Yorkshire Recipes

Baking

Yorkshire Mint Pastry

Yorkshire Mint Pastry: This is a recipe from Yorkshire that tends to get passed down through families, rather than written in cookery books. It is a combination of garden mint with currants (or raisins) in a plain shortcrust pastry tart that offers a taste surprise. This recipe is a personal favourite.

The blend works surprisingly well – and the smell of fresh mint and fruit hot from the oven is sublime.

The main ingredients are stock items in most households: shortcrust pastry, garden mint (spearmint, or any other strong tasting mint works best), and currants (or raisins) – so why not give it a go?

Ingredients

  •  shortcrust pastry to fit your flat baking dish, top and bottom layers
  • Around 8 oz (200-225g) of currants (alternatively, raisins – although I think currants work better in this!)
  • Good handful (around 10g) of garden mint, (spearmint is a good one to use)
  • Tablespoon white sugar (optional)

Method

  1. Prepare the shortcrust pastry (or buy it ready made), and divide it approx. 60/40. Roll out the larger piece and place on a round baking tin.
  2. Mix the currants (or raisins) and mint together in a food blender or masher; add two tablespoons of water to blend it to a soft mash (However, see Jennifer Rogerson’s comments, below).
  3. Add sugar if you have a sweet tooth, but the dried fruit provides natural sweetness.
  4. Spread the mint and currant/raisin mixture evenly across the pastry, leaving a small gap around the edges.
  5. Roll out the second half of the pastry and place across the top of the other, sealing in the currant mixture. Trim off excess pastry.
  6. Glaze the pastry with beaten egg, or with cream, milk or yoghurt. Make a small hole in the pastry to let out steam.
  7. Bake in a moderately hot oven (around 190C or 375F) until the pastry is obviously cooked and golden, around 30 minutes.

 

You can also easily turn these into bite-size Mint & Currant cakes – great for picnics.

 

7 Responses to Yorkshire Mint Pastry

  • Jennifer Rogerson

    Very interesting!  My grandma used to make this and I loved it.  The currants were left whole – I don’t think anyone had food blenders at that time.  I’d forgotten about it but I’m certainly going to make one now, especially as there’s lots of fresh mint in the garden!

  • Jonathan Tempest

    My grandma born in about 1885 called in Mint and Currant pasty. My wife still makes it (I know I shoud try). It’s my absolute favourite pastry concoction and surely it must be good for you with all that fresh herb and fruit.

  • Lynda Radley

    My Mum and her Mum before her, and no doubt going back even further, made this regularly and we all loved it.
    Mint was the only thing which grew in a pot sink in our yard!  The only difference to this recipe was that Mum brushed the bottom pastry sheet with melted butter before strewing the currants.  I still do.  No extra sugar either as there was none after the war when I was growing up.

  • Joanna

    My Grandma and then my mum used to make this and we loved it. I had forgotten all about it but have lots of mint in the garden and a memory of it just came back to me! I came on a search for a recipe and plan to make this at the weekend. A touch of nostalgia?

  • Colin Neville

    This beautifully simple and delicious pastry is one of my own personal favourites.  It is a very old recipe too, going back at least to the early 19th century, and probably much earlier.  Dried fruit would have bee a staple in many Yorkshire kitchens, and mint would be just outside the back door. So it is a tribute to the instincts of the first cook who came up with this combination of mint and dried fruit, as it is not an obvious blend of ingredients. But it works so well!

  • Ludi Simpson

    Thank you Colin I’ve made this twice now since your Facebook pointed me here, and love it. 50g butter makes it rich, and blending half the currants before mixing with the rest holds it together. I sprinkle the sugar on top of the glaze rather than put it in the mixture. I also made it as individual pies. Delicious and as you say, who would have thunk it? I have a ‘flavour thesaurus’ that doesnt have dried fruit in it, but it does suggest mint and figs. Why would dried fruit have been a staple if grapes didn’t grow in Britain, was it really available to most families?

    • Colin Neville

      Thanks for this Ludi.  Dried fruit in English recipe books first appeared in the 16th century, and Mrs Beeton was using dried fruit in her recipes from 1860 onward.  I’m not sure to what extent or at all families in low paid working class households could afford them though, as Mrs B was talking to a largely middle class readership.  It’s possible ripe white currants would work with this, which could be grown in back gardens. I’ll try and see, as I grow white currants and I suspect their taste would blend quite well with mint, perhaps with addition of sugar.

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