School dinners in the 1980’s were never really going to win many awards for excellence. I do have fond memories of a few select dishes – spam fritters and mashed potato being one. But mostly I remember grey slivers of liver in a murky sauce and most puddings served with a side of tinned prunes. One stand out dish I remember with significant fondness is Cornflake Tart, or cornflake pie.
Cornflake Tart is simple, cheap, sweet and filling. There’s not a lot that’s healthy about it, but for nostalgia’s sake I had to recreate it. Served with a ladle of steaming custard, this school dinner treat really hit the spot. Crisp shortcrust pastry, a thick layer of raspberry jam topped with sticky golden syrup smothered cornflakes. Was that the bell for dinnertime?
It’s best if you can make this ahead to allow the golden syrupy cornflakes to set a little, but even if you can’t wait, it’s so good impatience can be forgiven!
Easy Recipe: Cornflake Tart
For the pastry –
114g plain flour
56g butter, cubed
A pinch of salt
2-3 tablespoons of cold water
-or- a packet of ready rolled shortcrust pastry
For the filling –
110g golden syrup
100g raspberry or strawberry jam
Put the flour and butter in the mixing bowl and rub the flour and butter together with your finger tips until they look like breadcrumbs. Add the water but do not make it wet or sticky. Knead gently together and wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill in fridge for about 20 minutes.
Roll out your pastry and line a greased tart tray with the pastry and trim the edges. Prick the pastry all over and bake blind, for around 20 minutes at Gas Mark 6/400’F/200’C/180 Fan.
Melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a large heavy bottomed saucepan, remove the pan from the heat then stir in the cornflakes.
Spread a thin layer of jam over the bottom of the pastry case and tip the cornflake and syrup mixture evenly on top of the jam. If the jam is too thick to spread, warm it slightly in microwave for a few seconds.
Put the tart back in the oven for 5 minutes to allow the mixture to set. Serve in thick slices with as much custard as you can cope with.
School dinner bliss, and you don’t hear that every day!
If you enjoyed this recipe, you might like some of my other cakes, bakes, puddings and pies which you can find here.