Friday, 4 May 2018

Regency-style lemon almond tart + #ReadCookEat May linky

Regency recipes, easy lemon tart

Reconstructing dishes mentioned in fiction is one of my passions.
I've recently finished reading The ghost of Glendale by Natalie Kleinman (read my review). It is a Romance with a ghost story twist, set in Regency times. There are not many mentions of food, except when the main protagonists Phoebe, her cousin Lydia, their beaus Duncan and Rupert as well as the other neighbours go on a picnic.

"It was all in good fun and, with an appetite that only the young seem to have, the various meets, cheeses, pies and other delicacies were consumed with eagerness which, had the kitchen staff of the various establishments been able to see, would have given them much pleasure."

I was curious to discover what dishes might have been served at picnics during the Regency and consulted a couple of food history books. Picnics were often quite a grand affair, with baskets upon baskets of food and chilled champagne in buckets with ice, carried by numerous servants.

I also consulted a cook book "Dinner with Mr Darcy" by Pen Vogler. In a chapter dedicated to picnic food she offers a recipe for Lemon cheesecakes (Georgian cheesecakes actually did not contain cheese). She cooks individual lemon cheesecakes.
I decided to bake one easy lemon almond tart, and it happened to be a delightful bake, easy and quick, and oh so good. I hope Phoebe and company would approve of it.

lemon tart, Regency recipes

Regency-style lemon almond tart
1 pack of shortcrust pastry
zest of 2 lemons
2tbsp lemon juice
100g caster sugar
1tbsp limoncello (optional)
2 medium eggs
2tbsp single cream
100g ground almonds
60g butter, melted
a big handful of flaked almonds

For the ease of cooking, use a ready-made shortcrust pastry. If you have time and inclination, prepare your own pastry by all means.
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Unroll the pastry and cut out a big circle to fit in your tart dish or tin. Bake for 10 minutes.
In a medium mixing bowl zest 2 lemons. Add the lemon juice, caster sugar, limoncello, beat in two eggs. Add single cream, ground almonds and melted and cooled butter, and mix well.
Pour the almond lemon mix into the pre-baked pastry case, scatter flaked almonds on top.
Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 20+ minutes until golden brown.
Take out and let it cool a bit before slicing and serving.

This tasty tart is quite similar to Bakewell tart, minus jam, and with lemon flavours.

Regency picnic

This is not an authentic Regency recipe, as obviously they would not have a pre-made shortcrust pastry, and I'm not sure whether limoncello or any other lemon liqueur was popular in England in those days. But lemons and ground almonds appear happily in many 19C recipes.

Regency tarts

Have you read a book recently which inspired you to run to the kitchen and cook to your heart's content?

I hope you are inspired by books to join in the #ReadCookEat challenge.

The idea is to choose a book, either a world classic or modern fiction, or even memoirs and pick up a dish mentioned or described in that book and then recreate it in a recipe. Please say a few lines about your chosen book, and maybe even do a quote from the book.

If you decide to take part, please add the badge to your post and link up back to me, and either use a link-up tool or add the url of your post as a comment. Alternatively, email me with the link to your post (my email is sasha1703 at yahoo dot com).

I will Pin all blog posts taking part in this challenge, as well as RT and Google+


  1. Ooh this looks lovely - my mum loves lemon flavours and I need to bake her a birthday cake for her next visit so this looks perfect and would make a nice change to my usual lemon drizzle cake :) I've been busy working through my bookmarked #readcookeat recipes during the holidays so I have quite a few too link up from since the last linky !

    1. Bring it on! The more, the merrier. It's a lovely tart, not sure about a birthday treat, a cake sounds more festive to me, and I do loooove a good old lemon drizzle cake.

    2. Definitely can't go wrong with a lemon drizzle cake !