This is a (slight) reinvention of the classic Bakewell Tart.
Only with this there is no need to make pastry. Just a simple shortbread base that can be smooshed into the tin with your fingers, so no rolling either! And because it isn’t a very thick base, the jam soaks into it in places and you get sticky chewy jammy bits that have a slight caramel taste.
Aaaannnnddd it couldn’t be easier as both the base and the sponge topping can be whizzed up in the food processor (you can use a stand mixer but it takes longer for the base to come together).
Which means that even though there are layers involved, they are easy peasy to assemble.
Have I convinced you yet?
In case you are still on the fence and also unfamiliar with Bakewell Tart – where have you been? – it is traditionally composed of pastry, jam and an almond sponge [only as mentioned above I have swapped out the pastry in favour of a more buttery biscuity base (cue terrible mental rendition of the Masterchef song)].
I used homemade cherry jam as there was some that needed used up, but (I think) raspberry jam is more traditional. Go with whichever one you wish. Cherry won out for me regardless of the use-it-up approach as it goes so well with almond and there are no pips. Pips in your Bakewell are a no-no. So if you do go down the raspberry route, get the seedless stuff.
These little squares also freeze like a dream, perfect for if you can stop yourself eating it all in one sitting and manage to persuade yourself that putting some aside for a rainy day would be a good idea.
For the base:
- 100g butter, chilled & cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
- 45g powdered sugar, plus a little extra for dusting at the end
- 45g corn starch (corn flour)
- 45g rice flour
- 30g ground almonds
- 12g sorghum flour
- jam – either cherry or seedless raspberry
For the sponge topping:
- 100g butter or margarine
- 100g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 100g ground almonds
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- flaked almonds (optional)
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 Celsius / 160 fan / 350 Fahrenheit. Grease an 8 inch x 8 inch tin with butter.
- Place all the ingredients for the base in a food processor and blitz until it forms a soft dough. Tip into the prepared tray and press out with your finger tips to completely cover the bottom of the tin as evenly as possible.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until light golden brown, then leave to cool in the tin for at least 30 minutes (ideally let it cool completely).
- Spread a good layer of jam over the cooled shortbread.
- To make the sponge topping – cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well in between each addition. Finally beat in the ground almonds and almond extract.
- Place dollops of the sponge mixture on the base and carefully smooth out with a knife, taking care not to disturb the jam too much. Sprinkle over some flaked almonds (if using) and then bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until golden brown and firm to the touch.
- Leave to cool completely in the tin before turning out and cutting into squares and dusting with powdered sugar.
- Store in an air-tight container or freeze the squares in a suitable container for up to 3 months.
© The Pink Rose Bakery 2015