Today I’m sharing what I think could be the most delicious part of your Easter or Passover meal. Yes, those holidays are right around the corner and yes I’m already planning what we are eating!!
My homemade Bakewell Bars are dreamy. They are almondy, jammy, buttery crust baked goodness and unlike anything I bet your family and friends have tasted before!
I was first introduced to Bakewell in the form of a tart at my husbands Jonathan’s house in London over 30 years ago. Jonathan’s mother is an exceptional baker (which is probably why he has such a sweet tooth), and this dessert of hers quickly became my favorite. I would look forward to my visits to their home with crossed fingers that her specialty would be on the menu!
The Bakewell Tart is a popular dessert in the UK, named after the Derbyshire town of Bakewell. It consists of a short crust pastry case filled with a layer of jam, frangipane and is usually topped with flaked almonds or glacé icing. I mean, can you even???
As a little fyi, I don’t really even like jam all that much but within this recipe I LOVE it and find that it almost makes the dish. My family loves using Raspberry jam in this recipe but if you prefer Strawberry, you can use that too! Any jam will do!
For so many years I wanted to make this divine dessert for Jonathan on my own but it always seemed so complicated and intimidating. So, in true Janine fashion I went to work in the kitchen and tweaked the recipe a little in order to make it easier and more accessible. I turned the tart into bars and just like that it was a hit!
I feel like at this point in the post I can almost read your minds. Some of you call yourselves cooks, some prefer to bake and usually it’s hard to be great at both. This is where those of you who don’t call baking your strong suit are starting to freak out or check out. Don’t! I promise you all that you do not need to be a baker to perfect these Bakewell Bars. This very simple recipe will knock the socks off your friends and family whatever your strength in the kitchen is.
In my tweaking, I also decided to find a way to lower the sugar in this recipe; which I did successfully and did not sacrifice the taste of the bars one bit. You can even use sugar free jam to cut sugar and calories even more and I promise no one will notice.
I have even made this recipe gluten free as lots of my clients have an intolerance to gluten and I wanted them to be able to enjoy it too! It also has a decent amount of fiber in it as well so dare I say these bars are actually good for you?!
Whether you celebrate Easter or Passover (if you’re making this for your Passover table just substitute almond flour in the crust) or are just looking for a way to impress your loved ones with your baking skills, I hope you’ll try my recipe for Bakewell Bars. Light, Springlike, impressive and delicious, my Bakewell Bars are the perfect compliment to any meal spent around the table with family and friends! Xx Janine
Janine’s Bakewell Bars
Line a 9×9 square baking tin with parchment paper on the bottom and sides – to prevent sticking. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1 cup almond flour
1 cup oat flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Tiny pinch of sea salt
1 Stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter (cold), chopped into tiny pieces
1 Tablespoon milk
1 stick unsalted butter (8 tablespoons) – room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla extract
Tiny pinch of sea salt
2 large eggs – room temperature
1 1/4 cup Almond flour
1/2 cup raspberry jam
4 Tablespoons Sliced almonds
To make the crust, combine the almond flour, oat flour, sugar and sea salt, mix well. Add the cold butter that has been cut into tiny pieces and combine into the flour mixture with your fingers until the flour looks like sand (look at the picture).
Add the milk and mix with a fork until the mixture forms a dough. Press the mixture into the bottom of the lined pan and a little up the sides. Put it in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Take the crust out of the freezer after 30 minutes. Cover the top with parchment paper and put something heavy on top, I use canned tomatoes (look at the picture). Place in the oven for 15 minutes.
Take out of the oven and pull the cans off as well as the top parchment paper. The dough should still look a pale beige.
Place back into the oven for 10 minutes until the crust looks light brown, take out of the oven a set aside to cool.
In a large bowl combine, the room temp butter, sugar, salt and vanilla and mix with hand mixer for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time and beat for a few minutes.
Add the almond flour, beat until mixed well, 2 minutes.
Spread the raspberry jam over the top of the crust, do not bring the jam to the edge of the crust – it will get too sticky.
Spread the filling on top of the jam, taking the filling to the edges and try not to bring up the jam – keep it separate from the topping.
Place the sliced almonds on top of the filling, place in the oven for 35 minutes to until light brown.
Remove from the oven, let it cool completely before cutting into bars.