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Maids of Honour Recipe

a small traditional English cheesecake tart, made with puff pastry; it is thought to date from the times of Henry V111.

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Key Features

  • Suitable for Vegetarians


500g/1.1lbs Puff Pastry
300ml/½ pint milk
4 level tablespoons breadcrumbs – these are better made from slightly stale bread
110g/4oz Butter, cut into small cubes
2 level tablespoons (30ml) Caster Sugar
the grated rind from 1 lemon
60g/2oz Ground Almonds
3 medium Eggs
a little softened Butter

Equipment: 15 * 10cm/4in tart tins – loose-bottomed if possible


- Lightly butter the tart tins.

- Roll out the puff pastry, and cut circles to fit the tins, and left over can be used to make orange biscuits - see Pate Sucrée (q.v.).

- Chill the pastry-filled tarts while you make the filling.

- Bring the milk, mixed with crumbs, to the boil, then remove mixture from the heat and leave it for 5 minutes.

- Beat in the butter, then the sugar, rind and ground almonds.

- Beat in the eggs.

- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.

- Half-fill the pastry cases and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the pastry is cooked and light and has shrunk a little away from the edges of the tins, and the filling is golden brown.

Serve hot or warm.

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