Thursday, July 23, 2009
I have a confession: I absolutely adore the bright red jam you get in baked goods such as jam donuts. I have always wanted to be able to buy it to use in cooking, or indeed just to slather on toast. Nothing similar seems to be readily available in supermarkets, but I recently discovered it is possible to buy it online at Simply No Knead, so I purchased several small containers which arrived earlier this week. This mysterious jam turns out to be apple and raspberry jam, with more apple than raspberry.
Today I decided to put the jam to use by making bakewell bars. Bakewell tart has a layer of jam over the base of the pastry case, topped with a layer of frangipane (almond sponge); these bars are the same but are cooked as a slice instead. The recipe is from Rachel Allen's book 'Bake'. It is slightly different from other recipes I have seen as the frangipane layer contains an equal quantity of semolina as it does almond meal. It also has almond essence so you still get a nice almondy flavour. Having Dutch heritage and consequently an adoration of marzipan, nothing can ever be too almondy for my taste, so the addition of almond essence is a welcome one to make up for having less ground almonds. The semolina obviously changes the texture of the top layer - it is more crumbly and less fine, a more cake-like texture, I suppose. I will have to try it with all almond meal next time to better compare.
The pastry layer covered with jam. The instructions were to roll the pastry out, but I just pressed the dough straight into the tin to cover the base with my fingers and smoothed it out a bit with the back of a spoon.
The almond sponge layer