We went to Bakewell to hike and we ended up eating all the Bakewell pudding. I don’t regret it. It was research–and it led to this delicious dessert.
Around this time last year, Sam and I escaped to the Peak District for the weekend. This area of England never fails to relax and refresh us both. It’s where we go when one of us feels worn thin. The beautiful scenery, fresh air, and pretty little villages never fail to breathe life back into weary souls.
For this trip, we chose a town called Bakewell, nestled in the heart of the Peak District. It’s beautiful, charming and surrounded by gorgeous green hills that are perfect for a light hike.
This picturesque town is also the birthplace of the aptly-named Bakewell pudding: a custard-like almond-y dessert, encased in crisp puff pastry and a thin layer of raspberry jam. When balanced well, the flavor combination is divine.
I wanted to go to Bakewell ever since I heard about Bakewell pudding. I think there’s something special about trying a food where it’s famed to have originated. The problem in Bakewell, as I suppose it is in many places, is that no one agrees which bakery produced the very first Bakewell pudding. As a result, there are three shops that all claim it was from their hallowed kitchens that the first Bakewell pudding came forth in the early 1800s.
There’s quite a rivalry between these shops. To be a fair pudding judge, I decided to try all three versions of the famed confection. They were all coyingly sweet. I jotted down notes as we went shop to shop so I could recreate my own perfect, less-sweet version.
I’ll be honest with you. I’m not trying to recreate a traditional Bakewell pudding at all. The traditional flavor (of all three that I tried) is over-the-top sweet for me. I wanted something creamy with lovely almond and raspberry flavors without the sugar shock. Notes in hand, I sought out to develop my own bakewell pudding set free from the shackles of tourism and tradition. It took some time. One version was far too sweet; another lost the raspberry flavor. It took me a while, but I’ve come up with a recipe I really love, and I hope you will too if you give it a try.
This Bakewell pudding is creamy and not too sweet with a light touch of almond and balanced with mouth puckering raspberry jam and a buttery, crackly puff pastry crust.
If you like learning about British bakes and recipes, check these out:
- 1 package puff pastry or homemade if you prefer!
- 1 whole egg
- 5 egg yolks
- 4 oz. 1 stick unsalted butter, melted & cool slightly
- 1/2 cup superfine sugar
- 1/2 cup ground almonds
- pinch kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1/4 cup raspberry jam stirred up to loosen it
- 2 tablespoons flaked almonds toasted
- powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 400*F. Grease an 8" deep dish pie plate or cast iron skillet with butter. On a clean counter, roll out the puff pastry to 1/8" thick and cut a circle about 10 inches in diameter. Gently place the pastry in the prepared dish and prick the bottom all over with a fork. Line with parchment paper and place pie weights in the lined dish. Blind bake in the preheated oven for 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together the whole egg and the yolks in a medium bowl until completely combined. In a small bowl combine the superfine sugar, ground almonds and salt. Slowly pour the butter into the beaten eggs, whisking as you add it. Once the butter is completely combined with the eggs, add in the dry ingredients and whisk until combined into the egg/butter mixture. Whisk in the lemon zest and almond extract.
When your crust comes out of the oven reduce the temperature to 350*F and remove the parchment and pie weights. Spread the jam evenly over the base, then pour the liquid mixture into the crust. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the top is a deep golden brown and the edges are just set and the center jiggles.
Let the Bakewell Pudding cool for at least 15 minutes. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and powdered sugar to serve.