Banbury Tea Tarts Recipe

This wonderful Banbury Tea Tarts recipe was shared with me by my husband’s aunt, Lila Scheer of Vancouver, WA.  Lila wrote a recipe column for seven years for the Chinook Observer published in Long Beach, WA.  Lila says, “This is an authentic English recipe that was given to me by a former resident of the Peninsula.  They are special to me, as they represent my English ancestry.”

There are several regional variations of this classic tart, some calling for raisins, others with figs, candied peel or currants and walnuts.  Banbury Tea Tarts can be served either warm or cold and are excellent for a tea party or anytime you want an excellent and simple-to-make dessert!

History:  These tarts are named for Banbury Oxfordshire, England.  The rhyme dates back to 1784.  This song has made Banbury one of the most known English towns,

Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross,
To see a fine lady upon a white horse,
With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
She shall have music wherever she goes. – English nursery rhyme

Check out more delicious Pie Recipes and Afternoon Tea & High Tea Recipes.


Banbury Tea Tarts


Banbury Tea Tarts Recipe:
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: English
Keyword: Banbury Tea Tarts Recipe
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together thoroughly.  Add eggs, currents, lemon zest, and lemon juice, stirring to mix well; set aside.

  3. Prepare pie pastry:  

  4. Roll out the pastry dough 1/8-inch thick.  Tarts may be made any size.  

  5. For conventional muffin pans, cut out circles with a tuna can which has both ends cut of.  

  6. For miniature muffin pans, use a tomato paste can to cut out the rounds.  

  7. Place pastry in the muffin pans, smoothing the dough so it has no bumps.

  8. Stir the current filling mixture.  Using a teaspoon, fill the tarts 2/3 full.  Do not let the filling spill onto the pan, as it will make the tarts hard to remove.

  9. Bake the miniature tarts approximately 15 to 20 minutes or until the pastry is a light brown.  Remove from oven, remove from the muffin pans, and let cool on a wire rack.

  10. Because these tarts are so easy to make, I usually double the recipe and make about 9 dozen tiny tarts.  They freeze beautifully, between plastic wrap.  

  11. These Banbury Tea Tarts are at their best when served slightly warmed, either in a microwave or regular oven.

  12. Serve with tea, of course!

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