Clarissa Dickson Wright’s maids of honour recipe

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There are many recipes for the little quince tarts that Henry VIII named after his wives’ ladies-in-waiting – but this is Clarissa’s favourite


  • For the pastry:
  • 225g plain flour
  • 135g butter
  • 2 tsps icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 tsp cold water
  • For the filling:
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 1 heaped tsp selfraising flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 100g ground almonds
  • Shredded rind of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp thick cream
  • 6 tbsps quince jelly


  • Mix all the pastry ingredients together to form a soft dough. Set aside to rest for 30 minutes.

  • Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas Mark 6. Roll out the pastry and use a pastry cutter to cut 12 rounds to fi t a 25cm tartlet tin.

  • To make the filling, cream the butter and sugar together thoroughly then stir in the flour. Beat in the egg yolks, followed by the almonds, lemon rind and then the cream.

  • 4/ Put a little quince jelly in each pie dish then spoon in the filling mixture. Bake the tarts in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, then leave to cool on a rack. Dust with icing sugar before serving.

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