Inspired by the Great British Bake Off, these Mini British Bakewell Tarts marry a homemade kirsch cherry and raspberry jam with a soft and buttery almond frangipane filling. Perfect for tea time or anytime!Adapted from Paul Hollywood and King Arthur Baking
Make the shortcrust pastry dough: Measure your ingredients using a kitchen scale. It's the most accurate and will give the most consistent results.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, and salt.
Toss the cubed butter into the flour mixture, then use a pastry blender to cut it into the flour until coarse, pea-sized crumbs appear. Set aside.
Whisk the egg, chilled water, and lemon juice or vinegar together. Add to the dough and mix until the dough just holds together.
Do not over mix the dough (you want to keep that butter cold and separate from the flour). Don't worry if the dough has a slight lemony or vinegary smell...that will dissipate during baking and/or be overwhelmed by the filling.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and push together into a rough ball. Knead a few times to combine, then divide into a ball. Flatten the ball into a disc with smooth edges (no cracks), cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to overnight. If you refrigerate the dough for more than 30 minutes, you may have to rest it for a few minutes at room temperature before it will be soft enough to roll out.
Make the kirsch cherry and raspberry jam: While the dough is chilling, drain the cherries, reserving the juice. Chop the cherries roughly into quarters if needed.
Make a slurry with the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of the reserved juice. Pour the remaining juice into a small saucepan, then whisk in the slurry. Stir in the sugar, then add the raspberries and chopped cherries.
Place over a medium heat and bring slowly to the boil, stirring until thickened. Simmer for 2 minutes. The jam is ready when it will form a gel (see the Recipe Notes below). Mash the berries with a potato masher.
Remove from heat, and strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove the raspberry seeds. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Blind bake the shortcrust pastry: Preheat the oven to 375 °F. Lightly dust a rolling surface with flour. Use even pressure to roll the dough out front to back and on the diagonals. Turn and loosen the dough occasionally as you continue to roll the pastry out into a circle about 14 inches in diameter with a thickness of between ⅛ to ¼-inch (no higher than the height of two stacked quarters).
Cut four circles of dough with the 6-inch round cookie cutter, re-rolling the dough if necessary. Transfer the dough to a mini tart pan. Press the crust into the pan, up on the sides and leaving the dough overhanging the rim. Use a rolling pin to roll over the rim to create a neat edge.
Save the dough scraps to repair the crust later if needed. Prick the bottom all over with a fork.
Tear off a piece of foil that fits over the mini tart pan with overhang (or add extra foil as needed). Spray the foil with baking spray to keep it from sticking to the dough. Press the foil into each tart pan and tightly up against the sides. Bring the foil up over the rim and mold it to the sides of the tart pan. Freeze the crust for 15 minutes.
Place the tart pans to a quarter sheet baking pan. Bake the tarts with the foil on for 12 minutes. You don't need to use baking beads or beans using this frozen-foil method.
Carefully remove the foil from each tart pan. If any of the shells have puffed up, gently press it back down. Any tears or cracks in the shell can be repaired with the dough scraps. Return the tarts to the oven and bake until they're golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes more.
Remove the tarts from the oven to cool on the baking pan while you make the almond frangipane topping.
Make the almond frangipane topping: Lower the oven to 350 °F.
Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the flour, ground almonds, and the almond extract.
Assemble the tarts: Spread the cooled jam over each of the pastry crusts. Top each with the frangipane and gently spread it to the edges of the tart, smoothing out the surface with a small offset spatula.
Bake for 10 minutes, then scatter the sliced almonds on top and bake for a further 10 to 12 minutes until the filling is golden and a cake tester is clean.
Allow the tarts to cool completely in the tart pans before removing. Dust with powdered sugar, and slice each tart into 3 servings. Enjoy!
Bakewell Tarts can be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container for a few days. They can also be frozen, wrapped with plastic wrap and sealed in an airtight bag for longer storage.
If you prefer to use frozen butter, grate it with a box grater and toss it directly onto the flour mixture, mixing it up as you go, then cut it in.When making shortcrust pastry dough, you have to be flexible about the amount of water to add as the actual amount will depend on the humidity of the day. Squeeze a small amount of dough between your fingers and if it is very crumbly, add more chilled water, 1 tablespoon at a time (2 tablespoons maximum).If you don't have jarred kirsch cherries, chop 2 cups of pitted cherries and transfer to a jar. Pour Kirsch liqueur to cover the cherries and allow to sit for a few hours or overnight.You can replace the kirsch cherries with 1 cup (120g) of raspberries and ½ cup water, or just use store bought raspberry jam.How to determine when the jam will form a gel, use the spoon test from Epicurious: Dip a cool metal spoon into the hot fruit. Immediately lift it out and away from the steam and turn it horizontally. At the beginning of the cooking process, the liquid will drip off in light, syrupy drops. Trying again a minute or two later, the drops will be heavier. The jam is done when the drops are very thick and two run together before falling off the spoon.