Irish Bakewell Buns
Growing up in Canada, I’d never really heard of bakewell tarts until a few years ago.
In fact, since I moved to Ireland almost exactly 1.5 years ago, I’ve been introduced to a whole slew of new things (I’m sure you’re shocked to hear that).
Some things I’ve learned:
1. Sliced Pan = sliced bread
2. Potato chips are crisps. Most of you know that. But did you know crisps can be a sandwich filling? And, in fact, all you would need for this sandwich are crisps, sliced pan and butter? Did you know that was a thing? I didn’t.
3. When someone asks you if you want salad with your sandwich at a cafe and you say yes, you generally get several kinds of mayo-laden potatoes and coleslaws. Gotta say, I don’t always mind. I really like mayo.
4. What we think is breakfast in Canada is a piece of crap on a plate compared to Irish breakfast. Brunch; however, is still better in North America.
5. When an Irish person asks what your favourite food is and you respond with “poutine”, what the Irish person will hear is “poitín”. This is Irish moonshine, and until the misunderstanding is clarified you will be considered an alcoholic (ask my now-sister-in-law).
6. We all know that what Canadians consider cookies are known as biscuits around here. And what we would consider biscuits are actually scones (sorta). But did you know that cupcakes are simply known as buns? I mean, sometimes you’ll see them called cupcakes. But they’re mostly buns.
Well, this was my first attempt at an Irish bun. The bakewell. You can find these at most bakeries around the country. They consist of shortcrust pastry bottoms, jammy middles and Madeira sponge tops. And, yes, I know what you’re thinking.
“Aren’t bakewells normally made with ground almonds?”
Yes. Over the past few years I’ve learned what a bakewell tart is, and classically, it’s made with ground almond sponge – not Madeira. But I’ve also learned something else, having lived the past 1.5 years in Ireland:
Who the hell cares?
It tastes nice both ways. Forget about it and enjoy the flaky bottom, jammy middle and spongy top. You’ll forget about being culinarily politically correct, I promise.
* These buns are normally made with raspberry or strawberry jam, but being the good little Nova Scotian I am, I used wild blueberry (thanks for providing, Bon Maman).
Irish Bakewell Buns
Chilled pie dough, ready to roll out
3/4 cup softened butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp good quality vanilla
pinch of sea salt
3 eggs (room temperature)
1 cup AP flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp whole milk
3/4 cup jam of any kind – or dulce de leche, or nutella… whatever you want the filling to be
Powdered sugar, for dusting
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees (160 degrees Celsius, no fan). Grease a muffin tin and set aside.
- Roll out your pie dough. Use a circular cookie cutter to cut out the dough. Line the bottoms of the muffin tin with the pie dough and set aside.
- Using your stand mixer or a hand mixer (paddle attachment), cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla & salt. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Continue beating the mixture until pale, fluffy, light and increased in volume (about five minutes at medium speed).
- Add the flour and baking powder. Mix slightly. Add the milk. Mix on high for 30 seconds to incorporate everything.
- Spoon a heaping teaspoon of jam on each pie crust liner, then add two heaping tablespoons of Madeira batter on top of the jam.
- Bake at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes. They’re ready when a toothpick inserted into the sponge comes out clean.
- Allow to cool slightly before removing from the pan. Dust with powdered sugar and try to eat the same day.