Vegan Lemon Bakewell Tart
A twist on the classic Cherry Bakewell, this citrus-flavoured tart is filled with buttery lemon curd, lots of fresh lemon zest, and a soft, velvety frangipane filling. If you like lemon desserts, you’ll love this Lemon Bakewell Tart!
If you love Cherry Bakewell Tart but fancy something a little different, you need to try this Bakewell tart made with buttery lemon curd. A flaky shortcrust pastry case is filled with homemade or shop-bought vegan lemon curd, and a velvety frangipane made of ground almonds and lots of lemon zest. Full of fresh, lemon flavour, this is the perfect summertime dessert!
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 Lemon Bakewell Tart
The Lemon Bakewell 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.
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 Filling:
Homemade or shop-bought vegan lemon curd – Make sure to use a good quality, thick set lemon curd. A runny lemon curd will result in a soggy crust, and you want the crust to remain nice and crisp after baking.
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.
Lemon Zest – you’ll need the zest of two large unwaxed lemon. If you’re using waxed lemons, make sure to scrub the wax of in warm water beforehand.
For the Toppings:
Fresh lemon – you’ll need a few lemon wedges to decorate the Bakewell Tart
Flaked Almonds - the flakes almonds add a delicious nutty taste and crisp texture to the tart.
How to Make Lemon Bakewell Tart
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 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 has cooled down completely, evenly spread 8-10 tbsp of vegan lemon curd along the base.
To make the frangipane, combine the ground almonds with the plain flour, baking powder, vanilla extract, lemon zest, maple syrup and almond milk. Spoon the frangipane on top of the lemon curd layer and spread it evenly. Start by filling the edges of the tart with frangipane to prevent the lemon curd from moving around. Scatter the tart with flaked almonds and place the lemon wedges on top. 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.