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Monday 5 February 2018

Cooking with Coronation Street - Manchester Tart

Greetings! Here we go with the fifth of our 
Cooking with Coronation Street blog posts in which we take recipes from this little gem of a book from 1992 and see what they turn out like when cooked at home by Corrie fans.  

Our friends from the Coronation Street podcast - Conversation Street, Gemma and Michael have taken up the cookery challenge again, this time to make Guinness casserole.

You can follow Conversation Street on Twitter @ConversationStr and Facebook

Michael and Gemma chose to cook Manchester Tart from the Corrie recipe book this time and now, it's over to them both... 

What do Elsie Tanner, Bet Lynch and Liz McDonald all have in common with our Cooking with Coronation Street recipe this week? Manchester tarts, the lot of ‘em – and very tasty too! 

For our third attempt at preparing a dish from The Coronation Street Cookbook, we’ve gone for a classic pudding that’s probably very familiar to the residents of Weatherfield, but truth be told, Manchester tart isn’t something we’d ever actually tried ourselves before. In fact, the only real knowledge we had of the dish came from the time Deirdre ended up with her face covered in the stuff after having a secret snog with Audrey’s fella, lothario Lewis Archer.

When we were ready to start, we got together the ingredients required for the recipe – pastry, jam, egg, milk, sugar and salt and nutmeg to taste – and set to following the steps. To be honest, the instructions couldn’t have been simpler. Like most of the dishes we’ve cooked from this book before, we got the impression that this was definitely a no-frills version of a pudding that could easily have been made more complex. Indeed, we’ve seen versions that use cream, whole raspberries, vanilla extract, banana, and even desiccated coconut, but this was a recipe that even a stranger to cooking like Carla Connor could handle. As proof of that, it was Michael who took the lead in preparing this pud, albeit under the watchful eye of house chef Gemma.

First off, the ready rolled shortcrust pastry was taken out of the pack and flattened out on our kitchen worktop. Don’t fall into the same trap we did and try this straight from the fridge, which can lead to the pastry cracking; instead, leave it 10-15 minutes at room temperature. Next up, we greased a 9-inch baking dish with butter, before lining it with the pastry. Be gentle with this part, as again, you don’t want the pastry to crack.

Once the dish was lined and excess pastry removed with a sharp knife, we dolloped and spread on a layer of jam (raspberry is traditional, though we preferred to use strawberry). On top of this, we poured on a mixture of milk (1/2 pint) and an egg, then grated a small amount of nutmeg over the surface.

The dish was then placed in the oven, preheated to 200 degrees, and cooked for just over half an hour. Be careful where you put it: the pastry can burn easily at such high temperatures, so keep the dish on a lower or central shelf. After thirty minutes, we checked the consistency of the mixture; it seemed a little liquidy still, so we kept it in the oven until it was a little more solid. Once it was ready, the tart was removed from the oven, sprinkled with caster sugar and left to cool.

So what were our first impressions of Manchester tart? Overall, pretty good! You can’t really go wrong with a bit of pastry, jam and egg custard – proper school dinner food. It’s certainly something we’d try again, and would love the opportunity to taste a more authentic version on our next trip up to Manchester.

May be served with cream, or for the full Coronation Street experience…


Keep your eyes peeled for the next of our Cooking with Coronation Street blog posts coming very soon.

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