Elizabethan carrot tart

Elizabethan carrot tart


4 people made this

About this recipe: Carrot tarts, both sweet and savoury, were popular during Elizabethan times because they were naturally sweet and colourful. Here the smooth and creamy filling is made with low-fat soft cheese, plus cashew nuts for extra protein. The oats in the pastry provide a lovely nutty flavour.

Maggie Pannell

Serves: 4 

  • 125g plain flour
  • 50g porridge oats
  • 75g sunflower or soya spread, suitable for baking, chilled and diced
  • 450g carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 75g reduced-fat soft cheese
  • 1 egg
  • grated zest of 1 orange
  • 50g cashew nuts, chopped

Prep:1hr  ›  Cook:18min  ›  Ready in:1hr18min 

  1. Mix together the flour, oats and a pinch of salt, then rub in the spread with your fingertips. Add 2–3 tbsp iced water to bind to a soft dough. Wrap with cling film and chill for 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4, with a baking sheet inside. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface to a round large enough to line a 23cm flan tin. Gently push down into the corners of the tin and trim the edge. Prick the base with a fork, then line the pastry case with baking paper and fill with baking beans.
  3. Place the pastry case on the hot baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, then remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 3 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, put the carrots into a saucepan of water, bring to the boil and simmer for about 8 minutes until very soft. Drain well and transfer to a food processor or blender. Purée the carrots until smooth, then add the cheese and pulse to combine, scraping down the sides occasionally. Add the egg and orange zest and pulse a few times to mix. Season to taste.
  5. Pour the mixture into the pastry case and sprinkle the top with the cashew nuts. Bake for about 18 minutes until the nuts look golden. Serve warm.

cook's tip

The pastry case can be made up to 1 week in advance. Once cool, double-wrap in cling film, then keep chilled. Allow the pastry to come to room temperature, before baking blind.

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Reviews (2)


Wasn't enthralled by this - although it was nicer on the second day of eating. Found the recipe a bit hard to follow, especially as extra ingredients were included in the method that weren't in the ingredients list. - 19 Feb 2010


Recipe calls for soft cheese. I am in America, what cheese do you recommend? - 09 Jun 2015

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