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




  1. Mix all the pastry ingredients together to form a soft dough. Set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 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.