As you know, I am now upside-down in New Zealand and will be here for a couple of weeks. It’s so wonderful to be back and I look forward to showing you my pics when I’m home! While I’m away I won’t be writing as much, however I am very lucky to have a few wonderful baking bloggers babysitting my blog (alliteration alert) for me while I galavant around the South Island. Today’s post is from the super duper Kate, whose blog The Little Loaf gets my tastebuds tingling every time I nip over to have a peruse. Lucky me for having her here today!
Lots of love from me to all of you over there and I’ll bore you silly with my tales when I return.
As my nickname suggests, baking and bread are hugely important to me, so when Poppy asked me to come up with a recipe for this post, I agonized about what to make. Would it be boring to bake a loaf of bread? What about some simple biscuits? Was caramel too complicated, cupcakes too twee and chocolate too obvious?
In the end I plumped for exactly what I felt like eating this weekend, which is usually a pretty good place to start. These fruity Bakewell slices are a riff on the traditional British tart, layered with sticky jam and topped with toasted flaked nuts. The almond sponge is lovely and light, sitting on top of crisp, crumbly pastry and studded with pockets of sweet, juicy fruit.
As the evenings get lighter but there’s still a definite chill in the air, these little slices are both comforting and bright, providing the perfect transition from winter into spring.
Big thanks to Poppy for letting me post here and I hope you all have a great weekend, full of lovely things to eat!
Plum, Raspberry & Blackberry Bakewell Slices
For the pastry
60g unsalted butter, cold, diced
60g icing sugar, sifted
1 large free range egg yolk
120g plain flour, sifted
For the filling
75g unsalted butter, room temperature, diced
110g golden caster sugar
3 medium free range eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract
180g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder, sifted
200g plum jam, divided
Handful each fresh raspberries & blackberries
35g flaked almonds
To make the pastry, cream together the butter and icing sugar in a stand mixer or food processor. With the machine running, add the egg yolk then the flour and salt. As soon as the dough comes together in a ball, switch of the machine, wrap the dough in cling film and chill in the fridge for 2 hours (or overnight).
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Grease your baking tin with a little butter. Lightly flour the worksurface and roll your pastry into a thin square to line the base of your 23cm tin. Drape any excess pastry up the sides of the tin but don’t worry too much – you’ll be trimming this once baked anyway.
Line the case with baking paper, weight it down with baking beans (you can substitute rice or dried pulses if you don’t have any) and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes until lightly golden. Once cool, trim any excess pastry from the edges so that it just covers the base of your tin.
To make the filling, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly incorporate the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract and salt. Add the almonds and baking powder and continue to cream until combined.
Use 180g of jam to cover the pastry base, spreading evenly and into the corners. Scatter with your raspberries and blackberries then spoon over the almond sponge mixture, taking care not to mix it with the jam. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until golden and risen then remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin before removing.
While the sponge is cooling, place the flaked almonds on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 5 minutes. Heat the remaining 20g jam in a small saucepan (or a little bowl in the microwave) then brush over the top of your cake. Scatter with toasted flaked almonds then cut into 12 thick bars or 24 bite-sized pieces.
Because of the almonds, these slices stay moist for several days in an airtight container, although the pastry is most crisp and delicious on the day of baking.