I have been doing some research on old English recipes and looked at curd tart recipes – these are similar to Polish baked sernik .
- Curd tarts in England originated in the early 17th century.
- In Yorkshire they were traditionally baked for Whitsuntide.
- Nutmeg is a very popular spice in English baking.
- Curds are coagulated milk proteins – casein.
- Raw milk will coagulate naturally when left in a warm place.
- Pasteurised milk needs the addition of something acidic such as lemon juice, vinegar or lactobacillus (found in natural yoghurt).
- You can make your own curds. The following is an easy way to make curds and these are the curds* used in the recipe below.
- *Polish twaróg or yoghurt cheese is more tangy.
- In a deep saucepan put 500ml of milk, 3 beaten eggs and 1 teaspoon of salt.
- Heat gently until it comes to the boil, stirring occasionally.
- Curds will form.
- Put the mixture into a large sieve or muslin bag and leave for a few hours.
- Leave the curds to go cold.
- It is often good to make the curds the evening before you need them.
- 500ml of milk will give around 200-225g of curds with this method.
- Around 200g of curds (as above)
- 110g granulated sugar
- 2 eggs – beaten
- 60g currants
- Grated nutmeg
- Shortcrust pastry or a richer pastry such as kruche ciasto
- Grease and line the base of a loose bottomed tart tin.
- Pre-heat the oven to GM5 – 190°C.
- Roll out the shortcrust pastry thinly and line the tin with it.
- With a fork, chop up the curds into small pieces.
- Whisk together the curds, sugar and eggs.
- Stir in the currants.
- Pour the mixture into the lined tart tin.
- Sprinkle liberally with freshly grated nutmeg.
- Bake for around 30 minutes.
- Leave to cool on a wire cake rack.
Served on tea plates by Royal Doulton, Counterpoint, 1973 – 1987