I am never quite sure which is a Bakewell tart and which is a Bakewell pudding, but this has all the fabulous cherry and almond flavour of either. This is so good I made it for my mum a while back and next thing I knew, she had cleaned all my windows and hoovered the whole house to say thanks.
Use frozen cherries as they have much more juice to make the pudding stickier and moist. The ground almonds make it incredibly light and moreish, so try not to skip them if you can.
Start by buttering and flouring a 1.2-litre pudding basin, including the lid if it has one.
Heat the cherries and the 3 tablespoons of sugar in a small saucepan until the sugar dissolves and the fruit starts to burst and the juice is released. Take off the heat before the fruit collapses and set aside.
Cream the butter and the remaining sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time until the mixture is loose and airy. Add the almond essence and combine.
Fold in the flour and ground almonds. Add in the milk and combine gently. The batter should be a light texture.
Put 100g of the cherries in the bottom of the basin and then pour the batter over the top of them. It won’t fill the basin, but don’t worry as this will give it space to expand as it cooks. Reserve the remaining cherries until later.
Cover the basin with the lid; set it into the slow-cooker crock. Pour boiling water into the crock to come halfway up the side of the basin. Put the lid on the slow cooker and steam on high for 4 hours. It will rise, becoming a light, fluffy sponge.
Turn the pudding out onto a plate, piling the reserved cherries on top, and allow the cherry juice to drizzle down the sides of the pudding before cutting into slices. Serve with plain yoghurt or custard.