Maid of honour tartlets

The Casa Rosada medieval breakfast table featuring maid of honour tartlets

It is said that these were the favourite tarts of Anne Boleyn when she was maid of honour in the court of Catherine of Aragon.Unlike in medieval times when cooking the fillings had to be started the day before,today we have at our disposal well drained curd cheeses and cream cheeses, making this quite a simple and easy tart to make and one that I had the foresight to see was going to be popular as a novelty breakfast item on the Medieval breakfast table at Casa Rosada this medieval morning after.So "See this dispatch'd with all the haste thou canst:" and bake off some these tartlets so you can hold court too.I think they would be equally well suited to being seved with a pot of Earl Grey of a medieval afternoon.
Maid of honour tartlets
makes 6x 8cm tartlets

225g (8oz) sweet shortcrust pastry

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon for rolling out the pastry

2 egg yolks lightly beaten

225g(8oz) Portuguese requeijao or ricotta cheese

115g(4oz) unsalted butter,softened

2 tablespoons brandy

good pinch of Flor de sal

2 tablespoons caster sugar

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

175g (6oz9 ground almonds

finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

8 sliced or flaked almonds,cinnamon and icing sugar to decorate

Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface sprinkled with the cinnamon and use to line 6 8cm tartlet tins.Prick the base of each tartlet and place in the fridge,while you make the filling.The tart shells do not need to be blind baked.Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6.Place a baking sheet in the oven so it is hot and at the correct oven temperature when the tartlets arrive.

Put the cheese into a mixing bowl,add the butter,remaining egg yolks and brandy.beat until pale and well mixed.Stir in the salt,sugar,numeg,ground almonds,lemon zest and juice,mixing well.

Fill the tartlet cases with the cheeese mixture and smooth over the surface,before adding a sliced or flaked almond to each tartlet as decoration.Put the filled tartlet cases onto the hot baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until risen and golden brown.sprinkle with the icing sugar and cinnamon.


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