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Felixtowe Tart // 1940s

Updated: May 5, 2020

You can find a few recipes for Felixtowe Tart, another apparently forgotten traditional British dessert, online. There are a few variations but all are essentially shortcrust tarts filled with stewed fruit, often with a layer of jam at the bottom, and topped with golden meringue.
This WW2 version is jam-free which is likely a response to the rationing of jam in 1941, 2 years before this book was published. At the time, a typical ration for one adult was 1lb of jam per month. Fruit, however, was not rationed and with the government's encouragement for citizens to grow their own fruit and vegetables, apples would be fairly easy to obtain. Many people also began to keep chickens for meat and eggs which had also been rationed (adults would receive just 1 fresh egg per week)!
Overall, this tart is fairly ration-friendly. If the cook had an apple tree and chickens of their own, they'd just need to set aside sugar and fat from their weekly ration allowance. We aren't too sure how easy the decorative glacé cherries of angelica would've been to get hold of, though.
Nearly 80 years on from when the recipe was first published, we found this lovely rustic tart to be the perfect dessert for a cold, rainy evening and a good use for the dozen Kentish apples that we had picked up from then farmer's market. Especially with a good dollop of vanilla ice cream or a splash of double cream.
Original Recipe: 'Felixtowe Tart' (Book 6, 1943)
Speed: 1 hour | Serves: 8-10


For the crust:

  • 136g flour

  • 136g cornflour

  • 85g fat (we used butter)

  • 1 tbsp. baking powder

  • Yolk of 1 egg

  • Milk

  • 1 tbsp. sugar

For the filling:

  • Apples, peeled and sliced (we used 12 small dessert apples)

  • 170g sugar

  • ¼ pint water

For the meringue topping:

  • White of 1 egg

  • 2 tsp. sugar



  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C fan (350°F/Gas Mark 4).

  2. Begin by making the filling. Put the water and sugar into a large pan and heat on the hob over a medium heat until boiling.

  3. Add in the sliced apples and cook until soft. Reduce the heat when necessary to prevent the syrup from boiling over. Once cooked, set aside to cool to room temperature.

  4. Next, make the pastry case. Mix the flour, cornflour and sugar together in a bowl and then rub in the fat and add in the baking powder.

  5. Mix the egg yolk with a little milk and add this to the flour mixture. Mix together to make a fairly stiff dough.

  6. Roll the dough out and line a tart tin or dish (we used a 12 inch tart tin), marking the edge like a shortbread*. Prick the centre several times with a fork.

  7. Bake in the oven for 20 - 30 minutes (ours needed 30).

  8. Once baked through, fill the centre with the cooled apple slices.

  9. Make the meringue by whipping the egg whites stiffly, then adding the sugar and beating well for a few more minutes.

  10. Pile the meringue on top of the apples and decorate with glacé cherries and angelica. Not being able to find angelica during our shopping trip, we stuck to just cherries.

  11. Bake until set and the meringue is tinted a pale brown (7 - 10 minutes).

* We didn't know what this meant, so just gave the edge a slight scallop!


Original Recipe for ‘Felixtowe Tart'

BOOK 6: Manual of Modern Cookery, 7th Edition (1943) Author: Jessie Lindsay & V.H. Mottram Publisher: University of London Press Ltd. (War-Time Address: St. Hugh's School, Bickley, Kent, England, U.K.)

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