Another tart recipe I had never come across… Congress tart; the recipe I have is for a very plain version – but apparently, on investigation there are much richer versions using desiccated coconut, ground almonds, beaten egg whites… and some people serve them with cream or ice-cream.

Apparently congress tarts are a speciality from Cornwall, and according to something I read the name dates back to 1648 and the end of the Thirty Years War;  a congress was held in Osnabrück,  as well as in and Münster, and everyone who attended was given a sort of macaroon tart marked with a pastry cross.

Here is the rather plain recipe I have:

  • shortcrust pastry
  • 3 oz sugar
  • 3 oz butter or margarine
  • 3 oz ground rice
  • a few drops of almond essence (not flavouring)
  • 1 egg
  1. line a patty tin with cut out circles of pastry, reserving a small amount
  2. cream the butter and sugar
  3. add the ground rice and the egg and mix well and add the essence
  4. fill the little tarts with the mixture
  5. using the left over pastry, make crosses for each tart
  6. bake for 15-20 mins at gas mark 6, 400° F, 200° C
  7. cool on a wire rack before serving with a nice cup of tea

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