Lemon and Vanilla Curd Cake

Curds were once an important part of the Irish diet, and were also useful for paying the rent. Recipes for this delicately flavoured cheesecake are found in several eighteenth century"receipt" books.

175g/ 6oz sweet shortcrust pastry

40g/ 11/2oz butter
50g/2oz vanilla flavoured sugar (or caster sugar plus essence)
2 egg yolks
1tbsp (heaped) plain flour
rind and juice of 1/2 lemon
225g/ 8oz cottage cheese

1tbsp flour
1tbsp sugar
1tbsp butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
caster sugar to dust

Preheat oven to gas mark 4/ 180°C/ 350°F, warm a baking sheet and grease a loose-bottomed flan tin. Roll out the shortcrust pastry until thin, then line the flan tin with the dough, trimming off any excess. Chill pastry case in the fridge. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy, then beat in the egg yolks, flour, lemon rind, lemon juice and sieved cottage cheese. Mix well, then spoon into the pastry case. Mix topping ingredients together and spread on top of the curd filling. Place the flan tin on the warmed baking sheet and bake for approximately 1 hour or until the top is lightly browned and slightly firm. Dust with caster sugar and serve cool but not chilled.