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Yorkshire Curd Tart

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Serves: 6

For the pastry:
100g / 3 1/2 oz butter, cut into small pieces, plus extra for greasing
200g / 7 oz plain flour
25g / 1 oz caster sugar

For the filling :
75g / 3 oz caster sugar
75g / 3 oz softened butter
500g / 1 lb 2 oz curd or medium-fat soft cheese
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 eggs, beaten
50g / 2 oz currants or seedless raisins
freshly grated nutmeg, for sprinkling
icing sugar, for dusting


Make the pastry: preheat the oven to 200ºC / fan oven 180ºC / gas mark 6 and grease a 23cm / 9 in loose-bottomed flan pan and set on a baking sheet. Put the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture has the consistency of fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, then add about 2 or 3 tablespoons of cold water and mix to a firm dough.

Knead the dough briefly on a floured surface, then roll out to a 27.5cm / 11in round, using short sharp strokes and giving the dough a quarter turn after each rolling. Flip the pastry over the rolling pin, then lift carefully on to the flan pan. Ease the pastry into the bottom and sides of the pan with your fingers, allowing it to flop over the top. Run the rolling pin over the top to trim the pastry to a neat edge. Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans, dried beans or rice. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes. Reduce the oven setting to 180ºC / fan oven 160ºC / gas mark 4.

Make the filling: in a bowl, beat together the sugar and butter for about 5 minutes until pale and light. Stir in the cheese and lemon zest, making sure the mixture is well blended. Gradually beat in the lemon juice, followed by the eggs, a little at a time.

Stir in the dried fruit, then pour the mixture into the pastry case. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the filling is set about 5cm / 2 in in from the edge and is pale golden on the surface (it will set completely as it cools). Leave to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer the tart to a flat serving plate. Sprinkle the top with nutmeg and a light dusting of icing sugar. Serve the Yorkshire Curd Tart warm or cold.

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