Whether it’s making bunny-shaped biscuits with your children, or challenging yourself with some more sophisticated recipes, Easter is a perfect excuse to get baking. Last year we made a batch of hot cross buns – with many subsequent batches to follow. They were very popular with our friends, and could hardly be easier to make. You can get the recipe on our Recipes page.
This year we started a few days early, with an irresistible batch of Bakewell Tarts. There’s something rather satisfying about making them look just like the ones in the packet – and they taste so much better.
For the pastry
- 150g plain flour
- 80g butter (cold and cut into small chunks)
- Pinch of salt
- 2-3 tbsp cold water
For the filling
- 2 tbsp raspberry jam
- 150g butter
- 150g caster sugar
- 2 medium eggs plus 1 yolk beaten (save the extra egg white)
- 50g ground almonds
- Zest of 1 medium lemon
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- Icing sugar
- Glacé cherries
Heat the oven to 170 C
To make the pasty, put the flour, butter and salt into a large bowl. With cool hands, rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Work as quickly as you can here, because if the dough gets too warm, you will end up with tough pastry.
Add half of the water to the mixture and, using a cold knife, stir until the dough binds together. Add more cold water a teaspoon at a time if the mixture is too dry.
When the dough is smooth, wrap in Clingfilm and leave it to chill in the fridge for 15-30 minutes.
When the pastry is chilled, roll it out to about 5 mm thick. Use a pasty cutter to cut circles to line a 12 hole muffin tin.
Line the muffin cases with pastry, and the line the pastry cases with baking paper and fill with baking beans. Cook for 10 minutes or until the pastry is a pale golden color. Remove the baking beans, lightly brush the inside of the pastry case with a little lightly beaten egg white, and cook for a further 5 minutes. Spread the raspberry jam onto the base of the pastry case. Leave to cool.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Use a food mixer or electric hand whisk to cream together the butter and sugar. Once that mixture is pale, and fluffy add the beaten eggs and egg yolk a little at a time, then fold in the ground almonds and lemon zest.
Spoon the mixture in to the pastry cases, and bake for 20 minutes. Leave to cool.
To a small mug full of icing sugar, add water, teaspoonful at a time, until the icing is spread-able, but still nice and thick. Using the back of a teaspoon, spread on the top of the completely cool tarts and leave to set. Finally, finish with a glace cherry in the middle of each tart.
Enjoy, and happy Easter!