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Yorkshire Curd Tart

Well known throughout Yorkshire in tea rooms, bakeries and butchers, Yorkshire Curd Tart has become an institution. In shops, it is sometimes sold in the form of tartlets, sometimes with a pastry lid and often sitting next to a line of sausages and pork chops in a butcher's shop. A number of cookery writers have given their own versions of curd tart. It remains popular because of its interesting texture and flavour and also because it is so easy to cook. I've pepped it up a bit by first soaking the raisins in brandy, though this is not necessary. I think it's best cooked slightly less than you think it needs so that it has a squidgy consistency and clings to the tongue.

ingredients

serves 6 - 8
225 g (8 oz) rich sweet shortcrust pastry
115 g (4 oz) butter
85 g (3 oz) caster sugar
225 g (8 oz) curd cheese
115 g (4 oz) seedless raisins soaked in 4 tablespoons brandy (overnight if you can remember)
40g (1 1/2 oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
pinch of salt
freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
2 eggs, well beaten
soft brown sugar and a little ground cinnamon, to finish

method

1. Line a deep 23 cm (9 in) tart tin with the pastry and pre-bake or bake blind.

2. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C (375°F) Gas 5.

3. Cream the butter and caster sugar together in a bowl until pale and shiny. Add the curd cheese, raisins, breadcrumbs, salt, nutmeg and eggs and mix well. Spoon into the pre-baked pastry case and sprinkle the top with brown sugar and cinnamon.

4. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until well risen and nicely browned. Keep an eye on the pastry edges - they may need to be protected by covering them with a narrow strip of foil to prevent over-browning.

Serve warm or cold with single cream.

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