The Manchester tart is based on manchester pudding from the Victorian era. The tart originated in Manchester, England as a working class dessert made of bread crumbs. When Queen Victoria came to visit the city, the meringue topping was added to make it more regal. This particular version is one of the earliest published versions brought to us in 1861 by the young Mrs. Beeton, the original domestic goddess diva of the Victorian Era.
Victorian Manchester Tarts
- 1 sheet puff pastry*
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup butter softened
- 2 strips lemon peel
- 4 large eggs 4 yolks, 2 whites
- 3 tbsp. brandy
- 2 tbsp. sugar or sugar substitute
- 1/2 cup quality jam damson jam is the traditional jam of choice
- 2 tbsp. icing sugar dust
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Heat milk and lemon zest in a medium-sized pan to the boiling point. Take off the heat and let sit for 30 minutes to infuse the lemon, then remove the zest.
- Add the bread crumbs to the pot, and reheat.
- Beat together egg yolks, egg whites, butter, sugar and brandy in a bowl. Pour in about half the hot milk to temper. Mix thoroughly then pour the egg mixture back into the pan. Heat gently for 1 minute then take off the heat and set aside to cool.
- Roll pastry and cut 12 circles and fit into muffin tins. Alternatively you can make one large 9" tart.
- Put a thick layer of jam in the base (1 tsp. in your muffin cups) then ladle in the custard mix. If you put in lots of jam you will get a nifty volcano effect at the end.
- Bake the individual tarts for 45, the large tart for 60 minutes, or until filling has set and is slightly browned.
- Serve cold, dusted with icing sugar.