Blackberry Bakewell tarts

Serves: 6
Course: Dessert
Cooking Time: 1 hr 0 mins
  • 225g plain flour
  • 150g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 25g icing sugar
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch salt
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 125g ground almonds
  • 2 eggs
  • Zest 1 orange
  • ½tsp almond extract
  • 2tbs blackberry jam, or jam of your choice
  • 25g flaked almonds
  • 200g blackberries
  • Icing sugar, for dusting

1 For the sweet pastry, rub together the flour, butter and salt with the tips of your fingers until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs. Ensure your butter is cold. Add the icing sugar and continue to rub together until all of the ingredients are combined.

2 Add the egg, and gently bring the dough together using your hands. Alternatively, you can use a stand mixer with a beater attachment, or a food processor to make the dough. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to chill.

3 Preheat the oven to 175 degrees and grease six small tart tins (10cm in diameter) or one large tart tin (24cm in diameter) with butter or a little flavourless oil.

4 Divide the dough into six (if making individual tarts), and roll out on a lightly floured surface until you have a disc that is slightly larger than your tart tin. Press the pastry into the tart tin, leaving a little pastry hanging over the edge. Prick the base of each tart with a fork and place the tins in the fridge while rolling out the remaining pastry. Leave the lined tins in the fridge to chill for about 15 minutes, until they are firm to the touch.

5 Bake the tarts blind by placing a square of parchment paper in each and filling with baking beans or rice and placing in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the beans and paper and bake for a further five minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Reduce the oven temperature to 160 degrees.

6 For the filing, cream the butter and sugar together using an electric beater, stand mixer, or by hand. Once pale and creamy, add the ground almonds and continue to mix until well combined.

7 Add the eggs one by one, followed by the orange zest and almond extract and continue to mix until well incorporated.

8 When ready to fill the tart, spoon a teaspoon of jam into each cooked tart and spread out evenly. Spoon the almond frangipane into each tin, and press a few blackberries into each.

9 Place the tarts back in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden and cooked in the centre. Sprinkle a few flaked almonds on top, and return to the oven for two to three minutes, to lightly toast. Remove from the oven and cool slightly before dusting with icing sugar. Serve.

Aoife Noonan

Aoife Noonan

Aoife Noonan is a pastry chef and culinary consultant. She writes a weekly baking column for the Irish Times Magazine