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Catholic Recipe: Banbury Tarts


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 egg
  • 2 saltine crackers
  • grated peel and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 packages pie crust mix


Serves: 8

Yield: 12 tarts

Prep Time: 1 hour

Difficulty: • •

Cost: $$$$

For Ages:15+

Origin: England


Food Categories (2)


Feasts (1)

Sometimes you must use a little imagination and create the atmosphere of tradition around your favorite saint. Ask the children of the family for ideas. You'll be surprised at how much fun it will be to plan a twentieth-century meal to honor a saint of Bible days.

St. Luke, "the beloved physician" of Antioch, was a convert of St. Paul. He gathered information from the apostles in order to write his Gospel, sailed with Paul to Macedonia, stayed for seven years at Philippi, shared perils and shipwreck during a voyage to Rome, and was Paul's faithful companion to the end. He himself died the death of a martyr in Achaia some time later.

Some of the great fairs held in England in October were once placed under St. Luke's patronage. Now, even though we have no authentic information as to the food sold at these fairs, we can be sure that buns, pastries, and tarts were included. Furthermore, we know that Banbury Tarts rank high in England's culinary fame. So let's serve these raisin tarts for dessert on October 18, St. Luke's Day, and place cubes of sharp Cheddar cheese alongside of them.


Combine sugar and cornstarch; add raisins. Beat egg slightly; add. Crumble saltine crackers; add with lemon juice and peel. Cook over hot water, stirring constantly, until thickened. Prepare pie crust according to directions on package; roll out 1/8 inch thick on floured board. Cut in 4-inch squares. Place a spoonful of raisin mixture on each square. Fold over to make triangle. Press edges together with tines of fork. Prick tops with design. Bake on cookie sheet at 425┬░ for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Recipe Source: Cook's Blessings, The by Demetria Taylor, Random House, New York, 1965