traces of echo

Close your eyes. Open palms like a book. Traces of a note or two fill the air.

Almond. Ground apricot kernels. Lemon.

Take a bite. What do you taste?

The subtle sweet and sour air you inhale when you step inside an Italian pastry shop.

Another taste.

Nutty citrus cream sunken into a soft, tender crust with a surprising cookie crunch.

Now open your eyes.

A Bakewell Tartlet with an almond spelt crust, a layer of lemon curd covered with Frangipane cream and topped off with a small Italian macaroon. This is a tart to serve any time of day. With a faint echo of sugar coated almonds and bright lemon sun, its flavors reverberate with each bite.

The June Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart… er… pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800’s in England.

Lemon Almond Tartlets
Yield 8 individual tarts

Step 1. Crust
Step 2. Lemon curd
Step 3. Frangipane cream

Step 4. Assemble tartlets and bake

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Remove the preformed tartlet dough from the refrigerator. Fill each muffin cup with a layer of lemon curd (about 1/4 inch thick) followed by a layer of Frangipane cream (about 3/4 inch thick).

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until crust is set and slightly brown. Let cool for 10 minutes in muffin tin. Run a knife around the edge to loosen tartlets. Serve with a drizzle of brown rice syrup and an Italian macaroon on top.

Almond Spelt Flour Crust
adapted from VegNews (May/June 2009) Coconilla Cream Tart recipe by Beverly Lynn Bennett

1 1/4 cups white spelt flour
1/4 almonds, finely ground
1/4 cup cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 cup organic virgin coconut oil (solid form, don’t melt)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons cold water

Lightly oil 8 cups in a muffin tin. Whisk together flour, ground almonds, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir in coconut oil and vanilla until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a soft dough. Form dough into a ball, then flatten into a disc.

Cut dough into eighths. Roll each disc out between two pieces of parchment paper. Place rolled dough into a muffin cup. Press dough into the bottom and sides of pan. Poke crust with tines of a fork in several places. Repeat with remaining dough, until 8 cups filled. Cover and refrigerate until ready to bake.

Lemon Curd
adapted from The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre

2 tablespoons agar flakes
1 cup rice milk
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup cane sugar
pinch turmeric
pinch coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons kudzu mixed with 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest

In a medium saucepan, whisk together agar flakes, rice milk, brown rice syrup, sugar, turmeric, and salt. Simmer about 5 minutes, until agar flakes dissolve.

In a separate bowl, dissolve kudzu in water. Add the kudzu mixture to the agar-rice mixture in the simmering saucepan. Using a wooden spoon, cook about 5-10 minutes stirring frequently, until the mixture is thick and sticks to the back of the spoon. To test, trace finger across the coated spoon, a clean line should form.

Remove saucepan from heat and add lemon juice and zest and vanilla. Mix well; set aside.

Frangipane Cream
adapted from Chez Panisse Desserts by Lindsey Remolif Shere

2 cups almond milk
1/3 cup white spelt flour
6 tablespoons cane sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons Ener-G Egg Replacer mixed with 6 tablespoons warm water (= 3 eggs)
2 tablespoons organic virgin coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 Italian macaroons, finely crushed (I used Amaretti di Saronno Lazzaroni)
several drops of kirsch or brandy

In a saucepan, heat the almond milk to a near boil. In another saucepan, mix the flour and sugar together. Add the hot milk to the flour-sugar mixture and cook over medium heat. Bring mixture to a boil for a minute or two, stirring constantly.

Stir the egg replacer and water together then add to the flour mixture. Cook until thick; do not allow mixture to boil.

Remove from heat, stir in coconut oil. Stir in vanilla, crushed Italian macaroons, and kirsch or brandy. Allow mixture to cool, cover with plastic and refrigerate until cool, then whisk until smooth.


  1. Lisa Michelle says

    OMG, your tarts are the almond spelt crust, and lemon, but that shot of the interior is making my mouth water! Awesome job as always!

  2. Anula says

    Your tarts look great – very delicious, mouth watering! And what a nice idea with the lemon taste – I'm sure it was delicious :)

  3. Miriam says

    They look wonderful! I will definitely try that crust, I use spelt a lot, seems to be healthier than over-refined bleached flour.

  4. Hilary says

    Your Italian take on the Bakewell Tart is really neat! It makes perfect sense too, since almonds are quite prevalent in Italian sweets. Lovely job.

  5. Jo says

    Your tartlets look amazing and absolutely delicious. Great choice on the flavours and it makes the whole packaging so delightful.

  6. nikki says

    Thanks for all your comments! Lemons and almonds play so nicely together! This recipe will give you some leftover lemon curd, perfect for spreading on toast, muffins, or just eating straight from the jar…

    shashakoe- kudzu is a perennial vine that grows in Asia and the southeastern U.S. the kudzu root is ground to a powdered form, and is a versatile starch used as a thickener. it works really well in desserts (puddings, pie fillings, curds) sauces, and gravy and it doesn't separate after cooking.

    conor- i share your double dessert sentiment, and the bonus here is that the italian macaroons on top reiterate the crushed macaroons used in the frangipane cream.

    miriam- i really like using white spelt flour as a substitute for APF for pastry desserts, it is a bit lighter than whole grain spelt and it gives a subtle nutty flavor!

  7. Valérie says

    Soooo pretty! I also used a lemon curd (albeit my version was a lot less sophisticated than yours), and I really do think it's a great match for the frangipane. Beautiful job, bravo!

  8. ice tea: sugar high says

    Love the almond spelt crust. So healthy. I agree, lemon go very well with the frangipane. Well done, your tart look fantastic

  9. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says

    What adorable tarts and I like the idea of using lemon curd (which I eat by the spoonful) :)

  10. Annemarie says

    Lovely sounding tart, and I love the crust. Looks fabulous – great work and thanks for partcipating.

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