I'd been hankering after making these for a while. There’s no logical reason for this other than that I spotted the recipe in my favourite copy of the Be-Ro book and realised I hadn’t made them since I was at school. My mum used to make them occasionally and they were a real treat.
In planning our Coronation tea party (in France) I thought something old fashioned would be a nice addition to the festive fare.
In the book they are iced with a blob of water icing and decorated with a sliver of glacé cherry but I completely forgot about this step until I had run out of time! Also, the next time I make them I would use more than a scant teaspoon of filling for each one. They are obviously not as likely to boil over as a jam tart.
I used two new patty tins, recently purchased from a posh cookware shop in Bakewell. This was rather a rash purchase but I liked that they felt solid and that the holes had rounded not flat bottoms. I still have my mum’s old mince pie tins where the holes are fluted and patterned with round bottoms but they are very tatty now and require a lot of greasing. I abandoned using them years ago in favour of some cheap non stick ones.
I have to say that the new tins were a dream to use, the tarts slipping out effortlessly. A worthwhile investment that should last for years. Or, as my mum would say, "should see me out"!
The tarts were a doddle to make (especially as I used ready made, ready rolled pastry) and delicious. The flavour took me back instantly to my school days in the 1950s when there might be one or two left in the cake tin from Mum's weekend baking. A sneaky little bun when I got home from school to put me on until tea time.
Interestingly, the recipe is no longer in the latest edition of the Be-Ro book. Maybe they are deemed to be a little too old fashioned for modern tastes but all those guests that had never seen them before loved them. They are quite unique.
A pack of ready made pastry or make your own using 175g (6oz) flour
100g demerara sugar
A few drops of vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 200°C/180° fan/gas mk 6. Grease the holes of two patty tins.
Cut the pastry into circles using a 3” cutter and line the tins. You should get about 18 tarts from the pastry by re-rolling.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and mix in the other ingredients. Put a generous teaspoonful into each pastry case.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until the pastry is lightly golden and crisp.
When cold, decorate each tart with a blob of water icing and a sliver of glacé cherry if you like.
Makes about 18 tarts.