert altogether… It’s made with buttery PUFF pastry and while there is still a layer of jam, this is topped with a soft-set fluffy custard made with eggs, almonds and sugar.
The birth place of the Bakewell Tart is the pretty little town of Bakewell in Derbyshire. Indeed, the town and its tarts are now intrinsically linked and people flock there to taste the delight at its source.
It seems however, that the ability of the locals to bake gluten free pastry is fundamentally flawed!
In search of a gluten free tart in Bakewell…
While staying with relatives nearby, we too did our best to pay homage to the humble Bakewell Tart. A visit to the town took us on a google-supported search for a gluten free version of this tasty treasure. Ecstatic to find that the Bakewell Pudding Parlour had what we were looking for, we snapped up a gluten free pie and took it away with anticipation… For tea.
When dessert time came, Miss GF took up the knife to slice and share… But this was neither a cuttable or edible tart. Indeed it was (I think), merely an offensive weapon, masquerading as a tempting and delicious treat. In all honesty, it was the worst gluten free pastry I have ever eaten… Seriously… Check this out (and be sure to turn the volume up):
can professional bakers get it so wrong?
Now I know I bake gluten free all the time, but pastry is not really rocket science. It is truly dumbfounding that a professional bakery can make such a hash of it. Even worse… that it was considered worthy to be sold as Bakewell Tart in well-renowned premises. It was stupidly expensive too. And frankly, we are worth more…
Getting the gluten free Bakewell Tart we deserve
Returning home from Derbyshire, the disappointment remained. I don’t like being cheated… If Bakewell tart was to be enjoyed, I would have to make it myself. And it had to be right… To be ‘traditional’.
I scoured the internet for authentic local recipes and then tweaked and played with the ingredients to make it our own… starting with the pastry.
Perfect pastry for a gluten free Bakewell Tart
I have several suitable pastry recipes on Gluten Free Alchemist which would have sufficed. But this Bakewell Tart had special status and needed my full attention.
This Bakewell Tart required a new gluten free shortcrust pastry recipe, especially created to complement the flavours it would contain. One which would also work with my rice-free flour blend B, yet would still be bakable to crisp, dry perfection.
And so it was… I introduce my Sweet Rice-Free, Gluten Free Almond Pastry. It handles incredibly well and has an amazing texture (no ‘grittiness’ here). But it also has a flavour that is mild and smooth, ensuring that the divine filling remains star of the show.
Home-made jam is usually the first option when I go all out to make perfection. The ideal choices for Bakewell Tart would have been my Low-Sugar Strawberry Jam (which has a delightful saucy softness to it), or Strawberry, Rhubarb and Pomegranate Jam.
For this pie, I confess to using a shop-bought top-of-the-range version instead… A fruit-weighted raspberry conserve that I lavishly layered across the blind-baked pastry base.
Every Bakewell Tart needs great Frangipane
Arguably, it is the frangipane next to the jam which makes a Bakewell Tart a Bakewell Tart. And this Frangipane recipe is a triumph.
Baked to a very slight wobble, it remains soft and sumptuously moist. A Frangipane rich with the heady scent and flavour of almond… hintingly offset by a citrus tang. If I’m honest, I am not sure the ‘actual’ local Bakewell Tarts we saw (with or without gluten) could have come close. If you want frangipane perfection, this is it. And we enjoyed every bite, whether on its own, with custard, or with cream.
The moral of this story? Don’t go to Bakewell for Bakewell Tart. You can make your own at home. And without a doubt, it will not only be better, but will leave you with a happy head and heart.
There’s a few equipment basics required to make Bakewell Tart. These are the bits of kit I have in my kitchen for the task…
- Loose-bottomed non-stick pie tin(s). I use Masterclass Tins like this one.
- Good-quality kitchen scales – I love my Heston Blumenthal Dual Platform scales.
- Measuring spoons
- Mixing bowls
- Electric Whisk – Hand mixer
- Baking Beans (ceramic beans are best)
- Baking Paper
- Rolling Pin
Can’t wait to make gluten free Bakewell Tart?
If you have an alternative favourite gluten free sweet pastry recipe, that’s absolutely fine. I won’t be offended if you use it… The Frangipane on the other hand, is a must.
Either way, I’d love to hear what you think if or when you make it… Leave a comment, tag me on social media (links at the top of the page #glutenfreealchemist) and rate the recipe. I love hearing that my bakes are being tried and even better… enjoyed.
Like Bakewell Tart? you’ll enjoy these too…
Bakewell Tart (with gluten free pastry)
- flat-bladed knife
- cling film
- non-stick loose-bottomed tart tin(s)
- sharp knife
Sweet rice-free gluten free almond pastry
- 130 g gluten free flour blend preferably GFA rice free blend B – See NOTES
- 50 g corn starch (UK corn flour)
- ½ tsp xanthan gum
- pinch fine sea salt
- 40 g ground almonds
- 110 g unsalted butter cold cubed
- 60 g golden caster sugar
- 1 large egg UK large
- 1½ tbsp very cold water
Filling – Jam
- 340 g raspberry or strawberry jam 1 jar good quality-high fruit
Filling – Frangipane
- 150 g unsalted butter softened
- 150 g golden caster sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1½ tsp almond extract
- 3 large eggs UK large – at room temperature
- 150 g ground almonds
- 45 g gluten free flour blend preferably GFA rice free blend B – See NOTES
- pinch fine sea salt
- 1 lemon – finely grated zest only
- 2 tbsp raw flaked almonds
- 1 tsp icing sugar to dust
- In a large bowl, mix together the flours, xanthan gum, salt and ground almonds.
- Rub the butter cubes into the dry mix using finger tips until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
- Add the sugar and stir to combine.
- In a small bowl, beat together the egg and cold water.
- Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the egg-water mix.
- Use a flat-bladed knife to blend the ingredients until they bind into a slightly sticky dough. Using flour dusted hands, knead briefly to ensure an even texture.
- Do not chill.
- Roll out (between 2 sheets of liberally flour-dusted clingfilm) to a size large enough to line the base and sides of the pie tin (if making more than one tart, split the pastry dough and roll each piece separately).
- Remove the top sheet of clingfilm and flip the pastry over into the tin, gently easing into the base and up the sides until it fits snuggly.
- Try and remove the clingfilm, but if the pastry has stuck to the base, just pop the whole thing into the fridge for about half an hour and the clingfilm should then come away easily. (Repeat the process for any additional tart cases).
- Trim the top of the pastry at the tin edge and place in the fridge to firm-up for about half an hour.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 C/400 F/Gas 6.
- Line your chilled, raw pastry cases with crinkled baking paper (see NOTES) and baking beans and blind-bake by cooking for 10 minutes, before turning the oven down to 180 C/ 350 F/Gas 4, removing the baking beans and paper and baking for a further 5 to 10 minutes, until the pastry is golden and dry.
- Remove the pastry case from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.
- Once cool, smooth a generous layer of jam evenly across the base of the pastry case. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 190 C/375 F/Gas 5.
- In a large bowl, use a whisk to cream together the butter, caster sugar, vanilla and almond extracts until light and fluffy.
- Blend the eggs together in a small bowl with a fork.
- Add the eggs a little at a time to the butter mixture, beating through with the whisk to fully combine between each addition.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the ground almonds, flour, salt and lemon zest.
- Add this flour mix to the batter, gently folding through with a wooden/silicone spoon to combine.
- Fill each tart base (on top of the jam) with frangipane batter and smooth the top.
- Sprinkle with flaked almonds to decorate.
- Bake for 20 to 35 minutes (depending on the size of the tart) until the frangipane is set and golden. It should have a very slight wobble when cooked.
- Leave to cool slightly before removing from the tin and dusting with icing sugar. Serve warm or cold. Delicious ‘neat’ or with custard/cream.
© 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist
Gluten Free Bakewell Tart shared with
Previously shared with : Bake of the Week with Casa Costello and Mummy Mishaps;
Baking Crumbs with Jo’s Kitchen Larder and Apply to Face Blog; Fiesta Friday #258 with Angie and Life Diet Health; What’s for Dinner? #183 with The Lazy Gastronome