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Maids of Honour

Servings : makes 
Preparation Time : 18 
Difficulty : Moderate 

As shown on Jamies and Jimmys Friday Night Feast. I hunted around for a recipe to try. Rumoured that these little curd cheese tarts were named after the maids of honour who served at Richmond Palace in the 16th century. First attempt were lovely, they look like they're going to be heavy but are as light as.

Ingredients

0.5 x 500 g pack fresh puff pastry
flour for dusting
8 oz (225 g) curd cheese
1.5 oz (40 g) whole candied lemon peel, finely chopped
1.5 oz (40 g) golden caster sugar
grated zest 1 lemon
1 oz (25 g) ground almonds
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
about 2 tablespoons good-quality lemon curd
icing sugar for dusting

Method

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400F, 200C.

Cut the puff pastry block in half so that you have two squares, and then roll each piece, on a floured surface, into a square of about 11 inches (28 cm).

Using a pastry cutter, cut out 9 circles from each piece. Line a mince pie type baking tray with each ring.

In a bowl, combine the curd cheese, sugar, lemon zest, ground almonds and chopped candied peel, then beat the egg and egg yolk together in a separate bowl and add this to the rest of the ingredients. Mix very thoroughly with a large fork until everything is very evenly blended.

Spoon half a teaspoon of lemon curd into the base of each pastry case don't be tempted to add more as it will bubble over during the cooking then spoon a dessertspoon of the curd cheese mixture on top of this.

Then, when all the mixture has been added, bake the tarts in two batches on the centre shelf of the oven for about 20-25 minutes, by which time the mixture will have puffed right up and turned a lovely golden brown colour.

Now take them out of the oven and transfer them to a wire rack to cool. Don't worry if you see them start to sink a little, that's absolutely normal.

If you like, you can give them a faint dusting of icing sugar before you serve

Jamie Oliver tried a few with chocolate chips, a few more with a dash of rum/brandy or similar.

Hints

The Goddess Delia says: Curd cheese is similar to cream cheese but with a lower fat content and it, like cottage cheese, has had a lactic starter added. This gives it a light acidity and a light flavour, colour and texture.

It is sometimes called medium-fat soft cheese. I like it best of all for cheesecakes because it gives them a lighter flavour and texture

Curd cheese is similar to cream cheese, quark and cottage cheese. If you can't find it, drain cottage cheese in muslin over a bowl then blend til smooth with a hand blender.

Submitted by

Johnie





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