Retro recipe #2 – Lemon Bakewell tart

Last weekend I had a lovely Sunday lunch and afternoon watching football/cooing over a friend’s 3 and 19 month old boys. Lots of energy was spent playing peek-a-boo with the toddler and running after him so it was a good job we had a hearty lunch.

For starters we had a very thick tomato, pepper and chorizo soup* with garlic and rosemary focaccia bread. Next we had a lovely chicken, ham and leek pie with a puff pastry top with piles of roast potatoes and veg. After a short interlude was dessert, made by my fair hands.

retro recipes

Flicking through the Radiation Cookbook yesterday the recipe that jumped out was Bakewell Tart. Lots of the recipes in the book are quite different from what I/we eat nowadays so it felt safe to start with a recognisable dish.

lemon bakewell pastry

The recipe suggested using jam or lemon curd, and also gave a choice of ground almonds or cake crumbs. I chose lemon curd** and so decided to use cake crumbs so the flavours wouldn’t be in competition with each other. It was pretty straightforward to make and was a resounding success – we did the Great British Bake Off pastry test and the base was perfectly cooked. When I asked my friends for a quote, M said something along the lines of “I don’t really like eating puddings, but I think I’m going to have thirds.”

lemon bakewell success

Radiation Cookbook Lemon Bakewell Tart

8oz short crust pastry (made with 8oz flour, 4oz marg,

pinch, 1 tsp sugar and 1/4 tsp baking powder)
Lemon curd (maybe a generous 1/3 of a jar)
1/4 lb marg
1/4 lb caster sugar
1 whole egg and 2 egg yolks
2-3 drops of lemon extract
2oz cake crumbs

Line a 8 1/2 inch pastry tin with the pastry, press into the fluted edges and spread lemon curd all over the pastry case.
Cream the butter and sugar together, then add the lemon extract and unbeaten eggs, one at a time. Beat well then add the cake crumbs. Spread this mixture over the lemon curd to three-quarters fill the pie. Bake on a hot baking tray in the oven for 40 minutes at 180ºC

To decorate like a traditional Bakewell tart (when cooled) cover with a thin layer of water icing (icing sugar and enough water to get a good consistency). Immediately drizzle with lines of melted dark chocolate, then run a skewer through to create the traditional feathered effect.

lemon bakewell

*Hello daddy, yes I did eat my first ever full bowl of soup because it was very thick and chunky. For people who don’t know me in real life, I should explain I have a real aversion to liquid foods – I don’t eat custard or gravy because the consistency freaks me out. But I tried it because I ate sushi in December and so was feeling brave!
** another food I have only recently appreciated after avoiding it due to memories of my big brother taunting me we lemon curd when we were younger.


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