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Manchester tart is a traditional English baked tart consisting of a shortcrust pastry shell, spread with raspberry jam, covered with a custard filling and topped with flakes of coconut and a Maraschino cherry. A common variation, especially in Liverpool and Manchester itself, has a layer of thinly-sliced bananas under the custard.

Manchester tart
Manchester tart.jpg
Region or stateManchester
Main ingredientsShortcrust pastry, raspberry jam, custard, flaked coconut, Maraschino cherry
VariationsLayer of sliced bananas, lemon-flavoured custard

There are two stories of how this well known school Dessert came into being. The first, is that it was made by accident, by a School Chef in Leeds, United Kingdom named Peter Turner. Turner, then a young man in the 1950’s, left a batch of custard tarts in the school kitchen oven for too long, baking the custard hard.

In an effort to make them more appealing before serving them to a school full of Children, Turner quickly sprinkled coconut shavings over the top and served them to the school. The headmaster asked him what the name of the dessert was, as it had been received very well by the children of the school.

Turner called it “Manchester Tart”, as Manchester was the first city to come to mind, however made very much in Yorkshire with no direct affiliation with the Lancashire city.

The second theory is a staple on school dinner menus until the mid-1980s, the original Manchester tart is a variation on an earlier recipe, the Manchester pudding, which was first recorded by the Victorian cookery writer Mrs Beeton.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Regional Dishes of North-West England – Virtual Encyclopaedia of Greater Manchester". Archived from the original on 5 January 2014. Retrieved 6 January 2018.

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