Traditional Yorkshire Curd Tart was a big hit in our family for a weekend treat from Betty's. They're beautifully old-fashioned and they make me think of real wood fires, big mugs of Yorkshire tea, thick wooly jumpers and grey skies and drizzle. They're like a taste explosion of sunshine on a grey English day!
I've looked at many different recipes and this is my interpretation, based on the Betty's tearoom version because we adore them! Many of the recipes I found used rosewater and claim this to be an traditional ingredient. However, I really wanted to have the Betty's taste, and they don't use rosewater in their tarts. Betty's also use lemon curd rather than lemon zest and I like this, because the lemon flavour is more delicate and rounded. The tart shouldn't taste overly of lemon - rather the lemon should just lift the flavour of the curds.
The curd cheese is a simple thing to make. The only thing is, you do need to start the recipe the day before as the cheese really does need to hang overnight (or at least for 6 hours) to make it dry enough to get the right texture, which is slightly grainy.
I used sugar pastry for the case, even though I almost always used pate sablee for my afternoon tea baking. This is because I thought it would be too rich with such a buttery (though delectable) pastry. Also, pate sablee is so much more delicate and this tart needs to be sliced and still hold itself together.
If you are going to use a bigger size of tin, make more pastry. You can double the quantity and then use the left-over for smaller tarts. This quantity is exactly right for a 7 inch tin.
I love using 7 inch pans for baking. Tarts of this size are prettier and the slices more dainty than 8 or 9 inch pans. Also, I like to bake cakes this size because they are taller when you put two on top of each other and I prefer that look to a larger but flatter cake.
You can buy 7 x 1 1/2 inch cake pans from Head Cook here. It's well worth the investment.
Time: 50 minutes - PLUS overnight
for the curds and overnight freezing
of the pastry case
Makes: 7 inch tart.
8 small slices
1 litre (4 cups) milk
Juice of half a lemon (maybe a little more)
150g (2/3 cup) curd cheese
65g (1/3 cup) butter
65g (1/4 cup) sugar (caster)
1 egg - beaten
50g (1/3 cup) currants
1/2 tbsp lemon curd
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 qty of sugar pastry
7" cake tin, 1 1/2 inches deep.
I usually make the curd cheese late at night and leave it hanging over night. During cold weather, this is no problem. In the summer, you need to find a way of hanging it in the fridge, or just leave it in the sieve to drain.
You need a large pan, a large bowl, a sieve, some cheesecloth and some string.
Yorkshire curd tart can be eaten at room temperature or cold from the fridge. Personally, I like it best later on the day of baking so that I don't have to put it in the fridge. I just keep it covered in the pantry.
Yorkshire curd tart is delicious with black tea, but I also love it with rooibos.
It's a perfect afternoon treat with just a cup of tea, but if you are serving it as part of a full tea spread, then I love it with ham sandwiches, cheese and pickle sandwiches, parkin and pikelets, served with
This is an old-fashioned tea and it makes me feel at home. Love it. :-)