This is another of those bakes that doesn't look much - definitely no glamour here - but in the eating the pudding is proved to be absolutely delicious !!
The recipe turned up in my email inbox as a post from Lynn Hill of the organisation formerly known as the Clandestine Cake Club. Being a Yorkshire lass and therefore fond of Yorkshire curd tart, Lynn has found a way of making the tart using cottage cheese.
I have very fond memories of Yorkshire curd tart myself. When my mum went on her weekly bus trip to Matlock to do the shopping she would return with a selection of delicious goodies from the baker's shop, usually a custard tart, a vanilla slice, an iced bakewell tart with a cherry on top and, if we were very, very lucky, a Yorkshire curd tart.
As an aside, I have to say that Mum's shopping trips were not as onerous as you might at first think. She didn't have enough arms to bring several bags of shopping, enough for a family of four, home on the bus. That would have been impossible, even in those days (the 1950's and 60's). The reality is that the butcher, baker, greengrocer and ironmonger would turn up in their van at least once a week and park near the house so that we could get most of the shopping we needed literally on the doorstep. I have wonderful memories of the baker bringing a huge basket containing a selection of bread and cakes to the back door for us to choose from. Being only a nipper the goodies were at just the right height for me to dip in and pick one out before anyone could stop me! Between the home deliveries, the village post office and the few shops in the next village which was just two stops away on the bus, we got everything we needed to live on without having to go very far at all and certainly not as far as Matlock!
However, my mum enjoyed her Saturday morning shopping trips to buy the few things that you could only get in town, such as her favourite boiled ham or cheddar cheese. I enjoyed going with her and looked forward to the little cake or bun that would be for tea later in the day. A Yorkshire curd tart was one of my favourites.
My Be-Ro book has a recipe for curd tart using curd cheese but I have never, ever seen it for sale in any supermarket. You can make curd cheese yourself of course and in actual fact it doesn't look too difficult so if you google curd tart you will find instructions in several places. I might try that one day when I have the time but on this occasion, I found myself looking at a pack of cottage cheese in the fridge that was just past it's best before date. Lynn's recipe had turned up just a couple of days before that and I also remembered that I had a pack of ready made pastry in the freezer, unused over Christmas. So yet again, with all the stars aligned, fate seemed to be telling me to make a curd tart.
Of course, as usual, I didn't quite make it exactly right. The pack of pastry turned out to be puff pastry, which is not ideal and the cottage cheese was a fat free variety which I thought probably wouldn't work - but it did!
As Nick tucked into his slice he looked up at me with a twinkle in his eye and said "this one's a keeper!". And he was absolutely right, it was truly delicious. Very reminiscent of the Yorkshire curd tarts of my childhood and definitely one I'll be making again.
You can see the recipe here.
As another aside, I made it in my very ancient Pyrex pie dish, the one that came in a set of Pyrex bakeware that I bought when I first got a home of my own in the 1970's. My mum made an apple pie for Sunday lunch in hers every other week. She also used it for cheese pie, baked eggs and many other things. It's the perfect size for a family of four and after forty years mine is still going strong and in regular use. You can't buy them any more - except of course in our local charity shops! I recently acquired this one for my friend Susan and for just £1 it's an absolute bargain! I'm sure she will love it.