Bakewell Mini Tarts

Here’s another Daring Bakers’ Challenge. This month it’s a British Bakewell Tart – buttery shortcrust shell filled with jam and frangipane. We were given a complete freedom to choose any jam flavor for the filling. And that’s where I got carried away. The thing is I love making jams. I could do it all day long, it really does relax me. I also like the sight of jewel-like glowing little jars lined on my counter near the window. So, I made 4 varieties of jam plus banana-caramel for a company.

Respectively, there are five different kinds of mini tarts as follows:

  • Peppery tomato jam with rosemary and almond frangipane (I sprinkled the bottom of each tart shell with a tiny pinch of fresh rosemary before filling them)
  • Strawberry Cointreau jam and pistachio frangipane
  • Carrot citrus jam (it really tastes more like a marmalade) with almond frangipane
  • Pear vanilla bean jam with hazelnut frangipane; to some of them I added a bit of finely chopped fresh thyme
  • Salted banana-caramel and almond (some were hazelnut) frangipane

I played with marzipan a bit (had some leftovers after the recent project) and made fruits and vegetables for garnishing the tartlets.

Thanks to  Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar for hosting the challenge.

Makes 24 mini tarts or one 9-inch tart

Obviously, the jam recipes below make more than needed for the filling, but I don’t see how it can be a problem :)

For the peppery-tomato jam (makes about 2 cups):

  • 2 lb tomatoes, skin and seeds removed
  • 15 oz granulated sugar
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp coarsely ground fresh black pepper

For the strawberry Cointreau jam:

  • 2 lb strawberries, hulled, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 15 oz granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup Cointreau

For the carrot citrus jam:

  • 1 lb carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 1 lb sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced

For the pear vanilla bean jam:

  • 2 lb pears, peeled, cored, cut into1/2-inch cubes
  • 15 oz granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped

For the banana-caramel filling:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup whipping cream, hot
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 medium ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp fleur de sel

For the sweet shortcrust pastry:

  • 8 oz all purpose flour
  • 1 oz sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 oz unsalted butter, cold (frozen is better)
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ½ tsp almond extract (optional)
  • 1-2 Tbsp ice-cold water

For the frangipane:

  • 4.5 oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 4.5 oz icing sugar, sifted
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ tsp almond extract (omit for pistachio or hazelnut frangipane; use pure vanilla instead)
  • 4.5 oz ground almonds (or pistachios, or hazelnuts)
  • 1 oz all purpose flour

Make the peppery-tomato jam:

Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive pan. Place over medium-low heat and heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer the mixture, stirring often and skimming foam, until it’s reduced about in half and thickened, about 25-30 minutes. The temperature should be around 220F. Cool and store in the refrigerator in an air-tight container. Consume within a few weeks. Or divide the hot jam between sterilized jars, seal for longer storage.

Make the strawberry Cointreau jam:

The same as for the peppery-tomato jam.

Make the carrot citrus jam:

The same as for the peppery-tomato jam.

Make the pear vanilla bean jam:

Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive pan. Stir to combine, cover with a lid, and let sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours and up to a night. Place over medium-low heat and heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves completely. Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer the mixture, stirring often, until it’s reduced about in half and thickened, about 25-30 minutes. The temperature should be around 220F. Cool and store in the refrigerator in an air-tight container. Consume within a few weeks. Or divide the hot jam between sterilized jars, seal for longer storage.

Make the banana-caramel filling:

Stir together the sugar and water in a high-sided medium saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves, then raise the heat to moderately high and boil without stirring, occasionally brushing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush, until the syrup turns deep amber in color. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour in the cream, stirring gently but carefully with a wooden spoon. Wait until the bubbles subside, then whisk in the sour cream, banana puree, lemon juice, and salt. Cool and refrigerate. Any leftovers can be warmed and used as a caramel sauce whenever you need it.

Make the sweet shortcrust pastry:

Sift together the flour, sugar and salt. Grate butter into the flour mixture, using the large hole-side of a box grater. Using your finger tips only, and working very quickly, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.

Lightly beat the egg yolks with the almond extract (if using) and quickly mix into the flour mixture. Keep mixing while dribbling in the water, only adding enough to form cohesive and slightly sticky dough.

Form the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, butter 24 mini-muffin molds or a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom.

Place the chilled dough disc on a lightly floured surface. If it’s overly cold, let it sit at room temperature to soften slightly before rolling it out. Flour the rolling pin and roll the dough into about 1/8-inch thickness. Cut 3-inch rounds (if making mini-tarts) and fit into the mini-muffin molds or the 9-inch tart pan, press in and trim the excess dough. Patch any holes, fissures or tears with the trimmed bits. Chill in the freezer for at least 15 minutes and up to several days (wrap well after the shells (shell) are frozen).

The dough can also be successfully made in a food processor. There’s no need to grate the butter for this.

Make the frangipane:

Cream the butter and sugar together for about a minute, until the mixture is light and very fluffy. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. The batter may appear curdled. After all three are in, pour in the almond (or vanilla) extract and mix for about another 30 seconds, scrape down the sides again. Mix in the ground nuts and flour until combined.

Assemble and bake the tart:

If you are making one large tart, the crust has to be prebaked before filling with jam and frangipane. Cool completely on a cooling rack before filling the shell. Use about 2/3 cup of the jam for the filling.

Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 400F.

Remove the shells from the freezer (no need to defrost them), spoon about a teaspoon of jam into each mini-mold. Top with the frangipane, filling slightly below the rim of the tart shells. Smooth the top and pop into the oven for about 18 to 20 minutes for mini-tarts, and for about 30-35 minutes for the single one. The finished tartlets (tart) will have a golden crust and the frangipane will be tanned, puffy and a bit spongy-looking. Remove from the oven and cool on a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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76 Responses to “Bakewell Mini Tarts”

  1. Girl I just love the carrot jam and your tarts are so cute and tiny and the ‘fruits’ on top look delish. Everything about your post is super. Wonderful effort and the jam combo’s sounds so delish.

  2. Wow, those jams sound incredibly fabulous and the tarts look stunning of course. What a beautiful presentation and they sound delicious too!

  3. OOH wow, what you did with this challenge surpasses what I thought you would do with this challenge, which was top notch, out of this world. You just entered a realm that’s even above that! They are not only adorable, but the creativity with flavors are blowing me away. Having a sweet tooth at the moment, I’ll start with the salted banana-caramel and just move my way down the line until I’ve finished them all. That said, don’t even get me started on your photos again..WOW, just WOW!

  4. Really beautiful.

  5. oh wow! such cute tiny tarts..juss feel like grabing one! adorable!!

  6. Love your tarts! They look great. And what amazing jam flavors!

    Jen

  7. Your tarts look very cute! I love your choice of fillings. Very original!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  8. Fabulous idea!!! jam with carrots and tomatoes… I have to try them. Lovely pictures!!!

  9. That’s a lot of jam and very prettily decorated tarts.
    I liked the sound of the carrot jam.

  10. Oh nice, it’s so cuuute :)
    Waouw beautiful job !

  11. c’est trop mignon en version mini ! on pourrait jouer à la dinette avec les enfants :)

  12. Those are so pretty! I love the way you made different marzipan fruits for each tart :)

  13. is really all you do … sigh … felicitations me because it was a disaster and your artwork, all with their fruits you … and not on anyt

  14. Beautiful presentation, and the diferent flavors are just awesome, pear and vanilla jam is my favorite

  15. Absolutely lovely! I don’t know which one I would choose first, they are all so tempting. Thanks for the jam recipes – I might just try to make jam in future bakings.

  16. you always amaze me! Stunning job

  17. What a treat! For the eyes and for the tastebuds. Vera a fab effort.

  18. Your flavors sound incredible — I love that you played with the nuts as well as the jams. And I love marzipan fruits; yours are sweet as can be.

  19. So cute!!!! I love you marzipan toppers…adorable! All the flavor combos sound absolutely FANTASTIC! Yum. :)

  20. The strawberry Cointreau jam sounds fabulous. I’m filing it away with all my other ideas of how to use the giant tub of frozen strawberries in my freezer.

  21. Oh, so cute. They came out such a lovely colour too!

  22. wow! You really took the challenge to new heights! How creative and what adorable results :)

  23. I’m wowed by all this! The jam’s flavours, the cutness of the little tarts, the marzipan fruits… Brilliant!

  24. Your tarts look so beautiful! I love all of the different fillings you used. What great combinations of flavors! And your marzipan decorations are perfect. Very impressive!

  25. Wow – your tarts are beautiful! All of the different fillings sound wonderful, and I love how you decorated them with marzipan!

  26. I’m in love with your little tarts! They are soooo sweet, delicious :) Can I have one…. pls? The tomato jam especially :)

  27. Your jams look good enough to feed a king. The tarts with marzipan on top are just adorable! Kudos!

  28. Aawww! I love the decorations on top – so very adorable! Wonderful flavors too!

  29. OMG Marzipan CUTENESS alert! I love the decorations!!! WOW!!! Beautiful tarts, nice job on the challenge :)

  30. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Those are FANTASTIC!!! Oh my goodness I absolutely died when I saw your adorable little marzipan fruits! You are so incredibly talented, Vera!

    Thanks for your comments last night – you were actually (hopefully) the only person who caught my blog posting before I was done with it. :-/ Please feel free to visit again and see the REAL entry! Haha… it’s been a long month for me!

  31. so cute!

  32. What darling tarts! And I agree. I’ve only recently started making jam, but it’s so fun!

  33. wowza, vera, you definitely went all out for this one! truth be told, there isn’t a single combination of these that i wouldn’t savor. i’m so impressed!

  34. Once again, you leave me speechless with your creativity. Wow! Great job on this month’s challenge.

  35. Your fillings are totally inspiring! I’m drooling just reading about them…

  36. Banana-caramel filling? Sounds amazing and I must try that! They look delicious and the fruits are adorable! Great job, as always!

  37. Oh my! All of these jams sound delicious! And, that is such a great idea to make the frangipane with different nuts. Beautiful post!

  38. Oh my gosh!! You win! LOL.
    They are absolutely cuuute!!
    I never even thought about using vegetables for making jams – what a brilliant idea.

  39. Thank you, everybody, for the kind comments! I am really overwhelmed and very grateful to all of you!

  40. You kidding Vera…carrot jam? WOW…I love the idea. The tarts are picture perfect & make perfect pictures. Love the marzipan on top…it’s brilliant. Your blog is always like a breath of fresh air.

  41. Oooohhh these are the loveliest! Love the colours and the bite sized pcs. And carrot jam is sooo clever!

  42. You are so creative! These look absolutely amazing. I am in awe of all those great flavors!

  43. How creative! I’m in love with your little tarts! All of these jams sound delicious! Love the decorations on top – so cute!

  44. All the jam flavours sound so delicious. You’ve exceeded the requirements for this challenge and I totally, totally love it. The presentation, decorations and pictures are amazing.

  45. Wow, 5 different tarts. I’m crazy for your marzapan fruits too. Absolute perfection!!

  46. Fantastic jam flavors and just beautiful artistry! Adorable tiny tarts, they’re irresistible. I love that you added the marzipan fruits too, very creative. Wonderful job!

  47. Just lovely – I wish I had your artistic ability!

  48. These are so cute I could squeal! *squeeeeal* Terrific work on this challenge! And thank you for sharing all your filling ideas. Also, your pictures are stunning!

  49. So amazing. You have out done yourself again! Yummy

  50. Wow!! All of your mini tarts look amazingly delicious =D. I love all of the flavour combinations you made, and the marzipan garnishes are adorable!!

  51. Love those little marzipan fruits and veggies!! And I didn’t know I could make jam from tomatoes and carrots! (and with your pictures everything makes sense!! hehe).

    I’m positive you will win this challenge :)

  52. Oh. My. Goodness. Those little fruit figures are impossibly cute! I don’t think I could bring myself to eat them, they’re just too perfect. The tarts, however, I would devour in a second- they look delicious. :)

  53. Oh, My!!! Your mini Bakewell Tarts are just adorable, I love them!!

  54. Your tarts look divine!!! And so do the marzipan figures! Adorable!!

  55. They are so cute and all of them sound delicious!

  56. Those little fruit and veggies are just the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen. You never ceased to amaze me. All flavours both savoury and sweet look gorgeous.

  57. Brilliant Vera! Love love love all the different jams and combinations! I admire your marzipan fruits, too cute!

  58. Very pretty indeed. I was very much under the weather for this challenge, so I just stuck to the recipe and didnt work too hard on it. It was a very special treat for me, a real reminder of home!

  59. These remind me of those cute little quiches you can buy at Costco, only like 200x better!

  60. Always, always, always gorgeous. You inspire me.

  61. Oh my goodness! First the monkey cake and now these little tarts! You are killing me with cute! Those little tarts are almost too cute to eat – almost… I wouldn’t be able to resist!

  62. Vera,

    These are all absolutely stunning! Beautiful!

  63. Such a cuties…love the way that you presented the little tarts, just lovely, would hate to “destroy” it! Yummie…great pictures as usual.

  64. Thank you all, very much for your lovely comments! I appreciate them greatly!

  65. Bonjour,
    Très Très Jolies Tartelettes :-)))
    Too cute !!!

  66. Wow! Amazing . . . . Intriguing flavor combinations, very original, but the presentation with the marzipan fruit is really stunning.

  67. Cute is not really in a guys vocabulary, but I just can’t think of any other word to describe these! I love that the fruit theme carries beyond just the marzipan on top!

  68. Good Grace, these are so cute. You are truly an amazing baker. It’s show in your DB’s challenge. Truly an artist!

  69. Oh Vera, those are GORGEOUS!!!

  70. OH. WOW. There are not enough words to describe…FANTASTIC!! I love your little fruits and all the wonderful combinations you did. SIMPLY AMAZING!!

  71. P.S. Good job on all the jams you made!

  72. Thank you, everyone, for your wonderful comments!

  73. I am discovering your blog! your work is amazing, so so so Much talent! congratulations!

  74. I’m not much of a jamming but that carrot citrus jam is telling me that I need to try learning this.

  75. the unit of measure for the hot whipping cream needed for the banana carmel filling is not listed.. i’m guessing 1/2 cup?

  76. Laura, it is 1/2 cup, indeed.

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