Today, I’m going to share with you a delicious and easy recipe for Mary Berry Manchester Tart, a classic British dessert that will impress your guests. In this recipe, I will show you how to make a shortcrust pastry base, a layer of raspberry or strawberry jam, a thick custard filling, and a sprinkling of desiccated coconut and maraschino cherries on top. It is a simple and versatile recipe that you can customize to your liking, and it is perfect for any occasion.
Follow this step-by-step guide and enjoy a slice of this scrumptious tart!
What is Manchester Tart?
Manchester tart is a traditional British pudding that consists of a shortcrust pastry base, a layer of raspberry or strawberry jam, a thick custard filling, and a sprinkling of desiccated coconut and maraschino cherries on top. It is said to have originated in Manchester, England, in the 19th century, and was a popular school dinner dessert in the 20th century.
Manchester tart is also known as Manchester pudding, and sometimes has variations such as adding sliced bananas or whipped cream to the custard layer. However, the basic recipe is simple and easy to follow, and you only need a few ingredients to make this scrumptious tart.
What is Mary Berry Manchester Tart Recipe?
Mary Berry Manchester Tart Recipe is a delicious and easy recipe for a classic British dessert that consists of a shortcrust pastry base, a layer of raspberry or strawberry jam, a thick custard filling, and a sprinkling of desiccated coconut and maraschino cherries on top. It is said to have originated in Manchester, England, in the 19th century, and was a popular school dinner dessert in the 20th century. It is also known as Manchester pudding and sometimes has variations such as adding sliced bananas or whipped cream to the custard layer.
Why You Should Try This Recipe
Here are some reasons why you should try this recipe:
- Nostalgic Delight: Rediscover the joy of a retro, comforting dessert that evokes childhood memories.
- Ease of Preparation: No special skills or equipment needed; basic pantry ingredients create a stress-free baking experience.
- Irresistible Flavor Harmony: Enjoy a perfect balance of buttery pastry, sweet jam, creamy custard, and crunchy coconut.
- Versatility: Customize with various jam flavors, fresh fruits, and toppings like whipped cream or chocolate shavings for a personal touch.
Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Manchester Tart
To make this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:
For the pastry:
- 200g of plain flour
- 100g of cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 65g of icing sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1-2 tablespoons of cold water
For the custard:
- 800ml of whole milk
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla bean paste
- 5 large egg yolks
- 100g of caster sugar
- 50g of custard powder
For the decoration:
- 175g of raspberry or strawberry jam
- 50g of desiccated coconut, lightly toasted
- 12 maraschino cherries
Instructions to Make Mary Berry Manchester Tart
To make this recipe, you will need to follow these steps:
Step 1: Make the pastry
- To make the pastry, put the flour and butter in a bowl and rub with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Mix in the sugar and a pinch of salt, followed by the egg yolk, and bring it together into a dough. If the pastry is too dry to come together, add 1-2 tablespoons of cold water. Tip onto a work surface and form into a rough ball. Knead briefly.
- Roll the pastry out between two sheets of baking parchment into a roughly 28cm circle. Chill for 20-30 minutes until firm, then use it to line a 23cm tart tin. Push the pastry into the corners, then trim the edge so there’s 1-2cm pastry overhanging the rim (don’t worry if it breaks slightly, as it can be patched with any off-cuts). Prick the pastry base several times with a fork, then chill for 45 minutes. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.
Step 2: Bake the pastry
- Line the chilled pastry case with a sheet of baking parchment, then fill to the top with baking beans, uncooked rice, or lentils. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the beans and parchment and bake for 10-15 minutes more until the pastry is golden brown. Leave to cool in the tin, then trim the excess pastry using a small serrated knife.
Step 3: Make the custard
- Meanwhile, make the custard. Bring the milk and vanilla to the boil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Beat the egg yolks, caster sugar, and custard powder together in a medium bowl until well combined.
- Slowly pour the hot milk mixture over the egg mixture, whisking continuously until everything is smooth and well combined. Tip the custard mixture back into the pan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring continuously, for 2-3 minutes until very thick. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
Step 4: Assemble the tart
- Spread the jam over the base of the cooled pastry case. Carefully pour over the custard and smooth with the back of a spoon or spatula. Sprinkle over the coconut and dot the maraschino cherries around the edge in a circle. Chill for 2-3 hours, or until set.
What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Manchester Tart?
Mary Berry’s Manchester Tart is a versatile dessert that pairs wonderfully with various accompaniments, enhancing its flavors and textures. Here are some delightful options to consider serving with this classic British pudding:
- Whipped Cream: A dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream complements the tart’s richness, adding a smooth and airy texture.
- Vanilla Ice Cream: For a classic pairing, serve the tart with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The cold, creamy ice cream contrasts beautifully with the tart’s warmth and texture.
- Custard Sauce: A traditional British accompaniment, custard sauce drizzled over the tart can enrich its creamy texture and add an extra layer of flavor.
- Fresh Berries: Serve the tart with a side of fresh berries like strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries for a refreshing and slightly tart contrast.
- Fruit Compote: A fruit compote made from berries or seasonal fruits can add a sweet and tangy dimension to the dessert.
- Toasted Nuts: Sprinkle some toasted almonds or hazelnuts for a crunchy texture that complements the soft custard and pastry.
- Caramel Sauce: Drizzle some warm caramel sauce for a decadent and indulgent addition to the tart.
- Lemon or Orange Zest: Adding a bit of citrus zest on top before serving can bring a bright and refreshing aroma, cutting through the richness of the tart.
- Coffee or Tea: Serve the tart with a hot cup of coffee or tea. The bitterness of the coffee or the subtlety of the tea makes for a delightful end to your meal.
- Port or Dessert Wine: For an adult gathering, pair the tart with a sweet dessert wine or a glass of port to complement its richness.
Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Manchester Tart
To make the perfect Mary Berry Manchester Tart, here are some pro tips that you can follow:
- Make sure the butter is cold and cut into small cubes before rubbing it into the flour. This will help to create a flaky and crisp pastry.
- Don’t overwork the pastry dough, as this will make it tough and shrink when baked. Just knead it briefly until it comes together, and chill it well before rolling and baking.
- Use a good quality jam that has a high fruit content and a low sugar content. This will give the tart a better flavor and texture, and prevent it from being too sweet or runny.
- Use a fine sieve to strain the custard mixture before pouring it over the jam layer. This will remove any lumps or bits of egg that may have formed, and ensure a smooth and silky custard.
- Toast the desiccated coconut in a dry frying pan over low heat, stirring frequently, until golden and fragrant. This will enhance the flavor and texture of the coconut, and make it more crunchy and nutty.
- Cut the tart with a sharp knife dipped in hot water and wiped dry. This will help to create clean and neat slices and prevent the custard from sticking to the knife.
Variations of Mary Berry Manchester Tart
Explore exciting twists to the classic Mary Berry Manchester Tart with these creative variations:
Banana Manchester Tart:
- Enhance the tart with a fruity and creamy twist by adding sliced bananas to the jam layer.
- Elevate the sweetness and flavor by drizzling caramel sauce over the top.
Chocolate Manchester Tart:
- Indulge in a rich and decadent version by replacing the jam layer with a chocolate spread, such as Nutella.
- Intensify the chocolate goodness by incorporating chocolate chips or chunks into the custard layer.
Lemon Manchester Tart:
- Opt for a zesty and refreshing alternative by using lemon curd instead of jam.
- Infuse more lemon flavor by adding lemon zest and juice to the custard layer.
- Transform the topping with meringue and lemon slices for a lemon meringue pie-inspired tart.
Coconut Manchester Tart:
- Immerse yourself in a tropical delight by using coconut milk instead of regular milk in the custard layer.
- Introduce more coconut intensity with the addition of coconut extract or essence to the custard.
- Swap out the jam layer for pineapple jam or crushed pineapple for a piña colada-inspired tart.
How to Store Mary Berry Manchester Tart Leftovers
If you have any leftovers of Mary Berry Manchester Tart, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Here are some tips on how to store them properly:
- Let the tart cool completely before storing it in the fridge. This will prevent the pastry from becoming soggy and the custard from curdling.
- Cover the tart with a layer of cling film or foil to prevent it from drying out or absorbing any odors from the fridge.
- Label the container with the date and name of the tart, so you can keep track of how long it has been stored and what it is.
How to Reheat Mary Berry Manchester Tart Leftovers
If you’re looking to enjoy reheated leftovers of Mary Berry Manchester Tart, follow these steps:
- Microwave the tart for a few seconds until it reaches a warm temperature.
- Exercise caution to avoid overcooking and affecting the texture and flavor.
- Preheat your oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4.
- Bake the tart for 10-15 minutes until heated through.
- While effective, note that the tart is best enjoyed cold or at room temperature to preserve its original texture and flavor.
Nutrition value per serving (based on ):
- Calories: 362 kcal
- Fat: 21 g
- Saturated fat: 11 g
- Carbs: 36 g
- Sugars: 15 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 6 g
- Salt: 0.4 g
Other Tart Recipes to Try
How can I prevent the custard from curdling or splitting?
To prevent the custard from curdling or splitting, make sure to cook it over low to medium heat and stir it constantly. Do not let it boil or overcook, as this can cause the eggs to scramble. You can also strain the custard through a fine sieve before pouring it over the jam layer to remove any lumps or bits of egg.
How can I make the pastry more flaky and crisp?
To make the pastry more flaky and crisp, make sure to use cold butter and water when making the dough. This will help to create layers of fat and flour that will puff up when baked. You can also chill the dough well before rolling and baking, and use baking beans or rice to weigh down the pastry when blind baking. This will prevent the pastry from shrinking or puffing up too much.
Can I make the pastry ahead of time?
Absolutely! Prepare the pastry in advance and refrigerate until ready to use. This allows for convenient planning and efficient assembly when you’re ready to bake.
Are there alternatives to desiccated coconut for topping?
Certainly! If desiccated coconut isn’t to your liking, consider using toasted nuts, chocolate shavings, or a combination of both for an alternative and delightful topping.
Manchester tart is a delicious and easy recipe that will satisfy your sweet tooth and bring back some nostalgic memories. It is made with a simple shortcrust pastry, a layer of jam, a thick custard filling, and a sprinkling of coconut and cherries on top. It is a versatile and customizable dessert that you can make with any jam flavor or fruit that you like. It is also a budget-friendly and crowd-pleasing recipe that will impress your guests and family. Try this recipe today and enjoy a slice of this classic British pudding!
Prep time: 20-30 minutes Cooking time: 25-35 minutes Chilling time: 2-3 hours