Berry Bakewell Tart
A flaky shortcrust pastry case is filled with a homemade berry-packed conserve, velvety frangipane, and topped with lots of fresh, juicy berries. If you love berries, you must try this tart! It's the perfect vegan dessert to celebrate the delicious taste and nutritional benefits of fresh berries!
If you love a classic Bakewell Tart but fancy something a little different, why not try this Bakewell tart made with mixed berry conserve and fresh mixed berries?! I’ve created many variations of the Bakewell Tart, and I have to say, this recipe is my favourite one by far. The combination of the mixed berries gives the conserve a deeper, fruiter flavour. You could use a shop-bought berry conserve, but I prefer to make my own as I can control the amount of sugar and berries that go into it. Berries are loaded with antioxidants and are a great source of vitamins, minerals and fibre, so I wanted them to be the star ingredient in this tart.
What is Bakewell Tart?
This traditional 18th century English dessert is from a town called Bakewell in Derbyshire. Bakewell tart is a traditionally consists of a flaky shortcrust pastry which is filled with either cherry or raspberry jam, and a velvety frangipane made of ground almonds. It’s usually topped with cherries, flaked almonds and some like to add a drizzle of icing on top.
What is Frangipane?
Frangipane is a variation of soft, spreadable custard that bakers commonly used as a filling in tarts, galettes, and puff pastries. Frangipane is a mixture of butter, eggs, ground almonds and sugar. I created an egg-free frangipane for this recipe, and it turned out just as delicious!
How to store Berry Bakewell Tart
The tart is best eaten on the day its baked, as the crust will lose its crispness the longer it’s left to wait. If you’re not eating it right away, you can store it for 2-3 days on a cake stand with the top covered.
Can this tart be frozen?
Yes, you can freeze tart, but as I’ve mentioned before, this tart is most delicious when it’s eaten fresh. If you’re going to freeze it, then wait for it to cool down completely after it’s been baked, then place it in a container or wrap in in cling film, and store in the freezer for up to a month. To defrost this tart, remove it from the freezer and leave out room temperature for around 4 hours, or until it’s thawed.
Can I Use Store-Bought Shortcrust Pastry for this Tart?
Yes, ready-to-roll shortcrust pastry can be used instead of making your own. If you want to save even more time, you could use a ready baked pastry crust, but I promise you it won’t taste as good as a homemade pie crust.
Berry Bakewell tart Ingredients
Here’s everything you’ll need for this recipe – consider it your shopping list!
For the Shortcrust Pastry:
Plain flour – Used to make the vegan shortcrust pastry.
Sugar - The sugar will give the shortcrust pastry a subtle sweetness. You could use caster sugar instead of granulated sugar, but I wouldn't recommend using brown sugars as they'll change the colour of the crust.
Vegan block butter – I used the Flora vegan butter block, but any plant-based butter will do. using a block butter will give the shortcrust pastry a light and crumbly texture. I wouldn’t recommend using margarine as it won’t create the same outcome.
Sunflower or Vegetable oil – I find that adding a bit of oil to the dough helps to give to shortcrust pastry a flaky texture.
For the berry conserve:
Mixed Berries – I've used a combination of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, but you can use any berry of your choice.
Pectin – You'll need to add some pectin to the berry conserve to help it to set faster. A watery jam or conserve will result in a soggy crust, and you want the crust to remain nice and crisp after baking, so the pectin will help to give the conserve a thicker consistency will will result in a crisper crust.
Sugar – You'll need some white granulated sugar to sweeten the berry conserve. I wouldn't suggest using syrups or sweeteners as they can affect the consistency of the conserve.
lemon juice – The tartness of the lemon juice will help to balance out the sweetness of the berries.
For the Frangipane:
Ground Almonds – the ground almonds are what gives the frangipane a velvety and light texture.
Baking powder - additional raising agents will lighten the texture of the frangipane.
Plain flour – flour is added to the bind the ingredients in the frangipane and to give it a firmer texture.
Unsweetened Almond Milk- Unsweetened almond milk is my favourite plant-based milk, so I tend to use it in my recipes. Depending on which brand you use, the taste is quite mild so it’s great for both sweet and savoury dishes. You could substitute almond milk with other neutral tasting, unsweetened plant-based milks such as oat or soy milk.
Maple Syrup – used to sweeten the frangipane. I wouldn’t recommend substituting the maple syrup with granulated sugar or fruit syrups.
Vanilla extract – the vanilla extract adds a lovely flavour, but it is optional. You could use almond extract instead.
For the Toppings:
Mixed berries – not only do the fresh berries look beautiful on top of the tart, but they also add extra sweetness and a lovely texture when baked.
Flaked Almonds - the flakes almonds add a delicious nutty taste and crisp texture to the tart.
Strawberry jam – This is optional, but if you want you can melt about 1 tablespoon of strawberry jam and brush it over the top of the baked berries to give them a nice glaze.
How to Make Berry Bakewell Tart
To make the mixed berry conserve, put the berries, sugar, pectin and lemon juice in a medium-sized saucepan over a medium heat. Crush the berries a little with a potato masher. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30-35 minutes until most of the liquid from the berries has reduced. Leave the conserve to cool down completely while you prepare the pie crust.
To make the shortcrust pastry, place the flour, sugar, salt, vegan butter, sunflower oil and 2-3 tbsp cold water in a large bowl & mix until the ingredients start to come together. Knead the dough for a few minutes until a smooth dough has formed. Cover the dough with cling film and place in fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/356°F/gas mark 4. Lightly dust a clean surface or a large piece of baking paper with flour and use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to create a ½ cm thick circle big enough to fit a 20cm (8 inch) tart tin. Lift away the dough and place into the tart tin. Don’t worry if the dough breaks apart – just use leftover pieces of the dough to fill in any cracks. Press the edges down and trim away the excess dough and prick the base of the pastry shell with a fork.
Line the pastry case with a large piece of baking paper. To make it easier to remove the baking beans, make sure the baking paper is large enough to extend out from the sides of the pastry case. Fill the lined pastry case with baking beans, and then place in the oven to bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the baking paper and baking beans, and bake for 5 more minutes until lightly golden.
Remove the shortcrust pastry from the oven, and let it cool down for 10 minutes. Once the crust and berry conserve have cooled down completely, evenly spread the berry conserve along the base of the pie case. The berry conserve should have thickened as it cooled down, but if you find that it is still too runny, you may have to add more pectin to it.
To make the frangipane, combine the ground almonds with the plain flour, baking powder, vanilla extract, maple syrup and almond milk. spoon the frangipane on top of the berry conserve layer and spread it evenly. Start by filling the edges of the tart with frangipane to prevent the berry conserve from moving around too much. Scatter the tart with flaked almonds and arrange the mixed berries on top, making sure to press them down slightly into the frangipane. Bake the tart at 180°C/356°F/gas mark 4, for 30-35 minutes until the filling is set and the top is lightly golden. Allow to cool down for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Notes and Tips
I’d recommend you use a tart tin with a removable loose bottom so that the tart is easier to remove once it’s baked.
I'd recommend using the gram measurements rather than the cup conversions. When it comes to baking, accuracy is key, and cups conversions are never as accurate as grams.
For the best, crispy pastry, make sure that you don’t overwork the dough. Before rolling the dough out, place in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
When rolling out the dough, make sure to keep it about ½ cm thick – if the pastry is too thick, it won’t cook through, and it’ll be hard to slice.
Make sure your vegan butter and milk are chilled when preparing the shortcrust pastry as it’ll give it a crisper texture when baked.
Roll the dough out onto a large piece of baking paper to make it easier to transfer into the tart tin.