Friday, June 30, 2006

Lemons baked well

It seems I've been having an obsession with lemons of late, and any attempts to hide the infatuation have been feeble. At least I'm not the only one.

When Andrew decided to have a one-off food blog event in response to the Independent's report about the decline of popularity of the Bakewell Tart, I knew I had to be involved. Not only had I never made a Bakewell before, I had never actually tasted one. The Bakewell Tarts found on the High Street bakeries had never tempted me with their sickly sweet icing yet various food programmes about the Bakewell had intrigued me. It is a well known fact that the original Bakewell recipe is a highly guarded secret and I would imagine that Andrew's recipe is probably the one closest to it.

What I'm particularly concerned about is how the original Bakewell Pudding has evolved and been interpretated across the decades. When did almonds become involved? Was the icing added to appeal to a sugar loving generation to increase market sales? And, in this ever increasing health conscious society, what can we do to keep it and its ingredients alive?

While researching this, I came across Delia's recipe for the Lancaster Lemon Tart which was tagged as being a first cousin of the Bakewell Tart. This doesn't really suprise me, with Lancashire being only a county over from Derbyshire. To be honest, I think Delia made this one up, as I couldn't find any other reference to it, apart from her cookbook. But I thought it was a nice varient and it gave me a brilliant opportunity to try out Clotilde's Almond and Lemon Curd. I definately recommend the curd recipe - it was simple and oh, so tasty, and the Tart was a great way to show it off. It's so tasty, infact, I think I'm going to have piece right now along with that other great English tradition - Pimm's.


Jeanne said...

Oh wow - that sounds delicious! We had a bit of a Bakewell tart taste-off at the Henley Regatta over the weekend, with at least 3 bloggers' variations to try and the conclusion I came to is that the jammy/fruity part needs to be quite tart in order for the whole thing to work, so I imagine lemon must be fabulous!

Santos said...

ahh, i just bought a bottle of pimms, so it's the perfect opportunity to try more curd recipes and bakewell tart as well!

Bonnie said...

Hi Jeanne,

I quite agree that it should be quite tart as well, otherwise there's a bit of a risk that it could turn out like a Jammie Dodger or something - definately need to go easy on the sugar if a berry jam or other is being used.

Hi Santos,

Enjoy your Pimm's and don't forget the cucumber!!

anna said...

Hi Bonnie,

I really like the sound of this tart. I love lemon flavoured puddings, and I think the sharp sweetness would work well to complement the almond flavour.

jenjen said...

I never thought of doing this tart with lemons but this looks great. It's simple yet satisying.

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