Baking a Manchester Tart!

Manchester Tart is an English baked tart that is a traditional local delicacy in Manchester, although there are variations on the theme within Manchester and in nearby Liverpool.

There are so many different variations on cakes and pastries throughout the UK that if you are a fan of such tasty treats you should always make time to try out as many different types as you can.

Manchester Tart is definitely one of those you should make a priority, especially if you are new to the city having just moved into student accommodation in Manchester.

So, what is a Manchester Tart?

The Manchester Tart is a traditional baked tart that is made with a shortcrust pastry shell. It is then spread with raspberry jam, and covered with a custard filling. On the top of the Manchester Tart can be found flakes of coconut, and all finished off with a Maraschino cherry on top.

Advertised as ‘the home of the Manchester Tart’, Robinson’s Bakers located in Failsworth, Manchester, is the oldest bakery in the city. It was established in 1864 and continues to deliver fantastic baked goods.

The variations mentioned above usually consist of a layer underneath the custard of banana, sliced to an extremely thin measurement.

For many people Manchester Tart is associated with school canteens up until the mid-1980s. You might also be interested to know that the original recipe for the Manchester Tart was taken from the Manchester pudding, first recorded by Mrs Beeton (a Victorian cookery writer). It was tweaked to the recipe that we’ll demonstrate to you below.

We wouldn’t want to leave you hanging with a sub-par Manchester Tart recipe, so we’ve taken a lead out of Saturday Kitchen royalty, with the following Manchester Tart recipe one put together by James Martin (of BBC Saturday Kitchen fame).

One Pot Cooking for Students

When starting out your quest to make a Manchester Tart it is worth a reminder that it is a simple, and easy custard and fruit tart. The addition of a flaked toasted coconut and fresh raspberries add some greater depth, but should you follow the instructions you too could soon be eating an exquisite Manchester Tart.

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– Small amount of butter to use for greasing

– 500g ready-made shortcrust pastry

– Plain flour

– 200g raspberry jam

– 300g fresh raspberries

– 500ml full-fat milk

– 3tbsp desiccated coconut

– 3tbsp desiccated coconut that is toasted in a dry frying pan until golden-brown in colour

– 5 egg yolks

– 1 vanilla pod (with the seeds scraped out with a knife)

– 125g caster sugar

– 4 heaped tbsp cornflour

– 2 tbsp icing sugar to be used for dusting

– 400ml double cream (this should be whipped until soft peaks form when you remove the whisk)


What method should be used to turn those ingredients into a tasty Manchester Tart?

  1. The first thing to do is to preheat your oven to a temperature of 200C./400F/Gas 6. Once the oven is heating up grease your tart tin with the butter. The size of the tin should be 24cm/10in.
  2. Take the shortcrust pastry and roll it out onto a work surface that you have lightly dusted in flour.It should be rolled into a 0.5cm thickness before being used to line the tart tin. Prick the pastry several times using a fork and then place in a fridge for 30-minutes to chill it.
  3. Once the pastry case has been rested place a sheet of baking parchment into it and place some baking beans inside until it is half-filled.The pastry case should then be placed in the oven to bake for 15-minutes, or until the colour of the pastry has changed to a pale golden-brown.At this point you should remove the baking beans and the parchment and return the pastry case to the oven for another 5-minutes tops.
  4. Take the pastry base and smooth on an even layer of the raspberry jam, with a sprinkle of the non-toasted desiccated coconut on the top and half of the fresh raspberries.Take a pan and boil the milk, vanilla pod, and vanilla seeds, before reducing the heat to a simmer for a further 1-2 minutes. Remove the vanilla pod at this point.
  5. With a bowl, beat the sugar and egg yolks together until they are fully combined, then pour over the hot milk and vanilla.Whisk this until the mixture is smooth, before returning the mixture to a pan over a medium heat. This should be stirred until the mixture has reached a thick consistency and coats the back of your spoon.
  6. Transfer this custard to a clean bowl and then dust with icing sugar. Set this mixture aside to cool, and then place in a fridge for 30-minutes to chill.After this time, whisk the double cream into the custard mixture that has been chilled, and then spoon it into the pastry case until it is an even layer.Over the top of the mixture sprinkle the rest of the fresh raspberries and at the last moment before serving, the toasted coconut.

Also Read: What Is Manchester Famous For

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