Richmond Maids of Honour
Rumour has it that these delectable little curd cheese tarts were named after the maids of honour who served at Richmond Palace in the 16th century. True or not, they taste wonderful made with crisp puff pastry and a filling of squidgy cheese and lemon curd.
|½ x 500 g pack fresh puff pastry|
|flour for dusting|
|8 oz (225 g) curd cheese|
|1½ oz (40 g) whole candied lemon peel, finely chopped|
|1½ oz (40 g) golden caster sugar|
|grated zest 1 lemon|
|1 oz (25 g) ground almonds|
|1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk|
|about 2 tablespoons good-quality lemon curd|
|icing sugar for dusting|
|Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C).|
|Oven temperatures and Conversions|
|Click here for information|
|You will also need a 3¼ inch (8 cm) plain cutter and two 12-hole shallow bun trays.|
This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course, Delia Smith’s Complete Illustrated Cookery Course, Delia Smith's Book of Cakes and Delia's Vegetarian Collection.
Begin by cutting the block of pastry in half so that you have two squares, and then sprinkle a surface with flour and roll each piece into a square of about 11 inches (28 cm).
Then, using the cutter, cut out 9 circles from each piece. Be careful as you do this – just give the cutter a sharp tap and lift it, don't be tempted to twist it. Now line the tins with the pastry rounds; you should have 18 altogether.
Then, in a bowl, combine the curd cheese, sugar, lemon zest, ground almonds and chopped candied peel, then beat the egg and egg yolk together in a separate bowl and add this to the rest of the ingredients. Mix very thoroughly with a large fork until everything is very evenly blended.
Next, spoon half a teaspoon of lemon curd into the base of each pastry case – don't be tempted to add more as it will bubble over during the cooking – then spoon a dessertspoon of the curd cheese mixture on top of this.
Then, when all the mixture has been added, bake the tarts in two batches on the centre shelf of the oven for about 20-25 minutes, by which time the mixture will have puffed right up and turned a lovely golden brown colour.
Now take them out of the oven and transfer them to a wire rack to cool. Don't worry if you see them start to sink a little, that's absolutely normal.
If you like, you can give them a faint dusting of icing sugar before you serve them.
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The texture of these is not like anything else. They are very short and buttery, and seem to just melt in the mouth. We like them filled with morello cherry jam because by contrast it’s not too sweet.
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