Manchester Tart

This is the type of tart you’ll want to make when it’s cold and you need something warm and custardy, or the type of tart to make for a large party. It’s rich, comforting and a little piece goes a long way. You can use shop brought pastry if short of time, but I would definitely recommend the all butter shortcrust pastry because it really does make a difference!

I first heard of this tart on ‘Come Dine With Me’ and the woman who made it, made it look quite unappealing. Then after looking through my Hawksmoor At Home book again I realised that a recipe for Manchester Tart was in there and looked far more delicious! Initially I didn’t comprehend how rich and decadent this tart would be even though the custard filling uses 750ml whipping cream……….but it turned out delicious and such a satisfying dessert.

Manchester Tart

Manchester Tart

For the Pastry:

250g plain white flour
Pinch of salt
150g unsalted cold butter, cubed
75g caster sygar
Zest of half a lemon
1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk

For the Custard:

8 egg yolks
100 g caster sugar
750ml whipping cream
50g jam, loosened with a little water if necessary
25g desiccated coconut

Tart tin size: 23cm, with a removable base.


For the pastry:

  1. Sift flour, salt into a bowl and rub cubed butter until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  2. Add the sugar, lemon zest and egg plus egg yolk. Bring the mixture in with your hands until it is smooth and firm. Wrap in clingfilm and chill in fridge for 2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4
  4. Take pastry out of fridge, let it sit for a few minutes to soften slightly. Roll out until large enough to line the tin, gently pressed the pastry down. Leave the excess pastry to hang over the tin to stop shrinkage (trim off after you have blind baked it).
  5. Fill with baking beans, bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove the baking beans, bake for a further 10 minutes or until pastry is entirely cooked and golden brown.
  6. Brush all over with egg yolk and bake for a further 3 minutes (I left this step out and it tasted fine!)
  7. Once finished blind baking carefully saw of the excess pastry.

For the Custard:

  1. In a heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together and add whipping cream.
  2. Place bowl over water, warm this through until mixture gets to 37C. Sieve into large jug. (As I didn’t have a thermometer, I just warmed it through until it felt slightly hot on my fingers; of course this is different for everyone. SO best bet is to actually get a thermometer).
  3. Spread thick layer of jam on the pastry.
  4. Place pastry (still in tin) onto the middle shelf of oven; gently pour in custard until the very top.
  5. Bake at 130C/260F/Gas ½ for 35 minutes, sprinkle with coconut and bake further for 15 minutes or until custard has set.
  6. LET IT COOL before slicing it.
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2 thoughts on “Manchester Tart

  1. LOVE the look of this pie! I have never heard of it but anything that has 1. custard in it 2. coconut is a winner in my book! This might just be the ticket when my parents come over next time… love your blog btw!

    • Hi Marthafied,

      Thank you for reading the blog! This is delicious…..but really quite, well rich. Strong tea/coffee is a must. Do let me know whether you’ve baked it/how did you find it?


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