I just love these classic recipes like vegan cherry bakewell tart. I love veganising them even more and making them better than any shop bought one you could find. Gone is the white anemic pastry, gone too the measured in microns thick layer of jam, and tasteless frangipane. It costs more – sure – but the taste is infinitely better. It fulfills that promise that your tastebuds crave – moist almondy sweetness! There are two similar versions of this dessert – Bakewell Pudding and Bakewell Tart – see my other post for the tart.
Pastry can be a bit of a pain to handle – especially if you make it with wholemeal flour. I have discovered a cunning trick to make getting it in the cake tin very easy. Part baking it makes it easier too. Then adding a nice thick layer of seeded or seedless raspberry jam gets the whole thing off to a good start. Make sure to use a top quality jam – but a sufficiently thick layer is the most important thing. The frangipane sounds tricky but really isn’t at all. Almonds are expensive, but you mustn’t skimp on them – they are the bedrock of this cake.
Baking the frangipane, and cooling it, and then adding the icing layer is next. I like to use golden icing sugar which gives a deeper flavour and colour. Not too much though, just a thin layer to stick the glace cherries & flaked almonds onto and set the franginpane off.
Adding some glace cherries to mark the portions makes it look gorgeous, and also easier to serve. I add a sprinkling of toasted flaked almonds to adds the final touch. Like all cakes made without preservatives and humectants it’s best to eat this vegan cherry bakewell tart in 2 to 3 days maximum. Just invite your favourite friends to tea – it won’t take that long!
Vegan Cherry Bakewell Tart - reduced sugar
- 1 Digital scales zeroable/tareable
- 2 bowls or one if you re-use the pastry bowl - not need to wash it TBH
- 1 electric whisk useful but not essential
- 1 saucepan - medium
- 1 pastry cutting wheel useful but not essential - you can use a knife instead
- 1 Rolling Pin
- 1 pallet knife
- 1 25cm fluted loose bottom tart case high sided is best - 3cm approx
- 1 stick blender not essential but much easier - you can use a fork but it takes much longer!
- 150 g wholemeal flour – can be S/R as it's finer
- 80 g white flour – can be S/R
- 60 g ground almonds or almond flour almond flour is finer
- ¼ teasp salt
- 150 g block vegan butter. Flora Vegan Block is good.
- 1-2 Tbsp chilled water some folk use vodka or gin
- 200 g raspberry jam
- 200 g ground almonds
- 60 g whole meal S/R flour
- 40 g cornflour or corn starch
- 1 teaspoons baking powder
- 50 g caster sugar - reduced to 50 from 90
- 160 g vegan block butter Flora is good
- 120 g unsweetened plant milk oat is best – but any will do
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- zest from 1 lemon
For finishing with icing etc:
- 150 g golden icing sugar
- 30 g lemon juice
- 1 teasp orange extract
- 25 half glace cherries
- 15 g flaked almonds
Making the Pastry
- Weigh the 2 flours, ground almonds, directly into a good-sized bowl – zeroing the scale each time. Add the salt and mix well.
- Add the chilled, vegan block butter - cut into smallish cubes.
- use a pair of large table knives (one in each hand like scissors) to cut the fat into the flour to get it going. When it’s in very small pieces, you can finish off by rubbing it in using just your fingertips. you’re looking for the mixture to resemble fine breadcrumbs with no lumps of butter remaining.
- Add the cold water (or spirit if using).
- Mix with a pallet knife to combine. It should come together into a ball fairly easily – it may need just a little more water, but it’s best to avoid this if you can.
- Form the pastry into an approx 15cm disc – but don't knead it. Place on a piece of grease-proof paper, and cover with a suitably sized bowl. Then refrigerate for about 45 minutes until cool & firm enough to roll out. Don’t leave it too long though or it will become too hard.
- Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured cool surface until you have a circle 3cm bigger than the base of a 25cm fluted round tart tin. A loose base tin is best.
- If you have a loose base, remove the base, grease it and place a same sized parchment paper circle on it. Place it in the centre & on top of the pastry, and then cut round it.
- Carefully remove the edge pieces
- Free the pastry from the surface using the pallet knife and some flour - so you can slide the base under the pastry circle. This is the most fool proof way.
- Position the pastry so it perfectly covers the base, then return it to the tart casing.
- Take the edge pieces and run them round the edge - so they join the pastry base – they will be more than long enough. Press the pastry into the flutes/corners then cut off the top with the pallet knife.
- If you can’t do it this way because you don't have a loose base tart case, you’ll have to attempt to get the pastry into the tin without it breaking or getting mangled – that is a very tricky way to do it though - especially with wholemeal pastry.
- Prick the base of the pastry all over with a dining fork then place it in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes until nicely firm. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan.
- Line the pastry case with a baking parchment circle.
- Then fill sufficiently with ceramic baking beans to keep the sides in place.
- Bake for 10 minutes then remove the paper and baking beans and return the pastry case to the oven for a further 10 minutes until pale golden. Remove from the oven and set to one side.
Making the Jam layer
- Weigh your raspbery jam - 200g – bon mamman or similar is good – into a jug and heat on half power for around a minute to make it more liquid
- Blitz with a stick blender and then pour the 200g of jam into the pastry case.
- Spread the fairly liquid layer of raspberry jam over the base of the pastry case by tilting and shaking, and put in the fridge for 30 minutes or until it is fairly solid.
Making the Frangipane filling
- While the jam is cooling, mix together the ground almonds, wholemeal flour, cornflour, baking powder and sugar in a bowl. I've reduced the quantity of sugar considerably as the first version was too sweet.
- Melt the vegan butter, plant milk and almond extract.
- Pour the dry ingredients and lemon zest into the same pan and whisk until smooth and homogeneous.
Finishing the assembly & baking
- Remove the chilled tart case from the fridge and spoon the frangipane carefully onto the layer of jam spoonful by spoonful without disturbing the jam.
- Gently spread the filling so it's level. First use a fork, then, finally, I recommend using the back of a moistened spoon to get a really smooth finish.
- Bake in the oven set at 150°C Fan for 45 to 50 minutes check it's done by inserting a skewer or cake tester - it should come out clean. Allow to cool for 20 minutes or so befor proceeding. I think this is a little overdone - so I've adjusted the timings.
- When you take the tart out of the oven, put the almonds on a metal tray in the oven, and turn the oven off. They will toast nicely in the gradually reducing heat. Check on them after 8 to 10 minutes - you just want them lightly browned......
- While the tart is cooling, mix the fondant and pour and then brush it using a pastry brush to completely cover the surface - but not the pastry casing.
- So it looks like this......
- Place the halved cherries on in roughly the way shown, but you can place them how you like.
- scatter the flaked almonds on the still slightly liquid fondant.