In its Derbyshire homeland, they maintain that this gloriously nutty, sticky confection is a pudding. In truth – and as has been noted by others – it’s a tart whether you fill it with the traditional baked custard or with the almond paste that has become more familiar due to the efforts of a certain Mr Kipling. Whatever you call it, it’s irresistible.
Pre 15 min
Chill 30 min+
Cook 1 hr 30 min
Makes 1 x 23cm tart
For the pastry
140g plain flourplus extra to sprinkle
A pinch of salt
85g cold butterplus extra to grease
For the frangipane
110g caster sugar
110g ground almond
25g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
Zest of ½ lemon
25g flaked almondsto top
For the compote (or use 100g low-sugar raspberry jam)
250g raspberries (fresh or frozen)
25-35g caster sugardepending on the sweetness of a tooth
Juice of ½ lemon
1 Puff or shortcrust?
Puff pastry, which these days is more often used with the custard filling, appears in most older recipes, but I think a sturdy shortcrust works better, especially with the denser frangipane in my version. You could buy it, but it’s not hard to make yourself and the results are much nicer. If using shop-bought, start at step 3.
2 Make the dough
Mix the flour and salt in a bowl, then grate in the cold butter. Rub this in with your fingertips until the flour looks like damp sand, then very gradually stir in just enough cold water to bring everything together into a coherent, but not sticky dough. (Alternatively, use a food processor, but be careful not to overwork the mix.)
3 Wrap and chill
Wrap the dough in a clean tea towel or greaseproof paper, so it doesn’t dry out, then chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease an approximately 23cm tart tin (it’s always better to go for something slightly too small than too large) and heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6.
4 Roll out and blind bake
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it’s large enough to line the tin. Carefully lift it in, then top with baking paper and weigh this down with baking beans, dried pulses, rice or whatever you use in such situations, making sure they come right up the sides. Trim off any excess, then bake for about 15 minutes, until golden.
5 Now for the fruit filling
Meanwhile, make the compote, if using. Put the berries in a small pan with the sugar and lemon juice, and bring to a boil over a medium heat. Turn down the heat slightly and leave to simmer for about 12 minutes, and making sure it doesn’t catch, until the mix has thickened to a loose, jam-like consistency. Take off the heat and leave to cool slightly.
6 Remove the beans and bake until golden
Once the base is golden, carefully remove the baking beans and paper, remembering that they will be hot, and put the tart case back into the oven for another couple of minutes, until it feels dry and biscuity in the middle, and taking care not to let the sides burn. Set aside to cool while you make the frangipane; If you plan on baking the tart immediately, leave the oven on.
7 Make the frangipane
Put the butter and sugar in a large bowl or food mixer, and beat until well mixed and fluffy. Beat in the eggs a little at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition, so nothing gets left behind. Gently fold in the almonds, flour, baking powder, lemon zest and a pinch of salt.
8 Build the tart and bake again
Spread the compote or jam over the base of the tart and spoon the frangipane on top, being careful not to knock any more air out of it than you have to, especially when you level out the surface. Bake for about 25 minutes, until golden and well risen; scatter over the flaked almonds for the last five minutes of baking time. Remove and leave to cool slightly, or completely, before slicing and serving.
9 Finishing touches
I don’t think this tart needs icing – it’s sweet enough already – but if you must, mix 300g icing sugar with just enough cold water to make a thickish paste (about three tablespoons should do it). Spread this on top of the cooled tart and leave to set. If you go down this route, I’d scatter on the flaked almonds afterwards, rather than in step 8, though Mr Kipling fans may wish to substitute glacé cherries.