Liverpool Tart or Judy-cake for 2008.
A confection with a "Liverpool" name, to rival the "Manchester Tart" and "Bakewell Tart"
in the cake-shops, bakeries, supermarkets, tea-rooms and family kitchens of Merseyside.
The TASTE is " dark Muscovado sugar ... ... ... and Lemon!"

          the recipe, now      the 1897recipe     where to buy the tarts      how it came about.      mission statement     how to decorate them      
family size tarts       Liver Bird cutters       Liver Bird templates       Liverpool Judies?     wet nellies       contact me  

as sold by Dafna's; biscuit crumb powder round a Liver Bird shape from
Alan Roberts (Engravers) Liverpool.
LIVERPOOL TART recipe from 1897, updated.

Pastry; 8 oz flour. 4oz marge/butter. 1 tsp icing sugar.
Pinch of salt. 4 tbsp cold water.
Grease & line two four-yorkshire-pudding baking trays.
Filling; 8 oz Dark Muscovado sugar
2oz butter or marge, 1 egg, 1 lemon(unwaxed)

Method; Melt butter and sugar, then let it cool but not set.
Cut lemon in small pieces & remove the pips.
Then shred all the lemon in a blender until fairly fine.
Beat all items together until fairly smooth,
and spoon the mixture into the pastry/trays
Bake at Gas Five, 17/20 minutes.

Topping; Twist strips of pastry across the top in both directions?
Use a shape of cut pastry, e.g. heart, star, Liver Bird cutter?
( from )
Coat with biscuit crumb over a template shape then remove the shape.

Satterthwaites small tart,
using a Heart motif cutter,
for "Liverpool; the city with a heart"
Back to theTop of the page.

as sold by Barbara of Neston at Farmers Markets.

Back to theTop of the p.age.

May 2007; at DAFNA'S Cheescake Factory,
240 Smithdown Rd. Liverpool L15 5AH
Tel (44)0151 733 7808
YorksPud size 1.00 (2008).

SATTERTHWAITES of Crosby , all five branches.
51 Coronation Road, Crosby, L23 5RE
Telephone: +(44) (0) 15 12 86 96 90 Small size 42p (2008)

BARBARA OF NESTON has started selling them, (2009) at Farmers' Markets in Lark Lane and Wirral.

"MISS CHOCOLATY O'CLAIR" TEA ROOM upstairs at 80 Bold St, Liverpool is very likely to be trialling them soon.

...One major supermarket was to start selling them 2008 but "head office" did not give the go-ahead, so the local plans came to nothing.
However, another is looking to do a
special promotion on "LOCAL PRODUCTS" fairly soon.
Back to theTop of the page.

Here is a mock-up of Miss Chocolaty O'Claire's version, using a Lambanana template.

Here are templates by Alan Roberts, in two sizes, complete with handle, the other face being bright and shiny.
when I make my own Liverpool Tarts?

The original recipe said "cross bar over", which most people agree means "lattice" strips of pastry laid both ways across the surface. You too can have Liver Bird of Lambanana decor versions, by using templates, as used by Dafna's and Chocolary O'Claire, obtainable by special order from Alan Roberts (engravers) 39a Knight St Liverpool 1 Just put the template in place, sprinkle biscuit powder all over, then remove the template. Stars, hearts, and other cutters can be obtained from specialist cake-design shops such as Centre Attraction in Old Swan.
This is all in keeping with the general idea that the basic tart is now fixed, but that anyone can make their own version of the decor and finish.

the original recipe says "cross bar over" and most people think this is what is meant.
Back to theTop of the page.
The TASTE is "Muscovado sugar and Lemon!"

HERE IS THE RECIPE in full detail.

After a few attempts, I believe the recipe today should now read more like this, for today's cooks, with today's machinery.

Liverpool "Judy" Tart, 2007
PASTRY; (your best pastry) 8 oz flour.   4 oz fat/marge/butter.
  1 tsp icing sugar.    Pinch of salt.    4 tbsp cold water.

Make the pastry, and after leaving it in the fridge, (so it won't shrink later) grease two four-yorkshire-pudding baking trays, to make eight individual tarts,
Cut eight disks from this amount of pastry with a 110mm pastry cutter

FILLING; 8 oz. Dark Muscovado sugar    2oz butter or marge,   
1 egg,    and one whole unwaxed lemon.

Melt the butter & sugar, then let it cool but not solidify.
Cut lemon in pieces small enough to remove pips. Use a blender to mash it fairly fine. (10 seconds should be about right)
Put everything into a mixer, with an egg, and beat until fairly smooth, (a bit of "texture" does no harm),
and LADLE the mixture into the pastry trays;
about three tbsp per tart should be enough.
Do not use more than this or the filling will only overflow during baking.
Bake at Gas 5, until just before the pastry starts to brown, or the filling to crisp.
This will mean about 22 MINUTES on Gas 5 in the middle shelf.
(The second tray, on a lower oven shelf, will then need another ten minutes on the top shelf.) NB; on removal from the oven there will be an (attractive) "butter-bloom" on the surface, but this will fade overnight to a uniform dark brown.

TOPPING; The original said "Cross bar over" i.e. twist strips of pastry across the top in both directions, and this would be an ideal simple version for home baking.
definitely something white. Dust with icing sugar? Blobs of whipped Cream? Liver Bird shape on top?
Liver Bird cutters may be bought as one-off special orders from KITBOX in Bristol.
If you try this, then I suggest you use sugarpaste. Using fondant icing is not a good idea; the tart is sweet enough, and the extra sweetness of the icing can spoil the special taste of muscovado and lemon, and make people think instead of "mince pies"

Back to theTop of the p.age.
Liverpool Tart, 1897
Here is the original hand-written version from 1897.
8 oz. moist (?)sugar.         2oz butter.       1 egg.       1 lemon.       pastry

"Put the butter and sugar into a moderate oven to melt. When melted, let it cool.
Boil your lemon whole very slowly (or it will break) until quite soft.
Mince it whole as it is, saving the juice as much as possible and taking out the pips. Mince very fine.
Beat the egg well. Mix all well together.
Line a flat open tart dish with good paste [ie pastry]
and pour in the mixture to one uniform thickness (about an inch).
Cross bar over and bake. Serve hot or cold."

"Cross bar over" probably means laying twisted strips of pastry across the surface, in both directions, like your Gran used to.

I did try "Liverpool tart" in Google, but this only produced many thousands of references to a certain type of young lady.      In stark contrast, searching for "Liverpool tart recipe " produced only this one single hit, out of the millions of pages.

WHen you try this recipe, please let me know how you get on, or what problems you found. Do remember that the AIM is not just to produce a nice recipe, but something which can become a "standard" and a "local delicacy", as popular locally as Bakewell Tarts or Chelsea Buns or Eccles Cakes. Something which can be made at home, and which will SELL in cake shops and tea-rooms.

Back to theTop of the page.
Having the Liver Bird on the tart is a real bonus, and is a real attraction.When making these tarts at home, it is still possible to make a recognisable Liver Bird by using a couple of pairs of pliers to re-shape an "egg-ring." Alternatively, a Liver Bird can be drawn free-hand with food-colour Pens on rice paper - or indeed you could do something with the "potato-cut" printing we did at school onto rice paper or sugarpaste. I suggest you avoid actual icing as this adds too much extra sweetness.

If you are in business and want to make professional looking Liver Bird shapes, then these will be made to order by Dyck Willis of Bristol, Dyck Willis of Bristol, trading as"KIT BOX," The birds will need to be prised out using a cocktail stick, and it helps if you dip the cutter into icing sugar or cornflour first. This takes too much time for a mass-production version.
The alternative as used by Dafna's is to buy a Liver Bird flat shape made (Alan Roberts, Engravers, Liverpool) to hold over the tart while you sprinkle on some biscuit crumb/powder.

Back to theTop of the page. Click to go BACK to my Home Page. Click here to email me.
MISSION STATEMENT. My aim is to publicise the "Liverpool Tart" recipe until it becomes a standard item of confectionery alongside the Bakewell Tart and the Eccles Cake in bakeries, cake-shops and homes, locally then nationally, starting in Liverpool in 2008.
This recipe has been on the Evershot Village page for a while, and on this page of mine since February 2007. This means that the Liverpool Tart Recipe is firmly in the "public domain", and is "open source" , belonging to nobody. It is now impossible to copyright the basic recipe, everyone is free to develop their own version..


Three professional bakers, Dafna's of Wavtertree, Sattertrhwaites of Crosby and Barbara of Neston, have now developed a product that will Sell. I am now convinced that the "moist sugar" &lemon" taste is very distinctive and unique, and has to be at the heart of the Liverpool Tart.
To this end I have bought some Liver Bird pastry-cutters, and made the birds with sugarpaste or flowerpaste.. I did try covering most of the dark filling with icing, and adding colour to the Liver Bird. But this extra sugar weakened the lemon tang, but has made the overall taste closer to "mince pies" and so it lost the very distinctive taste of the dark tarts.

Rice paper has been tried but does not seem promising. PASTRY; the original recipe just says "Line with good paste". I use a very standard pastry, but using Self-Raising Flour, and a spoon of icing sugar too. This can be rolled very thin, as it does thicken well, and goes well with the filling. However, a thick pastry crumbles with the filling in the mouth in a pleasant way. Some tasters tell me that they always use Plain Flour for pastry, and the professionals have their own secret recipes.

SUGAR; Dark Muscovado Sugar has proved to be a good translation of "moist" sugar. This made a lovely brown background, crying out for "something white" to go on top. It is a lovely taste, with the lemon coming through most unexpectedly. This very dark sugar, however, tends to impart a rather "treacle tart" taste and appearance to the mix, which may be either ideal or just distracting. Some element of icing sugar certainly tones down the lemon tang, but in the view of some testers, it changes the overall taste to that of "mince pies" , so that won't do.
Light Brown Sugar was tried, and it proved to be half-way in colour between white and muscovado, still rather red than brown, but closer than white sugar to the "renowned local delicacy" we are aiming for, and I do not plan to try it again. Perhaps somebody else will?
I am inclined to discount Demerara sugar, because - although the colour may be similar - I fear it may produce a slightly gritty feel on the tongue. On the other hand, Liverpool is a "gritty real-life" city, and "Togo" is an old Liverpool name for raw sugar. However, Satterthwaites made their own judgement that their customers would prefer a filling based on demerara plus cake-crumb, which is much less sweet, and would appeal to another sector of the public.
I did start with white granulated sugar but this did not "melt." The tarts had the "lemon surprise" taste, but looked like very ordinary "marmalade" tarts. No further action planned.
CARAMELISING? one suggestion is that a Cook's Blow-torch be used to caramelise the sugary surface. Must try it, even though it is unlikely to be taken up in any mass-production process.

LEMON; I am convinced this is essential, with its flavour coming as a surprise through the "toffee" of the dark sugar. In the first batches, I used a good big lemon each time, which gave a flavour too strong for some tastes, and also will have cost implications. SO I am now trying rather smaller lemons, as sold in packs of four, and settling on "unwaxed" lemons as I have been told this can help to avoid bitterness.
Alternatives such as artificial lemon juice would not provide the "bulk", leaving just sugar and butter, while the semi-crunchy attractive texture on the tongue would be missing.

TOPPING; the dark muscovado filling clearly calls out for something white; icing or cream. A light dusting with icing sugar is cheap and very attractive. Rosettes of whipped cream would look marvellous, while anything with cream might help control the sweetness. NOT meringue; I tried little meringue swirls, which looked lovely, but the meringue and the lemon cancelled each other out, leaving a taste of "nothing."

SHAPES AND IMAGES For Batch 5 (Feb 07) I tried making a cutter (from an "egg-ring") of a Liver Bird , and the results were immediately recognised by test groups, and looked spectacular.
On the other hand, another local bakery chain felt the dark appearance by itself would not "Sell", and are trying a Liver Bird on top, made of coloured sugarpaste.
This looks good - see Batch 9 - but fondant icing would ruined the muscovado-lemon taste. There are other ways of using liver bird shapes, and white images of the Liver Bird above the Mersey Waves.

SIZES; three possible sizes spring to mind.
Individual; a four-inch single tart, for serving in restaurants and tea-shops.
Multipack ;a three-inch small tart, as sold in packs of three of more. Except that these would be too small to be satifsfying. I did try a few in most batches, to use up excess pastry and filler. Also these would call for a very small Liver Bird Cutter, from which it is very fiddly to remove the Bird.

FAMILY SIZE TART? Barbara of Neston is (Feb 09) the only major supplier who makes family size tarts, approx 6.5 inches but could make it bigger if required. She reports that they are a great success, expecially when sliced warm with cream). The metal star cutters are standard and can be purchased at good catering shops, I got mine in Heswall, but Kytch n Sync sell them as do many other shops eg. Lakeland. TRYING IT AT HOME? I tried an eight-inch tart,cut into six or eight wedges.(4 Feb 07)
It didn't really work
1. The pastry mix as given will line two 9-inch tart-tins, but the filling mix will only fill ONE of them!
2. The baking took over twice as long, and even then the filling stayed runny for a long time. No doubt a proper cook can sort this.
Back to theTop of the page. BACK to my Home Page. Click here to email me.
Individual size. Two 4-Yorkshire Pud tins, lined with good pastry, "dark muscovado-plus-lemon" mix, sprinkled with icing sugar.
the original recipe says "cross bar over" and most people think this is what is meant.

heart cutters by FMM products, set of 3 for 4.99 from Centre Attraction.
Should we call this delicacy a "Liverpool Judy?"

There is a generation gap growing here; most people above a certain age will know that the term "Judy" was used for many generations as a term for "girl-friend", and was used in a pleasant and friendly way, with a smile. Many people Under a certain age will need to have that explained to them.
There is indeed a Liverpool sea-shanty, whose chorus is "...and it's Row, Row bullies, row; those Liverpool Judies have got us in tow". a fanciful image of the girls they left at home in Liverpool all pulling on a theoretical tow-rope to bring their sailor-boy lovers safely home soon. "Liverpool Judies" in Google gives over 400 mentions of this term, mainly from this one sea-shanty

As far as I know, use of the term "Judy" for girl-friend is pure Liverpool, and not used anywhere else in the world. .

I would also personally prefer"Liverpool Judy" as this is a Non-Specific Name, one which does not specify any particular kind of confection. I think this makes it feel more traditional and local, and therefore more attractive to visitors. One friend suggested "Judy-cakes" but I think this means it would have to be a cake, and could not be a tart. Chorley, Eccles and Dundee have their Cakes. Manchester, Bakewell and others have their Tarts or their Biscuits. I would prefer Liverpool to go that bit further to be distinctive and quirky.

Back to theTop of the page.


Some people say, "Why don't we settle for "WET NELLIES"?
That has been a "Liverpool delicacy" for donkey's years."

Because these relied on using unsold and "beyond-date" left-over cake materials for the filling. Health & Safety would make it very difficult for anyone to get away with that these days, more's the pity. Also, while they are extremely well-known in Liverpool, they do not "project the Liverpool brand" because of not having the "Liverpool " name.

Back to theTop of the page.

This revival and re-discovery of the Liverpool Tart started in January 2007 when I tried a Manchester Tart in the coffee-shop of John Lewis store, Liverpool (George Henry Lees, the old store). I wondered if there was such a thing as a Liverpool Tart, and I thought that there really should be one to rival or replace the Manchester Tart, especially with Liverpool's about to celebrate its year as European Capital of Culture.

Google had endless references to "Liverpool Tarts", all of them about brassy yoiung ladies, but a search for 'liverpool tart recipe' came up with just one page; a hand-written family cookbook dating back to 1897, owned by a resident of a village called Evershot, in Dorset. This has proved to be an excellent basis, with a distinctive and possibly unique taste. It is also be handy having this "provenance" - being able to prove that OUR tart goes back over 100 years.
Back to theTop of the page.Click to go BACK to my Home Page. Click here to email me.

Here are some pages linked to this page:
Mersey And Deeside folk dance clubs
Lyrics of some Liverpool Songs.
Gerry Jones, the handy musician
Liverpool branch of the RSCDS
IRISH Dancing information.
Back to the Home page

Back to theTop of the page.