Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Maids of Honour

I had forgotten this old recipe until someone mentioned them. A simple recipe and yes, unfortunately, not Cornish, old fashioned, especially with the cherry on the top, but I like old fashioned. But let’s be honest here - they are raspberry jam tarts with a sponge topping and some icing! The combination is absolutely delicious. But I wonder why Maids of Honour?

You will need a shallow 12 hole bun bin and shortcrust pasty to line the holes.

Pre heat your fan oven to 190C

My shortcrust is 8 oz plain flour, 5 oz cold butter, a little caster sugar, 1 egg yolk and 1-2 tablespoons cold water. Blitz the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor or rub in. Add the egg and water and mix. Chill for 10-15 mins before using. [you will only need half this quantity for the buns]

Roll out your shortcrust quite thinly, then using a cutter [3”], line the bun tin holes, pop into the fridge again while you make the sponge.

2 oz caster sugar
2 oz softened butter
2 oz SR flour
1 large egg, beaten with a small amount of milk
Raspberry Jam

In a small bowl, cream the butter and sugar, then add the beaten egg alternatively with the flour.
You want a nice soft mixture, so you might need a tad more milk.

Place a small teaspoonful of Raspberry Jam in the bottoms of your pastry cases then gently spoon over the sponge mix, making sure the jam is covered, but take care not to overfill.

Bake for about 19-20 mins and leave in the tin for a few minutes after removing from the oven, then leave to cool on a rack.

Meanwhile make up a little water icing and halve some glacé cherries, then when the tarts are cold, finish the toppings.

Old fashioned baking at its best.

Note: I wash, then dry the cherries first.


  1. I used to love these when I was a kid (that's a LONG time ago) but yours do look like the treats I remember. I always removed the glacé cherries and I've still not learnt to love glacé cherries to be honest. Maids of honour are often said to date back (in some form or another) to the court of Henry VIII. Like most food legends, I'd like to believe it, but I'm not sure that I do.

  2. I make Congress tarts in a similar way but add Ground almonds. Lovely to read your recipes, Cornish and others.
    Visiting after a link from KirstenM who visited my blog.