Ok, so I’m a bit late posting this, I might sneak it in just before midnight… But I’m still on schedule for posting either way. It just wouldn’t have an alliterative title if I posted it on Saturday.
This is the first in what will be many recipes from a handwritten cookbook that came over from England with my Gran in the 1940s. We’re not entirely sure who wrote the main part of it… Some of the recipes added at the beginning and end are definitely in her handwriting, but the main body seems to have been written by either her sister or one of her cousins. It’s a fascinating old book, the handwriting is lovely and some of the recipes are quite interesting. It includes recipes for many many British puddings, scones and ordinary dinners as well as some rather obscure things, from pickled broccoli to cough syrup (containing laudanum!) and saline solution.
I had some jam left over from the pancakes on Tuesday and decided a bakewell tart would be a great way to use some up. Bakewell tart is a classic as far as I’m concerned, but to those not acquainted with British desserts, it’s a bit of a strange mix, kind of a pie and a cake at the same time, with jam. The flavors are mainly whatever fruit jam you use plus the almond flavor of the cake part. Some recipes have actual ground almond, but this one just uses extract, or as the recipe calls it, essence of almond.
I used mum’s recipe for pastry, which she initially gave to me as “Half as much fat as flour, and enough water to make a dough.” (I’ll post actual quantities below) and the instructions from another recipe, since this one left off after adding the flour to the dough – no temperature or baking time given, and no instructions on how to actually assemble the tart. I guess whoever wrote it assumed Gran must have known that bit. So this one isn’t really a transcription. I took the list of ingredients, used other recipes to fill in the missing bits, and wrote the instructions myself.
I also doubled the recipe (the original must have been for a very small pan) and added the icing… initially just to make it pretty (the tart is sweet enough that it really doesn’t need the extra sugar), but I think the lemon juice in it really adds something to the overall flavor.