As a young kid, I vaguely remember my mother making curd and curd tarts. She would hang the cheese cloth of curd milk dripping over the sink in our basement.
But on reading recipes on how to make curd, I didn’t want to wait the 6 or so hours it takes to make proper curd. Nor have I ever seen it on sale in the supermarkets. But, I found an early 1970’s Be Ro baking book which used Cottage Cheese. As cottage cheese is a form of curd, I thought I’d give it a try.
As with all my other recipes in this series of bringing the joy back into baking. I wanted the recipe to be as easy as possible. Because this, I think, is the key to getting your baking mojo back, when it’s lost. You don’t want to be faffing around with a recipe. That’s what I think anyway.
As with all experiments I worry how they will turn out. I feel so deflated when they don’t and often won’t try it again until later. But I was thrilled with the result and had to have two slices. It was that good.
Perhaps one day, I’ll make more of an effort to make real curd, but for now Natural Cottage Cheese is a great alternative.
I’d love to know if you’ve made curd tart with alternative ingredients. Or indeed if you have the patience to make the real thing.
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Cottage Cheese Curd Tart
Natural Cottage Cheese is a great alternative to using curd made the traditional way with whole milk and lemon juice. This recipe is easy to make even for a novice baker who is new to making pastry.
- Cook Time: 15 + 30
- Total Time: 15 + 30
- Yield: 6 - 8 slices
- Category: Tart
- Method: baking
- Cuisine: dessert
For the sweet pastry
- 170g plain flour sieved
- 1 tablespoon of icing sugar sieved or Caster sugar
- 85g unsalted butter chilled and cut into cubes
- 1 medium egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons cold water
For the filling
- 50g butter
- 50g caster sugar
- 300g natural cottage Cheese or curds
- 1 medium egg
- 50g currants
- Pinch of grated Nutmeg plus extra for the surface
- Zest of half a lemon
Make the pastry
- Rub the butter and flour together with your fingertips until you have a fine breadcrumb consistency with no large chunks of butter. This can be speeded up using a food processor.
- Mix the egg yolk with one tablespoon of water. This will avoid any streaky egg mixture in the pastry dough.
- Add the egg mixture. Start to bring the pastry together with your fingers or a large knife, until you have a smooth textured dough. If the pastry seems too dry keep adding a little of the remaining water until it all comes together.
- Wrap in cling film and chill for 10 – 15 mins in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 190 deg fan assisted. Grease the sides and base of a 19cm/7.5” loose bottomed cake tin about 3cm/1ins deep
- Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface, to about 4 mm think. Carefully, line your cake. Create a decorative border or leave any excess pastry over the side of the cake tin. Lining a tin is made much easier by rolling the pastry between two sheets of baking parchment.
- Line the pastry case with baking parchment. Reuse one of the sheets you used to roll the pastry out on. Fill with ceramic baking beans. Bake Blind for 15 mins. Remove the baking parchment and return to the over for a further 5 mins. The pastry should look dry and ever so slightly golden in colour.
- When cooled. Slice off any excess pastry that is hanging over the sides.
Make the Filling
- Melt the butter. Add the sugar, cottage cheese, egg, currants, nutmeg and Lemon zest. Mix until well combined.
- Fill the pastry case. Add a final touch of grated Nutmeg on the surface.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 25 – 30 mins or until the filling is just set.
- Leave in the tin to cool completely before slicing.
This tart taste lovely while still slightly warm. But is equally delicious served cold too.
Will keep in the fridge for up to a few days.
Keywords: cottage cheese curd tart