Bakewell Tart (almond-flavoured sponge with a layer of jam and pastry)

Photography: Michael Hart

Moist, almond-flavoured sponge with a tangy layer of jam and soft, buttery pastry makes this traditional tart a wonderful treat served warm or cold.

Some say the Bakewell tart (or pudding, to give it its original name) was created by accident when, in 1820, a cook poured egg mixture on top of jam, making a tart instead of a pudding. However, other sources say it hails from a 15th-century dish called "flathon," which was either a rich custard over a candied-fruit base, or made with ground almonds, sugar and spice. In its birthplace, Bakewell, you'll still find it sold under the name "pudding."

  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cooking time 1 hour & 15 minutes
  • Portion size 10 servings



Whizz the flour, icing sugar and diced butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Transfer to a large bowl, add the egg yolk mixture and stir with a palette knife. Bring the mixture together with your hands to form a dough, adding an extra 1 tsp chilled water if dry. Roll into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to 3 mm (1/8 inch) thickness. Use it to line a 24 cm (9-1/2 inch) fluted loose-bottomed tart tin, leaving 1 to 2 cm (1/2 to 3/4 inch) hanging over edge. Prick base all over with a fork and freeze for 10 minutes to firm up.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).

Line the pastry case with baking parchment and beans or uncooked rice, and place on a baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the beans or rice, and return the tin to the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the pastry is golden. Set aside to cool, then use a small sharp knife to carefully trim the edges.

Meanwhile, whisk together the softened butter and caster sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, with 1 tbsp ground almonds each time, then stir in the remaining ground almonds and the almond extract.

Spread the jam across the bottom of the pastry case. Pour over the sponge mixture and sprinkle with the flaked almonds. Bake for 45 minutes, until golden. When a skewer is inserted into the centre, it should come out clean. Remove from the tin and set aside to cool on a wire rack. Great served with cream.

Top Tip: Experiment with different jams -- strawberry or apricot will also work well.


Caster sugar – superfine sugar, usually available only in the white (not golden) variety in North America

Plain flour – all-purpose flour



Nutritional facts Per serving: about

  • Sugars 31.9 g
  • Calories 535.0
  • Total fat 35.4 g
  • Saturated fat 15.9 g
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Bakewell Tart