Congress Tartlets

Congress Tartlets are a favourite for afternoon teas served freshly baked and warm, but they can equally well be cooked as a full tart, to be served as a pudding with cream or ice cream. The taste of desiccated coconut, together with raspberry jam, will stir the memories of many. The name is thought to date from the seventeenth century when, at the end of the Thirty Years War, a Congress was held in Osnabruck, Germany. All those who attended were presented with a macaroon tart marked with a pastry cross. Some cooks still put a pastry cross on and if you have any spare pastry you may like to try it, but I prefer the filling heaped up high and beautifully browned on top. The amount given here is for eight 8 cm (3 1/4 in) tartlet tins or one shallow 23cm (9 in) tart tin.


serves 8
225 g (8 oz) rich sweet shortcrust pastry
225 g (8 oz) caster sugar
225 g (8 oz) ground almonds
1 1/2 tablespoons ground rice or semolina
3 egg whites
60 g (2 1/4 oz) desiccated coconut
1/2 teaspoon almond essence
finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
4 tablespoons good raspberry jam


1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6.

2. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line the tartlet tins. Chill them in the fridge while making the filling. Place a baking sheet in the oven to pre-heat.

3. Put the sugar, ground almonds, ground rice or semolina into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they are frothy but still runny then add the dry ingredients from the other bowl. Stir in all but a handful of the desiccated coconut, the almond essence and lemon zest.

4. Take the tartlet cases out of the fridge and spread raspberry jam over their bases. Spoon the almond and coconut mixture into the tins until they are almost full, then sprinkle each with a little of the remaining coconut. Place the tarts on the hot baking sheet in the oven.

5. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the fillings are risen and golden brown. Allow to cool.

6. Serve warm with cream or cold with a pot of hot tea.

What did you think?

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Congress Tarts
posted by pmcaleer @ 01:16AM, 3/21/09
I had a dear friend from Cornwall that made Congress tarts for me at Christmas in the 1950s. Hers had rice, almond paste, and razzberry jam in them. After Christmas they would be very hard but wonderful for "dunking" in hot tea. Anyone know that recipe?
St. Ives, Cornwall Congress Tart Recipe
posted by Kay @ 03:57PM, 2/28/10
Hi...The ingredients don't sound identical but my Mom was from Cornwall and this is her recipe ---- one of my absolute favorites:

This filling is for 12 tart shells --- muffin-pan size. Into the shells put a heaping 1/2 teaspoon of currant jam. Then top with this mixture:

1/2 c. butter
1 c/ sugar
2 eggs (well beaten)
1/2 c. rice flour
1. T. Almond extract

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Enjoy!
Congress Tarts - Helston
posted by Marilyn @ 03:44PM, 3/02/11
My mother and I are Cornish and Congress Tarts were a regular that she made. This is her recipe -
2oz ground almonds
20z caster sugar
20z melted butter
almond essence
1 egg
Pastry - line in a tart tin (not muffin tin)
Put sugar and ground almonds in a bowl
Add beaten egg & essence
Mix well
Beat in melted butter
Raspberry jam into 12 pastry cases - fill with almond mixture
Bake for 20-25 mins moderate oven
This is it!!
posted by lilydale @ 10:33PM, 12/15/11
Look no further, this is the original and best recipe, I too am Cornish and remember these well - delicious.
Those other ingrediants, rice flour etc. may be economical, but you need that butter and those ground almonds (or almond meal as it is known here in Australia)
Made as a larger tart is good, but somehow not quite the same. Thank you for this recipe
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