Damson bakewell

Mark Sargeant uses tangy damsons in a tasty twist on a British classic
By Mark Sargeant
Damson bakewell
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-8
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes plus 30 minutes chilling
  • Effort: medium


For the damson compote

  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  • 20 damsons, stoned and cut into chunks

For the pastry

  • 125 g butter, at room temperature
  • 250 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 90 g caster sugar
  • 1 egg

For the frangipane filling

  • 100 g butter, softened
  • 125 g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 lemon, juice only
  • 150 g ground almonds
  • 2 tbsp flaked almonds

To serve

  • icing sugar, for dusting
  • double cream

Tips and Suggestions

Glaze the top of the tart with apricot jam instead of almonds and sugar, if preferred.


1. For the damson compote: put the sugar into a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat and caramelise until light golden. Add the damsons and cook until the fruit is softened and jam-like in consistency, then set aside.

2. For the pastry: put the butter, flour and sugar into a blender and process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and process until the mixture comes together to form a dough.

3. Remove the dough from the blender and dust with flour. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

5. Roll the pastry out and line a 20-23cm loose-bottomed tart tin, about 2-3cm deep. Blind bake the pastry for 15 minutes, then remove the baking beans and bake for a further 5 minutes to get an even golden colour. Remove and set to one side. Reduce the oven temperature to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

6. For the frangipane filling: put the butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs slowly, one at a time, beating constantly.

7. Mix in the lemon juice and finally fold in the ground almonds.

8. Spread the compote into the pastry case and flatten. Top with the frangipane mixture, pressing it down right to the edges, then sprinkle with the flaked almonds.

9. Bake for 30 minutes or until the tart has turned golden but the middle is still wobbling a little when moved.

10. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

11. To serve, dust with icing sugar and serve with double cream.

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