New Zealand is truly one of the world’s most stunningly beautiful countries – it has served as the otherworldly setting for every Tolkien movie ever made for good reason. Those of you who think of NZ as simply the land of lamb chops (yes, there are more sheep than people and much of the lamb in the U.S. is from Down Under) need to be educated on the amazing people and natural beauty of this incredible country. I highly recommend clicking the link above to learn more. 🙂
The Neenish Tart may look like a classic “Black & White” cookie from a NY deli, but they are in fact shallow, filled tarts that are beloved in both Australia and New Zealand.
There are distinct differences between the two – Australian Neenish Tarts have a cream and jam filling, while the New Zealand version is filled with a lemon custard. Unlike the perennial and never-to-be-settled arguments between the two countries over who invented another famous dessert (the Pavlova), there is no question on the geneology of the Neenish.
It is believed that these little tarts were created in Australia by Ruby Neenish – a German – who lived in Grong Grong, New South Wales, Australia around 1913. That said, this lemon custard version is specific to the land of the Maori and this recipe in fact comes from the classic New Zealand tome “Edmonds Cookery Book: The 100 Year Edition 1908-2008”.
As noted on Google Books: “The Edmonds Cookery Book has long been an essential ingredient in every New Zealand kitchen. For recipes that are certain to be a success, from Anzac Biscuits to Bacon and Egg pie, you need look no further. The 100 year anniversary edition still contains some of the recipes that appeared in the first edition published in 1908 (marked with a first edition banner so you can identify them). With over 3 million copies sold, the Edmonds Cookery Book is New Zealand’s biggest selling cook book, become part of the story with your copy of this enduring favourite.”
This particular recipe is direct from the The Edmonds (I’ve left the metric measurements intact) and defines the true New Zealand-style Neenish. I highly recommend trying it and especially recommend using this tart pan from Amazon to make them in the proper shape and style.
Enjoy, my Citizens and a big salute to the proud Kiwis (New Zealanders) who view this particular post! 🙂
Battle on – The Generalissimo
125 g butter, softened
½ cup sugar
2 cups Edmonds plain baking flour
1 teaspoon Edmonds baking powder
White / Chocolate Glace Icing
2 cups icing sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla essence
4 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons cocoa
½ cup icing sugar
100 g butter, softened
½ cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons lemon juice
VERY OPTIONAL – If you choose to go Aussie instead of Kiwi, you can add a small dollop of strawberry or raspberry jam to the bottom of each tart shell before adding the filling
For the tart shells:
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
Add egg and beat well
Sift flour, baking powder and salt together
Mix into creamed mixture, stirring well
Turn mixture out onto a lightly floured board and knead well
Chill pastry for 15 minutes
Roll out pastry to 2 mm thickness
Cut out rounds using a 7 cm scone or biscuit cutter and line patty tins
Bake at 180°C for 12 minutes or until cooked
Beat all the filling ingredients together until smooth while the tart shells are cooking
Cool pastry cases and fill with filling
Allow filling to set
For the icing, you’ll need a bowl that will sit on top of a small saucepan to create a baine marie (water bath).
Sift icing sugar into bowl. Whisk in vanilla and milk until smooth. Sit bowl over saucepan of simmering water until icing is a spreadable consistency. Spread ½ the tops of each tart with white glace icing. Allow to set.
Add sifted cocoa to remaining icing. – stir in a little milk if icing is too thick. Beat until smooth. Sit bowl over simmering water again until a spreadable consistency. Spread over remaining ½ of tarts and allow to set.
Makes 30 or more tarts