Yorkshire curd tartlets

These traditional tarts – with a delicious dash of brandy – may well be the forerunner to the cheesecake recipes we have today
Makes: 24

Ingredients

  • 100g (3½oz) butter, diced
  • 200g (7oz) plain flour
  • 30g (1oz) caster sugar
  • 1 medium egg yolk

For the filling:

  • 250g (8oz) curd cheese
  • 2 medium eggs, beaten
  • 75g (2½oz) caster sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 60g (2oz) currants
  • 1 tsp finely chopped mixed peel
  • 1 tbsp brandy
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Icing sugar, for dredging

Method

  1. To make the pastry: Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in sugar, then mix the egg yolk with 2 tablespoons cold water, add to mixture and stir with a round-bladed knife to make a fi rm dough. Knead dough lightly to a disc shape, wrap in cling fi lm and chill while the oven heats up. Set oven to Gas Mark 4 or 180°C.
  2. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface, fairly thinly (in 2 batches is easier) and cut out rounds to line the patty tins.
  3. To make the filling: Soften the curd cheese in a bowl, then beat in the eggs with the sugar, and stir in the lemon zest, currants, peel and brandy.
  4. Spoon cheese mixture into the pastry cases and grate a little nutmeg on top.
  5. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, until the pastry is lightly browned and the filling set. Dust with icing sugar. Serve warm or cold, with cream, if you like.

Top tip: You can use cottage cheese instead of curd cheese and add 4 tablespoons of single cream. Vanilla extract makes a suitable, non-alcoholic alternative to brandy. To freeze the tartlets: pack into a plastic tub, interleaved with paper. Seal, label and freeze. Use within 2 months. Allow to thaw, then warm through for serving.Feature: Kate Moseley. Photos: Frankthephotographer.com. Props stylist: Sue Radcliffe.

Nutritional information per portion

fat 5.0g calories 100(kcal)

This nutritional information is only a guide and is based on 2,000 calories per day. For more information on eating a healthy diet, please visit the Food Standards Agency website.

Guideline Daily Amount for 2,000 calories per day are: 70g fat, 20g saturated fat, 90g sugar, 6g salt.