Sally Wise’s Blog Neenish Tarts

Sally Wise portrait (credit Veronica Youd) sml

 Sally is a best-selling Author of 15 cookbooks, including her gluten-free cookbook “From My Kitchen to Yours”.

 Sally operates a small cooking school in the idyllic Derwent Valley in Tasmania and she is passionate about creating nutritional, additive free food from fresh, seasonal produce






With the festive season almost upon us, it’s time to think of entertaining.  It may be a casual friends and neighbours dropping in for drinks or a cuppa, or a more formal affair.

It’s the time of year when it’s lovely to have a little something very special on hand to serve to guests.  These little Neenish tarts fit the bill perfectly.  They look complicated, but each of the component parts is very easy.  The tart cases can be made up to two weeks in advance, storing well in an airtight container.

The filling – well, the jam of course can be made months ahead.  The cream mixture holds quite well, refrigerated of course, with the addition of a little rum.  Even the completed tarts will keep for two days in the fridge.

The icings – at first I approached this with great trepidation.  To say that my decorating skills are somewhat lacking is praising the situation.  However, once you start, it is very easily achieved and when finished, the tarts look simply stunning.

To add a festive air, half a glace cherry could be placed in the centre, with a little angelica.  I’m not quite sure of the processing of the former – colourings etc.  Having had children with sensitivities to artificial additives, I generally pass on that option.

(Speaking of sensitivities, the tart cases can be made with gluten free flour)

I generally make a large platter full refrigerating till serving time – they are so delicious that few people can stop at one.  Neenish tarts are a true old-fashioned treat, rarely found in bakeries these days, this traditional, authentic version.

They are, to be sure, a culinary ‘gift’ to serve to loved ones over the festive season.


Neenish tarts

Recipe from “A Kitchen in the Valley” by Sally Wise, ABC Books/HarperCollins Publishers.

Makes approximately 18

For the cases

125g butter, softened

125g sugar

1 egg

250g plain flour

For the filling

300ml thickened cream

2 teaspoons icing sugar

1 tablespoon dark or white rum

½ cup raspberry jam, approximately

For the vanilla icing

180g icing sugar

1½ teaspoons softened butter

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

boiling water, to mix

For the chocolate icing

180g icing sugar

1 dessertspoon cocoa powder

2 teaspoons softened butter

boiling water, to mix

Preheat the oven to 170°C (fan forced).  Grease 18 x  1/3 cup muffin pans.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then whiskin the egg. With a metal spoon, mix in the combined flour and baking powder together until the dough comes together in a ball. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

For ease of handling, cut the pastry in half and roll each half out on a lightly floured surface to 3mm thick. Cut 18 rounds out of both pieces to fit the base of the pans. Line the prepared pans. Prick each pastry case twice with a fork.

Bake for approximately 10 to 12 minutes, or until light golden brown. Allow to stand in the pans for 4 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the filling, whip together the cream, icing sugar and rum until firm peaks form.

Place ½ teaspoon raspberry jam in each pastry case. Place about 3 teaspoons of whipped cream on the jam and spread out with a knife until almost level with the edge of each pastry case.

To make the vanilla icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl, add the butter and vanilla and then stir in the boiling water, 1 teaspoon at a time, mixing until the icing is smooth and thick enough to spread.

To make the chocolate icing, sift the icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl and add the butter. Stir in the boiling water, 1 teaspoon at a time, mixing until the icing is smooth and thick enough to spread.

Dip a knife in hot water and wipe dry, then spread the chocolate icing over half a tart. Dip another knife in hot water and wipe dry, then use this to spread the vanilla icing on the other half of the tart. Repeat with the remaining tarts.

Place the tarts on a platter and transfer to the fridge until the icing is set. The tarts will keep in a sealed container in the fridge.

Until next time…Sally


Click here to purchase Sally’s  new cookbook “Ultimate Slow Cooker” (you will be taken to the ABC shop website)

Click here to purchase Sally’s  new cookbook with Paul McIntyre “A Little Book of Slow” (you will be taken to the ABC shop website)

Click here to purchase Sally’s  cookbook “A Kitchen in the Valley” (you will be taken to the ABC shop website)

Click here to purchase Sally’s gluten free cookbook “From My Kitchen to Yours” (you will be taken to the ABC shop website)

Click here to read more about Sally

Click here to read our Editor’s interview with Sally

Click here for Sally’s recipes