This cherry bakewell tartlets recipe is the only one you will ever need for the perfect mini cherry bakewell tarts. Beautiful buttery pastry, rich cherry jam, scrumptious almond frangipane. All topped with a layer of icing and, of course, the obligatory cherry on top!
Where are cherry bakewells from?
They are very much a British flavour combination. The flavour combination originated in a little town in the north of the UK called Bakewell, which is what it is named after. There are now many variations of how these flavours are put together, from tarts and cakes to puddings and even ice cream. However you choose to enjoy the flavours, combination of sweet cherry and delicious almond is certainly a popular one!
If you too are a bakewell fan, do check out the other recipes on my blog at the end of this post to see what else you can make to include these flavours.
What ingredients do I need to make this cherry bakewell tartlets recipe?
- Flour: I use plain flour for my pastry this tart as it I do not want any rise in it.
- Icing/powdered sugar: for sweetness in your pastry and to make your icing.
- Butter: I always use unsalted butter in my baking, as it allows me full control of the saltiness in the bake. When making these tarts, use cold butter to make the pastry and room temperature for the frangipane.
- Eggs: yolks in the pastry add richness and flavour, and in the frangipane it helps with the structure of it.
- Ice cold water: I use cold water when making your pastry as you want to keep it as cold as possible throughout the making process.
- Caster sugar: for sweetness in your frangipane.
- Ground almonds: gives your frangipane texture and flavour. Yum!
- Almond extract: a little additional almond flavour is heavenly!
- Cherry jam/conserve: because cherry bakewell!
- Milk: used to create the icing for the top of your bakewell tartlets.
- Glacé cherries: halved and placed on top for decoration.
What equipment do I need to make cherry bakewell tartlets?
- Food processor*: a super quick way to make your pastry. You can use the pastry blender detailed below if you prefer too.
- Pastry blender*: an alternative to using a food processor or your fingers. A pastry blender will allow you to cut your butter into your flour without warming it up too much.
- Digital kitchen scales*: I would strongly encourage you to weigh out your ingredients when baking rather than measuring by cups. However, I do provide volume (cup) measurements too if this is your preference when baking.
- Measuring spoons*: for measuring smaller quantites such as tablespoons (tbsp) and teaspoons (tsp). A set of dedicated measuring spoons is more accurate than using your everyday eating spoons. Definitely worth the small investment!
- Sieve*: to remove any lumps from your dry ingredients so everything mixes together more easily and smoothly.
- Rolling pin*: to roll out your pastry. You can use a glass or even a wine bottle if you do not have a rolling pin to hand!
- Pastry cutters*: for cutting out your pastry before lining your tin. Here too, you can use a glass if you do not have a set of cutters, but these are the ones I use.
- Mini tart tin*: to make and bake your mini cherry bakewell tartlets in.
- Mixing bowl*: for making your frangipane in.
- Handheld electric mixer*: helps you get a lovely smooth frangipane with ease.
- Piping bag*: a useful tool to help you get your frangipane into your mini tartlet shells neatly.
- Small mixing bowl*: just a little one needed to mix your icing in.
- Whisk*: allows you to mix together a lovely smooth icing for the top of your tarts.
How to make cherry bakewells
Whilst there are a few steps in making these bakewell tarts, they are all really simple and I share lots of tips with you along the way. For detailed instructions and tips with making pastry, please do have a look at my sweet shortcrust pastry post.
For the pastry
Step 1: First, make your pastry. I like to use a food processor, more for ease, but doing it by hand or with a pastry cutter works well too. Mix together the flour and sugar, then add in the cubes of butter and mix, cut or rub it in until your mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Tip in the egg yolks and mix again until just combined. Add in your ice water 1 tbsp at a time until your shortcrust pastry dough comes together in clumps. Tip out onto your clean work surface and gather together all the dough, squeezing and kneading as little as possible to bring it together. Divide your dough in two, then flatten each part into thick discs and wrap both separately in cling film. Pop the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to rest. If you wish, you can freeze your dough at this point for another day.
Step 2: Once your dough has chilled, preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Dust your work surface with a little flour and roll out one of your pastry discs until about 3mm thick. Stamp out rounds of dough and ease them into your mini tart tin. I use the end of my rolling pin to help push them in evenly, but using your fingers gently works well too. Once you have filled your tray, pop it into the fridge to chill again whilst you prepare the fillings.
For the frangipane
Step 1: Whilst your dough is getting its second chill, make your frangipane. In your mixing bowl, soften your butter, then add in sugar, ground almonds, egg and almond essence. Beat all the ingredients together until completely combined. Your mixture will be thick. Transfer to a small piping bag, if using, then set it aside.
Step 2: In a small separate bowl, place some of your jam/conserve and stir to loosen, adding a teaspoon of water if needed. This is an optional step, but can make it a little easier to spread your jam into your pastry cases if needed.
To bring it together
Step 1: Time to assemble! Remove your tin out of the fridge. Place a small amount of jam/conserve at the bottom of each mini tart case. You only need enough for a layer of jam to cover the bottom of the pastry shell, no need to fill too much more. Pipe on the frangipane, filling it no more than ⅔ full. Using a small knife, gently ease the frangipane all the way to the edge of the pastry case, sealing the jam at the bottom. This is an important detail to avoid your jam bubbling up and bursting through the frangipane, making for messy tartlets.
Step 2: Bake your cherry bakewell tarts for 10-15 minutes (mine bake for nearly 15 minutes) until your pastry is golden and your filling is only JUST a little wobbly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Step 3: When your tartlets are completely cool, time for the finishing touches. Mix together your icing sugar with as much milk as needed to make a thick icing consistency. Spread a layer of this icing over the top of each cool mini bakewell tart, then gently top each one with half a glazé cherry. Enjoy!
Frequently asked questions about pastry
Pastry is one of the bakes that has a few factors that could go wrong, and bit of information worth knowing. I have tried to answer as many commonly asked questions as I can, but please do use the comments below if you have any I have not answered for you here.
Why is my shortcrust pastry fragile and crumbly?
This is likely because the dough is too dry and needs a little more liquid adding to it. Break it up into crumbs again and gently mix through enough liquid until your dough naturally forms clumps before bringing back together, chilling and then rolling again.
Why is my shortcrust pastry tough?
If your pastry is tough or gummy, it is likely that too much gluten has developed. The most likely cause of this is overworking (over mixing or over kneading) your dough.
Why my shortcrust pastry sticking to my work surface/rolling pin?
The moisture in your dough makes it stick to surfaces. A very simple solution is to lightly dust your work surface and rolling pin with a little extra flour (not too much, you do not want to dry out your pastry!) and try rolling it out again. As you roll, keep turning your pastry through 90º so it doesn’t stick to your surface. If you find it is not rolling out too easily, gently lift the pastry over your rolling pin and lightly dust the surface under it with flour before rolling again. This should allow you to get beautiful thin pastry!
Do I need to blind bake my pastry?
In this recipe for cherry bakewell tarts, you do not need to blind bake your pastry.
How do I know when my pastry is baked?
Your pastry is baked when it is pale golden in colour and slightly puffy looking. If it looks a little doughy or wet, leave it to bake for a little longer.
Do cherry bakewells tartlets contain nuts?
Cherry bakewell tarts do use nuts in the frangipane layer, so yes they do contain nuts.
Are cherry bakewell tarts suitable for vegetarians?
Cherry bakewell tartlets are suitable for vegetarians. However, they do contain eggs so would not be suitable for those avoiding eggs as part of a vegetarian diet.
How long does bakewell tart last? How do I store cherry bakewell tarts?
These tarts should be stored in an airtight container and will be fine kept at room temperature for 2-3 days.
Can I freeze bakewell tartlets?
Yes absolutely! You can freeze just the pastry or the tart once made. Read on for both ways.
How to freeze pastry
Once you have made your pastry, wrap it tightly in cling film and freeze for up to a month. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.
How to freeze these cherry bakewell tartlets
Freeze your bakewell tartlets before you put the icing top and cherry on them. First, allow them to cool completely, then wrap them individually securely in cling film and store in an airtight container. They can be frozen for up to two months. To thaw, remove from the freezer and unwrap each tart. Leave to come to room temperature on a cooling rack once unwrapped before enjoying.
Can I make these cherry bakewell tarts gluten and dairy free?
You can substitute the flour in the pastry for a gluten free flour, but will need to add an additional tsp of xanthan gum to your pastry. Butter and milk can be easily substituted in all the elements of this recipe for dairy free alternatives.
Additional top tips for making this cherry bakewell tarts recipe
- Make sure you have prepared your tools and ingredients before you start mixing. This is especially important when making your pastry, as you want to handle it as little as possible.
- Take time to read through this recipe so you are familiar with each step of the process. Do not skip details and instructions given as it could affect the results, especially with the pastry.
- Make sure you use cold butter and ice water when making your pastry. You want to keep your pastry as cold as possible throughout the process of making it.
- Keep your pastry as cold as possible, even after you have rolled it and lined your tin. This helps stop it from misshaping and contracting when baking. Hence popping it back in your fridge whilst making the filling is really important.
- Once you have put the frangipane layer over the jam layer, use a knife to gently level it and ease it to the edges of the pastry case. Sealing the jam is important so it does not bubble over and make a mess of your adorable little bakewell tartlets.
- When mixing your icing together, add your liquid in just a few drops at a time. Stir and check consistency before you add any more to ensure it is not too runny.
If you have any other questions about this cherry bakewell recipe, please use the comments below to ask away and I will do my best to help! And if you made and enjoyed this, please do let me know!
And if you do make this recipe for cherry bakewell tartlets, please leave a rating and review below. I would love to know how you enjoy making it and following along, plus it really helps others looking for a bakewell recipe too! You could even post a picture on Instagram and tag me when you share it with the world, you know I love seeing your bakes!
More bakewell recipes for you to enjoy
Please do check out these other cherry bakewell recipes on my blog too:
Cherry bakewell blondies: beautiful soft squidgy and chewy blondies made with yummy ground almonds and then swirled with a decadent rich cherry compote. Blondie AND Bakewell together = heaven!
Cherry bakewell flapjacks: chewy, almondy and with a beautiful rich cherry jam, these cherry bakewell flapjacks are pure comfort food. Easy to make and totally delicious, these little wonders are never around long!
And that’s all from me for today! Hope you enjoy making these as much as I enjoy sharing them with you. Happy baking, my friends! x
Recommended equipment I used *
|Food processor||Pastry cutter|
|Digital kitchen scales||Measuring spoons|
|Pastry cutters||Mini tart tin|
|Mixing bowl/small mixing bowl||Handheld electric mixer|