Monday, 15 February 2010

Manchester Tart

Those of you of a certain age from the Northern UK will recognize this as one of the very best school dinner puddings (Usually coming second only to varieties of chocolate cake). The rest of you are in for a treat.

I had some pastry left over from an apple pie and was trying to decide what to use it up with, after toying with the idea of jam or Bakewell tart, I remembered this. It's simply a tart case, covered with a layer of jam (raspberry or strawberry, preferably seedless), which has custard poured over it and then toasted coconut drizzled on top.

Get yourself a shortcrust pastry tart case, either making your own or buying a premade one. If you are making your own it'll need blind baking & then cooling. Spread a healthy (I mean thick) layer of jam over the base. Then get to making custard. For the correct taste custard powder is a must (Custard powder is also an enormous mount of fun, in amongst its many properties are the fact it's pyrophoric and it can be used to create a non Newtonian fluid) for a standard (20cm) tart you need about 500ml (Follow the directions on the tin/packet). You can of course make custard from scratch, but I was going for nostalgia. I snuck some sliced banana ontop of the jam & under the custard. You want the custard to be cool not set BTW.

The whole lot goes in the fridge overnight, before you are ready to serve toast a good handful of dessicated coconut, so its a nice mid-brown colour (beware coconut is a tricky substance an will go from white to burnt in the blink of an eye). Then sprinkle it evenly over the custard. 

Allow the combination to come to room temperature, slice up & serve

The Flute full of dark liquid in the back is a Nelson's Blood cocktail. To make put a good measure of port in a champagne flute & top off with champagne (you are after a 1:4 ratio port to champagne).

It goes surprisingly well with what is quite a humble dessert as the fruit & honey notes come to the front & the tannins are masked.

You don't see Manchester tart much these days, Its been *ahem* years since I last saw on, let alone had a slice, but it is as good as my fond memory recalls. Give it a go

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