Bakewell tart with homemade strawberry jam is one of the most iconic British desserts. It combines sweetness, sharpness and soft nutty flavours in one delicious morsel. If you’re in a rush, you can also use shop-bought jam to make the process quicker.
Bakewell tart is one of those desserts that you just can’t get enough of! That almondy fragrance is unmistakable and the sharpness from the raspberry jam really elevates this dessert. Even though this is a true British classic, you can also add your own personal twist to make the recipe even better.
This time, I swapped raspberry jam for strawberry jam and incorporated lime fragrance as well. My fussy eater said that I’d offended British sensibilities by doing this(!), but after he tried it, he finished the tart in 48 hours. So, I guess the insult can’t have been that big a deal.
I won’t lie, if you want to make all the steps from scratch, this recipe will be reasonably time consuming. It will take at least a couple of hours preparation, with setting-time taking a further few hours. However, you can start preparing your Bakewell tart a night before to speed up the process:
- Jam: you can make this a day or even a week before baking your Bakewell tart. Pour the jam into a glass jar and it can stay in the fridge for almost a month.
- Pastry: make the dough a night before baking. This also allows the butter to chill completely, and you’ll end up with the most amazing, flaky tart case.
Bakewell tart recipe swaps
This recipe requires simple ingredients which can easily be found in every kitchen cupboard. But as always, you can adapt the recipe to your needs:
- Jam – you can use a shop-bought jam or change strawberry jam for any other berry jam (raspberry jam is the traditional option). Although, I really recommend sparing an extra 20 minutes and making the jam from scratch because it gives an extra layer of richness to this dessert.
- Almonds – ground almonds are the most important ingredient, but you can also add pistachios (actually my plan was to add 50g pistachios and 50g almonds, however by mistake I bought salted pistachios, so couldn’t use them for this recipe).
- Almond extract – it’s not mandatory but it gives that unmistakable fragrance (once I baked this tart without almond extract and my fussy eater said that it was a nice tart, but he couldn’t call it a true Bakewell tart).
- Icing – you can skip this part and not have a sugary finish. You can swap the icing for strawberries (slice the strawberries and mix them with one tablespoon of icing sugar. Leave them for 30 minutes. Add the strawberries and the juice on top of the tart).
I hope you will enjoy this recipe and happy baking!
50g caster sugar
1 teaspoon of pectin
1 lemon (zest)
150g plain flour
75g cold butter
30g caster sugar
1 lime (zest)
Pinch of salt
100g soft butter
70g caster sugar
100g ground almonds
30g plain flour
1 lime (juice)
1 teaspoon of almond extract
100g icing sugar
20g flaked almonds
- Prepare the jam: cut the strawberries into small pieces and add them to the saucepan. Heat the strawberries on medium heat and add the sugar. Stir the jam from time-to-time until the strawberries start breaking, get soft and the mixture becomes jammy and glossy. Add a teaspoon of pectin and rum. Mix everything together and let it cool completely.
- Prepare the tart case: rub the flour and the butter between your fingertips until the mixture gets like the texture of the breadcrumbs. Add the caster sugar, egg, zest of one lime and a pinch of salt. Mix everything together until the ingredients come together (don’t overmix it). Wrap the dough in cling film and leave it in the fridge for 30 minutes to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 190 degrees. Take the pastry out of the fridge. Lightly dust the work surface with some plain flour. Roll out the pastry to a circle of 5mm thickness. Put the rolled-out pastry into a tart case. Using your fingers, gently press the dough into the corners of the case. Prick the base of the tart with a fork.
- Cut a large piece of baking parchment and scrunch it. Open it and place it on top of the pastry. Fill the tart with baking beans. Bake the tart for 20 minutes. After that, remove the beans with the baking sheet and bake for additional 10 minutes. After the case is baked, let it cool for 10 minutes.
- Using a sharp knife, neatly trim the edges of your tart (follow the tart tin structure and slide your knife along it to give a sharp and neat pastry finish).
- Spread the cold strawberry jam over the bottom of the baked pastry (5mm thick).
- Prepare the filling: using an electric mixer beat the soft butter and caster sugar until it gets light and fluffy (this might take up to 5 minutes). Add the ground almonds, plain flour, egg, juice of one lime and the teaspoon of almond extract. Mix everything together.
- Spoon the filling onto the tart with the jam. Smooth the surface evenly to cover the jam completely.
- Bake the tart for 30 minutes until it gets golden. After it is baked, take the tart out of the tin and place it on the wire rack to cool completely.
- Prepare the icing: add the icing sugar into a bowl. Add a couple of tablespoons of water. Don’t add too much! Add one tablespoon – mix it, if it’s too dry – add another. Keep going like this until you get thick icing.
- Put a couple of tablespoons of the icing into a different bowl. Add a couple of drops of red colouring (until you get the intensity of colour to your liking). Transfer this red icing into a piping bag.
- Assemble the cake: pour the white icing on top of the cooled tart and spread it out with a palette knife to form a smooth layer. Then cut a small hole in the end of your red icing piping bag. Pipe seven parallel straight lines across the tart, spacing them evenly.
- To create the feathered effect, turn the tart so that the red lines of the icing run horizontally in front of you. Drag a cocktail stick down through the centre of the lines. Then, move the cocktail stick to the left and pull it up through the lines. Keep doing this by dragging the stick up or down. Let the tart set for 1 hour.
- Serve the tart with strawberries and roasted almonds.