On Being a Queen of Hearts with Tarts


You’ve heard of the queen of hearts who made some tarts? How about being one yourself, reigning supreme as the tart maker of the year? And if there are any knaves in your crowd, mellow them with an evening of pasty making and tart tasting. These prize English recipes will help you and your friends have a wonderful time.

Master the art of the pastry and you can turn out anything from Cornish pasties to sausage rolls. We’ll give the recipe in both English and American measure—choose one or the other. Just be consistent!

Flaky Pastry

  • 8 ounces plain flour

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    6 ounces lard

    1 tablespoon lemon juice

    4 tablespoons water

  • 1 cup unsifted flour

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    3/4 cup shortening

    1 tablespoon lemon juice

    4 tablespoons water

Method: Sift flour and salt into bowl; divide shortening/ lard into four sections. Blend one portion into the flour and mix into fine pieces. Add lemon juice and water and work until elastic. Roll out into strip about 8 inches wide. Dot one portion of fat down two-thirds of pastry; fold portion without fat over onto fat. Fold over remaining third of pastry and press the open edges lightly together with rolling pin. Give one half turn so that open ends are facing you. Roll out into strip the same size as before and repeat the process until remaining two portions of fat are used. Finally, fold into thirds and set aside at least an hour before using.

Lemon Curd Tarts

Roll pastry with well-floured rolling pin and shape into small tarts to fit tins. Spoon 1 1/2 teaspoons filling into tart and bake at 400° F. for about 12 minutes. When removed from oven, add a little extra curd.

Filling

  • 4 ounces butter

    8 ounces granulated sugar

    3 eggs

    Grated rind and juice of two lemons

  • 1/2 cup butter

    1 cup white sugar

    3 eggs

    Grated rind and juice of two lemons

Method: Melt butter in top of double saucepan over low heat. Slowly add sugar, stirring constantly. Beat eggs well and pour butter mixture into eggs, stirring constantly. Return to saucepan and place over boiling water in the lower portion of double cooker. Add lemon rind and juice and stir briskly until a curd forms on the back of spoon. Curd not used in tarts may be stored for future use. Note: English youth love lemon curd on biscuits or toast just as American youth relish peanut butter and jelly on bread.

Yorkshire Curd Cheese Tart

Prepare pastry as before and line a six- or seven-inch straight-sided tart tin with pastry, pressing it down on the base and up the sides. Prick the bottom of pastry and press the holes shut again so that all the air is expelled and filling won’t leak out.

Filling

  • 1 ounce butter

    1 ounce castor sugar

    8 ounces curd or cream cheese

    1 egg

    1/2 ounce sultanas

    1/2 ounce currants

    1/2 ounce finely chopped peel

    Grated rind and juice of 1/2 lemon

    Pinch salt, grated nutmeg

    2 tablespoons milk

    1 tablespoon thin cream

  • 2 tablespoons butter

    1 tablespoon white sugar

    8 ounces cream cheese

    1 egg

    2 tablespoons raisins

    2 tablespoons currants

    2 tablespoons finely chopped peel

    Grated rind and juice of 1/2 lemon

    Pinch salt, grated nutmeg

    2 tablespoons milk

    1 tablespoon thin cream

Method: Cream butter and sugar and cream cheese. Add beaten egg and mix until smooth. Add fruit, rind, peel, juice, salt, and nutmeg. Mix well and add milk and cream. Mixture should have the consistency of thick cream. Pour over pastry and sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake for 30 minutes in 375° F. oven or until curd is set and golden brown on top.

[illustration] Illustrated by Peggy Hawkins

[photos] Photos by Eldon Linschoten