Bakewell Tart

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Bakewell tart (or Bakewell pudding) is more of a tart than a pudding, but was always known as a pudding until the 20th century. It is still so called in the Derbyshire town of Bakewell, but the name ‘tart’ is now generally prevalent.

Medieval precursors date back to the 15th century and were called ‘flathons’ (see flan). There were two main kinds. One was filled with a sweet, rich egg custard over a layer of chopped candied fruit on the pastry shell. A second version was originally made without eggs, butter, or milk, and was a Lenten flathon; the filling was of ground almonds and sugar made into a liquid paste and flavoured with spices. In the succeeding centuries names such as ‘egg tart’ and ‘almond tart’ came into use.