Monday, February 24, 2020

Nothing But the Truth: Cherry-Almond "Bakewell Tart" Bars

I cannot tell a lie: I was only using #CherryMonth as an excuse to make these "Bakewell Tart" bars! The idea for this recipe had been on the back burner for quite some time, so when I finally had all the ingredients together, I got to work.

And boy, was it work! Mixing the dough turned into a hands-on workout, but the end result was smooth and dreamy. The cherry spread I used for the filling was a bit tart, but only because I used a juice-sweetened brand. The glaze, however, was perfect: just a drizzle to hint at that flawless white pool so iconic of those miniature Bakewell Tarts you see stores:

cherry-almond bars


Cherry-Almond "Bakewell Tart" Bars

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened
7 oz. (about 10 Tablespoons) almond paste
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
10-13 oz. cherry jam, spread, or preserves
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon milk (half and half would also work)

Butter an 8x8- or 9x9-inch baking pan; set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, cream butter, salt, and almond paste together, breaking up the paste with the back of the spoon—it may be lumpy, but that's okay. Stir in one cup of the flour, then start stirring in the second cup. If the dough isn't coming together, scrape any bits off the spoon and get in there with your hands! Mix and knead everything together until there is nothing stuck to the side of the bowl, and you have a smooth dough. Reserve about a third, then flatten out and press the remaining dough evenly into the bottom of the pan. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until set and slightly golden around the edges. Remove from the oven and carefully (that pan is HOT) spread the cherry jam evenly over the base (if your jam isn't spreadable, give it a vigorous stir to loosen). Pinch off bits of the reserved dough and scatter over the jam, then return to the over and bake for another 20-25 minutes, or until the edges are a deep golden brown and the filling starts to bubble around the edges. Remove and let cool completely.

In a small bowl, stir together confectioner's sugar and milk until smooth. Drizzle the glaze diagonally across the entire surface of the cooled bars. Let the glaze set, then cut into 16 pieces.

cherry-almond bar

Notes: Bakewell Tart is traditionally made with either cherry or raspberry jam, but I think blackberry, peach, or even plum jam would be great here. Almond paste can be quite expensive, so if you have some almond flour knocking around, you can try making your own! Store any leftover bars tightly covered at cool room temperature for up to three days, or in a airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

>o<

2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. LOL! Although--and I'm just guessing--they might be good for breakfast... ;-)

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