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Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Posted by Bryna Bear aka Gluten Free Baking Bear

     A friend who knows how I love to have Tea Parties gave me a book called The Afternoon Tea Collection.  It has great ideas for small tea sized food with recipes and lovely photos.  I realized after looking at all the ‘slices’ recipes that ‘slices’ were the equivalent of ‘bars’ here in the States.  Even though the book is published in New York and made in China I strongly suspect that it was written in England.  As well it should be, since the British must be the experts on Afternoon Tea foods.  There is no author’s name to give credit to; too bad as someone did a wonderful job of compiling the recipes and converting them into US ounces and cups.  The metric measurements are also there.  Weighing ingredients and using milligrams is much more accurate and produces more consistent results than using ounces and cups.  I don’t know why we don’t switch to the metric system for baking at least.
     I never heard of Bakewell Slices.  After a quick google search I found that Bakewell Tarts are an English treat.  In the Bakewell Tart there is a tart crust with a layer of jam on the bottom and then a moist almond cake-like filling.  There is sometimes a glaze on top or sliced almonds and powdered sugar.  The jam and top have many variations. The Bakewell Slices are cut from a rectangular shaped tart. 
     Not being sure of how it should taste or what the texture should be I relied completely on the recipe in the book.  At many points the instructions went against my usual baking methods, but I did what the recipe said anyway (except for the glaze).  To my surprise I ended up with a crisp flaky tart bottom, a layer of raspberry jam, a moist almond flavored cake filling and a lemon glaze.  They all blended harmoniously together and were quite delectable.  When cooled the tart was easy to cut into small Tea sized cakes. Yum!

Makes about 32 small squares or rectangles

11 Tbs./155g Unsalted Butter
¼ cup/55g Sugar
2 Egg Yolks
¾ cup/90g Sorghum Flour
½ cup/66g Tapioca Flour
¼ cup/29g Chickpea Flour
¾ cup/90g Ground Almonds or Almond Flour
½ tsp. Xanthan Gum

¾ cup/240 g Raspberry or Strawberry Jam


13 Tbs./185 g Unsalted Butter
1 tsp. Lemon Zest-finely grated
¾ cup/165g Sugar
3 Eggs
1¼ cup/150g Ground Almonds or Almond Flour
2 Tbs. Sorghum Flour
1 Tbs. Chickpea Flour
1 Tbs. Tapioca Flour
½ tsp. Xanthan Gum
1½ tsp. Almond Extract

2 Tbs./30 ml Lemon Juice
1 cup/160g Confectioner’s Sugar
1 Tbs./15 ml Water

First make the Tart Dough:
  1. In a small bowl add the flours, ground almonds & xanthan gum and mix well.  Set aside.
  2. Mix the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. 
  3. Add the egg yolks and mix until well combined.
  4. Add the flour mixture in two batched and mix after each addition.
  5. Gather the dough together into a ball and flatten into a disk.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Next make the Filling:
  1. Combine the flours, ground almonds and xanthan gum in a small bowl.  Set aside.
  2. With an electric mixer cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix well after each addition.
  4. Stir in the flour mixture until well incorporated.  Set aside.
    Filling all mixed.
Then put the Tart together:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.
  2. Grease an 8”x12” (20cm x 30cm) rectangular baking pan.  Line the bottom and the long sides with parchment paper allowing it to extend 2” (5cm) over each side.
  3. Roll out the pastry dough between two pieces of plastic wrap until it is large enough to cover the base and 2-3” (5-8cm) up the sides of the pan.
  4. Remove the top piece of plastic and invert the rolled out dough into the prepared pan.  With the second piece of plastic on top of the dough, press the dough into place.  When the dough is evenly covering the bottom and partway up the sides remove the second piece of plastic.
    Pressing the rolled out pastry onto the bottom and sides of pan
    using the piece of plastic wrap to keep the dough from sticking to fingers.

    Dough pressed into the pan.
  5. Spread the jam as evenly as possible over the raw dough.
    Jam spread over the bottom of the raw tart dough.
    I will use a bit more jam next time.
  6. Spread the almond filling evenly over the layer of jam, taking care not to disturb the jam too much.
    Filling over the jam in the raw tart.
  7. Bake about 30 minutes.  The tart is done when the center is firm and the top is lightly browned. 
    Baked tart.  The crust did not have to go that far up the sides.
    Next time I will only press it about 2 inches up the sides. 
    If the tart begins to brown too much and the center is not set, cover with foil and bake until done.
  8. Cool the tart in the pan.
Finishing the Tart:
  1. Make the glaze by stirring together all the ingredients until smooth and spreadable.  Add a little more water, a few drops at a time, if it is too thick to spread.
  2. Spread the lemon glaze over the top of the cooled tart.
    Glaze spread over the top and now set.
  3. Allow the tart to sit at room temperature until the glaze sets.
  4. When the glaze is set use a sharp serrated knife to cut the tart into pieces of the desired shape and size.  I trimmed the edges (they were tasty) and then cut the tart into small rectangles.  You can also make small squares.  I suppose you can make triangles too or whatever shape you want.  The cooled tart slices very easily.  Be sure to lift the pieces with a spatula so that the crust does not separate from the filling when lifted.
    Slicing the large rectangular tart into smaller pieces.
    I trimmed the crust off the edges (and ate it).
  5. The pieces can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.  Do not keep in the fridge or the glaze will get runny.  For longer storage freeze the slices, wrapped well,  then thaw at room temperature when ready to serve them.

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