These traditional tarts – with a delicious dash of brandy – may well be the forerunner to the cheesecake recipes we have today
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Spoon cheese mixture into the pastry cases and grate a little nutmeg on top.
- 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
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.