Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bakewell Tart…er…pudding

The June Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart... er... pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800's in England.

This month’s challenge posed a true…er…challenge, given that I am away from home for awhile on an extended work trip sans kitchen. Luckily, I was able to convince (well, she begged and I agreed) my sister to be my hands for the month. Sort of like Remy and Linguini from Ratatouille, but I was on the phone speaking into her ear, not in her hat pulling her hair, and well, I’m not a mouse and she's a very competent cook on her own. But you get the idea. (THANKS AGAIN, K!)

The recipe claimed that Bakewell tarts “combine a number of dessert elements but still let you show off your area’s seasonal fruits.” My sister is in Michigan -- what are Michigan’s seasonal fruits? My self-proclaimed canned-soup-and-frozen-vegetable-eating sister had no idea… so off she went to the local farmer’s market. We quickly concluded that our jam would be of the cherry variety. Sour cherries seemed a bit more unique than the bing variety, so sour cherry jam it was. We found a good recipe online for sour cherry jam and decided to make this the night before we were going to make the tart.

Who knew jam-making was so easy??? (Well, minus the hour it took to pit all of the cherries – which yielded about 90% more cherries than we would’ve actually needed for the tart. Oopsies. At least my sister had this handy, complimentary bowl to keep her motivated, which I gave her circa 2004)

After some boiling, simmering, and cooling… voila! We had jam.

Next, the tart itself. The entire preparation (from start to scrumptious finished product) took about 2 hours. We didn’t use much jam in the tart since my sister isn't a big fan, and she confirmed afterward that the ratio turned out very nicely (only a very subtle fruit flavor along with the almond base). I will let a photo montage speak for itself.

(Isn't that crust gorgeous? My sister is the best...)

Ta da! The finished product:

My sister reported that this was an easy recipe that yielded a seemingly fancy and involved result (the best outcome!). I'll have to make it myself as soon as I get home!