Chocolate chip cookies, potato chips, Silly Putty. All of these were invented by mistake. Another accidental invention? The Bakewell Tart. According to my friend Farmette, the tart came into existence in the 1860s when a kitchen maid in Bakewell, England accidentally poured almond sponge cake batter on top of a tart. The result? Pure pastry genius, and now, Bakewell Tarts are a staple in bakeries throughout England.
This tart always reminds me of the holidays, when nothing exits my kitchen without at least a splash of almond flavor (cue the Dance of the Marzipans...), and it just so happens that this tart in bar form is the perfect holiday-party treat. These bars can be made ahead of time to reduce party-planning stress, they travel well so they're good for potlucks and they're not too rich, so you can eat that extra bit of Christmas goose and still have room.
Here’s how to make them!
Kneed two, softened Pillsbury pie crusts together; roll out into rectangle to fit in bottom of ungreased 13x9-inch glass pan. Place in pan. With fork, poke holes all over crust. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F.
Spread raspberry preserves over crust in pan; set aside.
In large bowl, beat egg whites with electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add 3 tablespoons sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
In another large bowl, beat together almond paste and 1/2 cup sugar. Add butter; beat until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks one at a time. Beat in lemon peel, lemon juice, almond extract and salt. Gradually beat in flour.