A gluten free Bakewell tart is a thing of beauty - and it's surprisingly easy to make too. I'm not talking about a tiny little, glacè cherry-topped one like you pick up from Costa Coffee though. I'm talking golden pastry, sweet and sticky frangipane, and beautifully-feathered icing.
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I'm super excited for the start of Great British Bake off this week, and a Bakewell tart is often one of their signature bakes when pastry week rolls around. It's such a traditional and well-loved recipe. And I should know - my practice gluten free Bakewell tart did not last long before it was demolished by a very hungry, almond-loving household, and this one lasted an equally short amount of time.
Making gluten free pastry
Gluten free pastry can be difficult to make. But this Bakewell tart uses a really simple recipe which is hard to get wrong! In fact, I've tried many ready made gluten free shortcrust pastries and this is much easier to handle than any of them. I have a couple of top tips for when you're making gluten free pastry though. Follow these and you'll never get it wrong.
Number one, making sure you cool the pastry thoroughly before using - at least an hour in the fridge. Second, make sure you handle it as little as possible and try cool your hands in cold water first. The hotter the pastry gets, the stickier it becomes. Lastly, and the most important of all, roll the pastry between clingfilm or baking sheets to ensure it doesn't break or stick to the rolling pin. Trust me, this makes it so much easier to handle.
The xanthan gum is also an essential part of this gluten free pastry. It's used in a lot of gluten free bakes because it kind of replicates what gluten does, even if it's not quite as good!
My gluten free Bakewell tart recipe
So here it is, my gluten free Bakewell tart which is guaranteed to impress! Although the instructions look long, it's actually pretty simple to make. Plus, the feathered icing is so easy but looks impressive - your friends and family will think you slaved away for days on this!
For the pastry:
- 225 g gluten free plain flour, (I used Dove's Farm)
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 110 g cold, unsalted butter, (in small cubes)
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 large egg, (beaten with 1 tsp water)
- Pinch salt
For the filling:
- 150 g unsalted butter
- 150 g caster sugar
- 150 g ground almonds
- 1 large egg, (beaten)
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 4 tbsp raspberry jam
For the icing:
- 300 g icing sugar
- 4 tbsp cold water
- 1 tsp almond extract
- pink food colouring
- First make the pastry. Add the flour, xantham gum, salt, sugar and butter to a large mixing bowl. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until it starts to look like breadcrumbs.
- Add the egg and water to the mixture and using a fork, push together until it begins to form a smooth ball. If it looks a little dry then add some extra water, 1tsp at a time, until it is the desired consistency. Roll into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and chill for one hour.
- Preheat the oven to 180'C/Gas 6. Remove the cold pastry from the fridge, and roll it out between two pieces of clingfilm dusted with a little extra gluten free flour. You want it to be between 0.5-1cm thick.
- Take a 23cm (9 inch) flan tin, remove the top layer of clingfilm and then wrap the pastry over the rolling pin. Lay the pastry over the clingfilm with the second sheet of clingfilm still on top. Remove the clingfilm and gently press into the tin, making sure to handle it as little as possible.
- Trim the edges (see note 1), prick the base with a fork and then line with baking paper. Use baking beans/weights (or dried lentils/rice) and blind bake the pastry for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, remove the baking beans and then bake for a further 5 minutes until golden. Remove and set aside to cool slightly. Turn the oven down to 160'C/Gas 4
- Meanwhile make the frangipane by adding the butter and sugar to a large mixing bowl and beating until pale. Then add the almond, almond extract and egg and beat together until combined.
- In the bottom of the pastry case, evenly spread the raspberry jam, then top with the frangipane. Spread out smooth until the whole base is covered. Place back in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden, and a skewer comes out clean from the centre. Remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
- For the icing, mix the icing sugar, almond extract and water together to make a smooth, thick paste. Set aside 2-3 tbsp in a small bowl and add the pink food colouring. Spread the white icing evenly over the tart until covered. Then, using a piping bag and thin nozzle, pipe pink lines across the white icing. Drag a cocktail stick through them (at a 90' angle to the lines) to create a feathered effect.
- Leave to set and then serve.
1: You want to make sure you allow a little space for shrinkage, this video by the BBC is really helpful in showing you the best way to trim pastry and it is how I now do it all the time!
Need some more baking inspiration?
If you’ve made this gluten free Bakewell tart and want to try some other gluten free bakes, I have plenty of recipe inspiration for you! Why not try my…
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