January 9, 2014

YORKSHIRE CURD TART (with cranberries)

Yorkshire curd tartI have not  made any New Year Resolutions this year.  It has finally dawned on me that setting myself up for failure and disappointment every year is a waste of energy and does no good at all.  The only thing I thought I would try to do is to fully grasp the practise of not wasting food, or at least wasting as little as possible.  This is not so much a resolution (therefore doomed to failure) as an expansion of current housekeeping methods.  Which brings me to a little conundrum that occurred last week. 

Yorkshire curd tart2

Our friends Tim and Pauline introduced us to the delights of the above product, which is similar to a clotted cream, very naughty and perfectly delicious on puddings.  So every time we come to France it’s one of the basic items in our first shopping basket.

Yorkshire curd tart3So we were a little put out when, on opening the jar, we found that it had curdled and looked nowhere near as appealing to dollop on our puds as it should have done. ( The jar on the right is the offending product, the jar on the left is a fresh one we bought to replace it.)

It was our fault, of course.  The little fridge in our little French kitchen was the cheapest we could get when we equipped the place and the temperature control is not the most effective to say the least.  Somehow the fridge had been set to be extra cold and we think this caused the crème fraîche to split.

So I looked at it and thought that it looked like curds and whey.  Wondering what on earth I could do with it, I thought of a Yorkshire curd tart, something I haven’t eaten for an awfully long time, and have certainly never made.  Partly because you can’t buy curds in our local supermarkets, or at least, none that I have ever seen.

Yorkshire curd tart4I found several recipes on the net but most of them had instructions for manufacturing your own curds from milk and lemon juice.  In the end I found one that used real curd cheese but for tarlets.  I followed the recipe but made it into one large tart instead, using the Mary Berry pastry recipe from my frangipane mince pies!

The other change I made was that I didn’t have any currants (I have never seen currants in a French supermarket) but I did have a few dried cranberries, the leftovers purchased for some long forgotten recipe, lurking at the back of the cupboard and slightly past their sell-by date. 

Yorkshire curd tart6The tart turned out to be delicious.  We had invited our friends Tim and Pauline round and, as former residents of Yorkshire, they declared that it was fairly authentic in both flavour and appearance compared to a proper Yorkshire curd tart.  Except for the cranberries of course.


I am submitting this recipe to this month’s Alphabakes Challenge, organised by Ros of The more than occasional baker, and Caroline of Caroline Makes.  The letter this month is “Y” and you can see the details here.

Also to the “no waste food challenge” organised by Elizabeth of Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary.  This monthly challenge is devoted to making us all think about how to use food in a way that avoids waste and you can see the details here.

Yorkshire curd tart5 So here’s how I made my Yorkshire curd tart ~ you can see the original recipe that I followed loosely here.


For the pastry:

200g plain flour

100g cold butter, cubed

25g icing sugar

1 egg, beaten

For the filling:

250g curd cheese

2 eggs, beaten

75g caster sugar

the finely grated zest of 1 lemon

70g dried cranberries

1 tblsp brandy (an ingredient I was not expecting to find in a curd tart)

freshly grated nutmetg


Make the pastry in a food processor, using just the egg to bind it.  Chill in the fridge while you make the filling

Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160° fan / gas mk 4.  Grease a 23cm (approx) flan dish or tin.

Beat the cheese in a medium bowl to soften it a little.  Add the eggs, sugar, lemon zest and brandy and beat together.  Add the cranberries and mix well.

Roll out the pastry to line the flan dish or tin.  Spoon the filling into the pastry and level the top.  Grate a little fresh nutmeg on top.

Bake for 40-50 minutes until lightly browned and almost completely set, but check after 35 minutes. 

Cool in the dish and dust with icing sugar if you like.  Serve warm or cold with cream or crème fraîche.

Serves 6-8.


  1. Waste not want not, I go with using anything up that can possibly be used. By the way the parsnip cake has matured so well we like it better every day. Another one will be in the making! Have a good weekend Diane

  2. I hate wasting ingredients too and always try to use up what I can although some of it still ends up in the bin. This is a very creative use of your ingredients and a perfect entry for AlphaBakes. Thanks for joining in.

  3. I think it was Gaynor & T'otherTim that introduced you to "Créme Fraiche d'Isigny".... to my knowledge, we've never bought it.
    But we occasionally get half pots of the lovely stuff from them when they go back to the UK...
    smooth, creamy...
    allegedly not as fattening as real fresh cream...

    We get ordinary from Lidl or the supermarché...
    ot local Vernueil from the Limouzin Frères van on the market...
    the same place as we get the "terribly bad for us" real fresh 'triple' cream from La Borde....
    so thick that you can stand a teaspoon up in it and it won't move until you take it back out!
    Now, that is like clotted cream.
    back to the Curd Tart....
    it was great...
    actually, I felt the cranberries worked better than currants...
    ["raisins de Corinthe" in French]...
    I am not a great fan of currants... too pippy!
    I'll bet chopped apricots would do too!

    Derbyshire Curd Tart...
    uses cranberries and/or apricots...
    and curds of Créme Fraiche d'Isigny...
    it was the "original" curd tart...
    long before the Yorkshire "cheap" version!!

    You said Derbyshire needed its own pudding!!

    1. Tim, you are a fount of all knowledge, as always!
      It was at your house that we first had the crème fraîche, so it must have been T & G that brought it!
      I did see some "raisins" de Corinthe in the indoor market at Chatellerault yesterday, until then I didn't know what to look for in France, but I agree, they are often a bit "pippy".

  4. Not wasting food is a fantastic new year's resolution (I don't tend to make them either!) I often think the best things are made from left overs. Lovely looking tart, I don't think I've ever eaten a curd tart.

  5. I haven't had a Yorkshire curd tart in far too long. Yours looks lovely and definitely gets my vote for not wasting ingredients. Funnily enough, the first Yorkshire curd tart that I ever ate was in a pub in Derbyshire many years ago. As I recall it had a fair bit of rum in it, which probably isn't authentic, but tasted great.

    1. Phil, the brandy in the recipe took me by surprise. Rum would have been nice too I think.
      There's a similar recipe in the Be-Ro book and there's definitely no booze in that!

  6. Your tart looks and sounds delicious, I'll have to try it sometime.

  7. Great idea for using up the curdled creme. Have never tried a Yorkshire curd tart, so this is one to add to my 'to make' list.

  8. This is a superb no waste food challenge entry, thank you! What a fantastically clever way to use up an ingredient most of us would likely have thrown out! Well done and thank you for sharing :)