The Yorkshire curd tart is very different from the modern cheesecake. The Yorkshire version is much more of a rustic tart traditionally baked using a shortcrust pastry base filled with a mixture of curd cheese, butter, eggs, sugar, dried fruit and spices, typically nutmeg. It was made originally with curd – made on the farm – but you can still buy it in delicatessens, some supermarkets, or online. You can also make your own (see below), and it’s quite easy to do that.
- 8 oz (225g) shortcrust pastry
- 8 oz (225g) curds
- 3 oz (85g) butter
- 2 oz (55g) white sugar
- 2 eggs, separated
- ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- Grated peel of one lemon
- 2 oz (55g) currants
- Line individual small baking tins with the shortcrust pastry (alternatively, you could use heat-proof saucers for baking the tarts)
- Beat the egg whites until stiff
- Beat the butter with the sugar, then add the curds and the egg yolks and mix well
- Stir in the peel, the nutmeg and dried fruit
- Fold in the beaten egg whites
- Bake in a moderate oven for 30 minutes.
Source: Victoria Wright, A Haworth Kitchen: recipes from the home of the Brontes (1981).
Make your own curd
This Good Housekeeping video demonstrates using white wine vinegar to separate the cheese from the liquid (whey). Click here to see the film: Making curd cheese