Posts Tagged ‘tart’

Cakes & Bakes: Yorkshire curd tarts

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

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detailed view of two Yorkshire curd tarts

I’d never eaten Yorkshire curd tarts before I’d moved to Yorkshire. I’ve never eaten a home made one until this week – just supermarket-bought… which were nice, but just nice. If you’ve never had one, I’d say they’re a cross between a cross between an Eccles cake, cheesecake and an egg custard tart.

They’ve been made since the 17th century, usually around Whitsuntide, using leftover curds from cheesemaking. Rather than being cooked in cake or tart tins, they’re traditionally done in saucers. Don’t try this if you think your lovely vintage china saucers may shatter in the oven!

I’ve wanted to make them before but I’ve never seen curd for sale anywhere. Now that I know how easy it is to make my own curds, I’ve giving Yorkshire curd tarts a go!

You’ll need 2 pints of full-fat milk to make the right amount of curd for this recipe. Don’t be disappointed by the curd to whey ratio. All that resultant liquid shouldn’t be wasted. It can be used in bread making, cooking pasta, soaking & cooking pulses, lassi… some people even recommend using it as a shampoo!

I used a recipe from Joan Poulson’s Old Yorkshire Recipes teamed with Delia Smith’s version of shortcrust pastry.

Cakes & Bakes: Yorkshire curd tarts

Yield: Makes 4 tarts

Cakes & Bakes: Yorkshire curd tarts


  • For the filling
  • 225g/8oz curds use 2pts of milk & 2tbs white or white wine vinegar
  • 2 eggs
  • 115g/4oz sugar
  • 55g/2oz currants
  • small knob of butter, melted
  • a little grated lemon rind I left this out
  • pinch of grated nutmeg
  • For the shortcrust pastry
  • 115g/4oz plain flour
  • 55g/2oz butter, at room temperature
  • pinch of salt
  • dash of cold water


  1. To make the pastry: Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl
  2. Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour
  3. Using your fingertips, gently rub the fat into the flour
  4. When the mixture looks uniformly crumbly, sprinkle over about 2tbs of cold water
  5. Bring the mixture together using a round-bladed dinner knife; mixing and cutting
  6. Bring the mixture together with your hands to form a smooth ball of dough that will leave the bowl clean
  7. Rest the pastry, wrapped in cling film or tin foil, in the fridge for 20-30 minutes while you make the filling
  8. To make the filling: Heat the milk until almost boiling and add the vinegar
  9. Remove from the heat and stir until it curdles
  10. Allow to cool slightly before straining through a fine muslin you can save the whey to use in bread baking or soaking/cooking pulses
  11. Mix the curds with the dried fruit and flavourings
  12. Beat the eggs well and stir into the curd mixture with the sugar and melted butter
  13. Roll out the pastry and line 4 oven-proof saucers/sideplates before adding the curd mixture
  14. Bake in a moderate oven (180ºC/350F) for 20 minutes or until set

Bookmarks: Pie

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

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'Pie' book by Genevieve Taylor

Today’s Bookmarks review features Pie by Genevieve Taylor. What a treat as we love a good pie… who doesn’t?

foreword in 'Pie' book by Genevieve Taylor

We haven’t met the world’s lone pie-hater yet either!

game pie

Buttery pastry & rich fillings – tasty, hearty & homely. What’s not to like?

salmon encroute

You can, of course, find bad examples – the infamous petrol station pie springs to mind – cold, pale, soggy & bland. A very poor substitute for the wonderful offerings in this book.

apple pie

They’re not difficult things to make. A bit of preparation maybe, but once they’re in the oven, they look after themselves. No last minute running around. Just the gorgeous smell of bubbling fillings &  pastry browning to heighten the appetite.

double crust pie

This book expertly guides you through the whole process.

lamb filo pie

There’s an early chapter covering pastry – different types, methods, techniques & tips.

different pastry recipes

Then lots of examples of what to do with it.

suet pudding

Hot pies, cold pies, sweet & savoury pies.

smoked gammon pie

Pies from Britain & the rest of Europe , North Africa, America and the Caribbean.

leek, bacon and cheese quiche

It features meat & vegetarian options.

Greek pie

Some very traditional pies such as steak & ale, cheese & onion and raised game. Others are far less familiar – Tunisian egg pastry pie, creamed celeriac & Serrano ham tartlets, greengage & ginger strudels.

steak and ale rough puff pie

There are a hundred recipes in all, so you’ll never run out of ideas!

lattice pie pie

The wonderful photography by Mike Cooper is sure to inspire you. The pies are beautifully staged with wooden boards, old knives, vintage enamelware, tins & crockery. The lighting is superb and the images really live.

summer tartlet

Recipes are clear & concise – each neatly fitting onto its own page so there’s no turning backwards & forwards.

Moroccan carrot tart tatin

When it comes to pie, home-made is definitely best so this book is a must for any kitchen shelf. Pies can provide the perfect meal for a relaxed family gathering, a light lunch or a dinner party.

weekend pies

We defy you to read this book and not want to get baking.

smoked salmon tarts

So what’s keeping you – there’s pie to be made!!

stargazy pie

Pie is also available from Hive and Amazon.

Here’s a little preview of the first pie we tried from the book. It’s a leek, blue cheese & wild garlic pie – an interesting combination of ingredients that could all be locally sourced… and truly delicious which is the most important thing. Blog post with recipe to follow in a couple of days!

blue cheese with wild garlic pie

[Many thanks to Bloomsbury for this review copy]

Cakes & Bakes: Mushroom and broccoli quiche

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

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slice of mushroom and broccoli quiche with side salad

It’s been a while since our Cakes & Bakes series featured something savoury – it’s been very cake-heavy of late! In order to redress the balance, here’s a very easy-to-make and very tasty mushroom & broccoli quiche.

You can buy a range of quiches quite cheaply in any supermarket – but you just can’t beat a home-made, straight-out-of-the-oven version though! Pair it with a side salad for a healthy, hearty afternoon meal.

Cakes & Bakes: Mushroom and broccoli quiche

Yield: 6-8 slices

Cakes & Bakes: Mushroom and broccoli quiche


  • For the pastry
  • 110g/4oz plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 50g/2oz Stork or other margarine, cubed
  • 2tbs cold water
  • For the filling
  • 25g/1oz butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 8 closed cup or chestnut mushrooms, chopped
  • 2-4 stems of tenderstem or purple sprouting broccoli (depending on length)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 275ml/½pint double cream
  • sea salt & freshly milled pepper to taste (we swear by Bart Bristol Five Blend peppercorns)
  • 75g hard cheese such as mature cheddar or Gruyère, grated


  1. Sift the flour & pinch of salt into a medium-sized mixing bowl
  2. Add the cubes of Stork gently rubbing them into the flour until it resembles crumbly breadcrumbs
  3. Sprinkly over the cold water, 1tbs at a time bringing together the mixture with your hands until it forms a smooth ball of dough and the bowl is clean
  4. If it's still a bit crumbly you may need a few more drops of water. Be careful not to add too much
  5. Wrap the ball of dough in cling film (Saran wrap) and refrigerate for at least half an hour
  6. Preheat the oven to 170ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4
  7. Once chilled, roll out the dough into a circular shape (with a circumference slightly larger than the dish)
  8. Carefully ease the rolled out pastry over the top of a flan dish or shallow tin. Press the pastry into the sides and base of the dish.
  9. Prick the base all over with a fork or skewer
  10. Bake the empty pastry base for 15-20 minutes
  11. Remove from the oven while you prepare the filling
  12. Heat the butter in a medium-sized saucepan on a low heat and soften the onions in it for a few minutes
  13. Stir in the chopped mushrooms and cook for half and hour or so, stirring often, until the liquid has evaporated
  14. Using a slotted spoon, evenly put the onion & mushroom mix on the pre-baked quiche base and lay the spears of broccoli on top
  15. In a measuring jug or similar, whisk the eggs together thoroughly before adding the cream and whisking again. Season with salt & pepper before pouring over the tart filling
  16. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top
  17. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the centre is set and the cheese nicely browned

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Cakes & Bakes: Manchester Tart

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

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Square of Manchester tart on a plate on an orange background

I’ve been meaning to try to make a Manchester tart for ages. It’s a fairly local dish although not all that common to find… and consists a host of things we both love! Bananas, dessicated coconut, jam and custard. A Northern dish made from exotic ingredients like bananas and coconut!

I found and slightly adapted a Marcus Wareing recipe I found online. There are lots of stages – it’s not quick to whip up, but it’s a scrumptious, filling dessert – I’ll be making it again soon!

Cakes & Bakes: Manchester Tart

Serving Size: 6-9 slices

Cakes & Bakes: Manchester Tart


  • Base
  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten
  • 175g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Filling
  • 200g raspberry jam ( I used some of the raspberry jelly I made in the summer )
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp rum
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 4 medium bananas, sliced
  • Custard
  • 560ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 3 free-range egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp custard powder
  • Topping
  • 50g dessicated coconut


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas mark 4
  2. Lightly grease or line the base of an 18cm/7inch square cake tin with baking paper
  3. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg, then fold in the flour mixed with the baking powder
  4. Flatten the mixture into the tin using a small angled palette knife and bake for 12-15 minutes or until light golden
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 30 minutes
  6. Spread the dessicated coconut evenly on a shallow baking tray and toast in the oven for no more than 5 minutes. Shaking once or twice to get an even colour
  7. For the filling, spread the cooled base with the jam/jelly
  8. Heat a large frying pan over a high heat. Add the sugar to the pan and melt to form a caramel, swirling all the time
  9. Carefully add the rum (I had an unplanned flambé experience!), then whisk in the butter
  10. Add the banana slices and toss gently or turn with tongs until coated & caramelised
  11. Layer on top of the raspberry jam/jelly, then place in the fridge for 30 minutes
  12. For the custard, put the milk in a saucepan, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat
  13. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, custard powder and an extra splash of milk together until smooth
  14. Pour a little of the hot milk on to the mixture, whisk well, then add it back to the hot milk
  15. Cook the custard over a low heat, stirring constantly with the whisk, until the mixture is very thick
  16. Pour the custard on to the banana caramel mixture then sprinkle the toasted coconut on top
  17. Refrigerate for 30-40 minutes until the tart is set
  18. Slice & serve

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Cakes & Bakes: Asparagus & Gruyère Tart

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

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slice of asparagus & gruyère tart on a plate with mixed salad

We love asparagus. It’s only around for a few weeks in late spring – the tinned stuff is awful – hence the relatively high price of the fresh spears. I saw a recipe on the Chez Foti blog for an asparagus & gruyère tart and thought it looked so delicious that I’d have to give it a try.

asparagus & gruyère tart

I think it turned out really well. We had it hot, straight out of the oven with some baby Jersey Royals and again the day after cold, with a bit of salad on the side. Here’s the recipe…

Cakes & Bakes: Asparagus & Gruyère Tart

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4-6 portions

Cakes & Bakes: Asparagus & Gruyère Tart


  • For the pastry
  • 130g plain flour, plus a little extra for rolling
  • 65g butter, straight from the fridge, cut into small blocks, plus a little extra for greasing
  • pinch salt & pepper
  • 1 egg yolk & a little cold water
  • For the tart filling
  • 450g bunch asparagus, washed
  • 3 free range eggs
  • 200ml half fat crème fraîche
  • 1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard _(I used wholegrain mustard and it tasted fantastic!)_
  • 100g of Gruyère, grated
  • salt & pepper
  • 1tbs finely grated fresh Parmesan


  1. Start by making your pastry. It's easiest & quickest in a food processor, but can be made by hand too. If using a processor blitz the flour, salt, pepper and butter together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and blitz again. With the processor still on, add a little very cold water and continue to add until the mixture starts to come together in one piece. Remove from the processor, shape together, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before using
  2. Alternatively, if you’re making by hand place the flour, salt, pepper and butter in a large bowl. Rub the fat into the flour with your finger tips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the egg yolk and a little very cold water with your hands. Continue to add water until the mixture comes together in one piece. Shape together, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC/Gas Mark 6
  4. Whilst the pastry’s resting, make your filling. Snap off the tougher ends of the asparagus and discard, slice the remaining ends into 1-2cm slices, retaining spheres approximately half the width of your tart or quiche case. Steam over boiling water for 3-5 minutes until almost tender. Immerse in cold water, drain and set aside
  5. Lightly beat the eggs then stir in the crème fraîche, Dijon mustard, grated Gruyère, and pinches of salt black pepper. Set aside
  6. Lightly grease your chosen flan case with butter
  7. The pastry should now be rested. Roll out on a floured surface into a round slightly bigger than your case. Transfer to the case. Hang any excess of pastry over the sides. Prick the base all over with a fork. Place a piece of greaseproof paper over and fill with baking beans to weight down the pastry. Bake for 20 minutes in the hot oven, remove the beans and bake for a further 5 minutes While still hot, trim the pastry around the top of the tart case to make a neat edge
  8. Place the small slices of asparagus in the bottom of the tart case. Pile on the crème fraîche filling Carefully arrange the asparagus spheres in a pretty ‘sunshine’ design on the top. Sprinkle over the Parmesan
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes until firm to touch and golden brown on top


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