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Paul’s Cumberland Rum Nicky

For the filling:

250g medjool dates, pitted and coarsely chopped

100g dried apricots, coarsely chopped

50g crystallised ginger, finely chopped

50ml dark rum

50g soft dark brown sugar

50g butter, cut into ½ inch cubes

For the sweet shortcrust pastry:

200g plain flour

2 tbsp icing sugar

100g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ½ inch cubes

1 medium egg, lightly beaten

1 tsp lemon juice

2 tbsp very cold water

1 medium egg, beaten, to glaze

For the rum butter:

100g unsalted butter, softened

225g soft light brown sugar

75ml dark rum


Step 1 – For the filling, mix the dates, apricots, ginger, rum and sugar together in a bowl. Set aside to soak while you make the pastry.

Step 2 – For the pastry, mix the flour and icing sugar together in a bowl. Add the diced butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Step 3 – Mix the egg with the lemon juice and water. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the egg mix. Using one hand, work the liquid into the flour to bring the pastry together. When the dough begins to stock together, gently knead into a ball. Wrap in greaseproof paper and rest in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.

Step 4 – Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Cut the dough into 2 pieces roughly one third and two thirds. Roll out the largest piece on a lightly floured surface and use to line a 22cm metal pie dish, leaving the excess pastry hanging over the edge.

Step 5 – Spread the filling in the pastry case and dot with butter.

Step 6 – Roll out the remaining pastry and cut into 14 long strips about ½ inch wide. On a board covered with a sheet of greaseproof paper, use the pastry strips to create a lattice with 7 strips going each way, passing them under and over each other. Dampen the rim of the pastry in the tin with water then invert the lattice from the paper onto the tart. Press the ends of the lattice strips to the pastry rim to secure, then crimp the edges. Brush with the beaten egg.

Step 7 – Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3 and cook for a further 20 minutes.

Step 8 – For the rum butter, beat together the butter and sugar, then gradually beat in the rum.

Step 9 – Serve the tart warm or cold, with a spoonful of butter.