Lincolnshire Curd Tarts
Curd tarts are a traditional teatime treat, particularly in Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and Derbyshire. Their origin is in the ‘beestings’, the first milk given by a newly calved cow.
This has the property of separating other milk into curds and whey, to make cheese.
Farmer’s wives made fresh curd cheese and quickly found that mixing the curds with eggs, sugar, currants and spice made a delicious filling for pastry tarts.
Rennet can be used, but at home we use lemon juice.
First make your curd:
Take 2 pints of full cream milk, preferably gold top or Jersey milk. ( Sainsbury’s and other good supermarkets have this)
Gently warm the milk to blood heat - do not boil.
Add 3 tablespoons of lemon juice.
Stir well and remove from heat.
Put aside until cool and separated.
Turn into a muslin- lined sieve and leave over a bowl to drain ( this can be overnight)
For the tarts:
Oven at 180c ( 160c fan)
Line tartlet tins with pastry ( sweet, shortcrust or puff) and blind bake until cooked but not coloured
2 eggs, beaten
2oz butter, melted
2oz caster sugar
Mix the curds ( use a fork to break up any large lumps) with the eggs, sugar and melted butter Add the currants and a grating of nutmeg.
Spoon into the pastry cases and grate more nutmeg over
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden and delectable.