Neenish Tarts

These little tarts were created in 1913 in Australia by German cook Ruby Neenish. The two-colour icing was because she ran out of cocoa to make it all chocolate.

Serves 12

There are many variations on Neenish Tart filling: mock cream set with gelatine, custard filling and an early edition from Edmonds Cookery Book using a combination of condensed milk, lemon juice, icing sugar and butter.

This is a simplified version of Neenish Tarts.

To start, you need

2 sheets sweet short pastry – thawed

Plum jam

Custard Cream


Lightly dust bench with flour. Place on a pastry square. No rolling needed. Using a 8cm, round cutter, cut out 9 rounds from each pastry square. Evenly push into 18 ungreased muffin tins. Prick base on each one. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Cook pastry cases at 180degC for 8 minutes or until golden in colour. While still warm and in muffin container, use your finger to carefully press down soft pastry case base. This will give a slightly bigger cavity for filling. Place cases onto a wire rack. Dollop a very small teaspoon full of jam in the base of each tart case. 3/4 fill with warm custard cream. Don’t over fill. Refrigerate until cold.

Custard Cream


2 tablespoons custard powder
2 tablespoons sugar
11/4 cup full cream milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 tablespoon butter


Using a saucepan, blend together custard powder, sugar, milk and vanilla. Make sure there are no lumps! Whisk over a low heat until smooth and thick. Remove then whisk in butter. Use while still warm.

Glace Icing


2 cups icing sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
4 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons cocoa


You’ll need a bowl that will sit on top of a small saucepan to create a baine marie. 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 1/2 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 1/2 of tarts and allow to set. Store in an airtight container for 2-3 days. I’m sure they won’t last that long as they are very moreish!!


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