Neenish tarts

The neenish tart, an Australian delicacy consisting of a sweet pastry base, creamy filling, and an icing top. The origin of the name “neenish” is unknown. A column in the Sydney Morning Herald attributed the name to a woman named Ruby Neenish, however, this was later revealed to be a prank. Either way, we love these wee beauties and they are sure to hit a nostalgic chord with anyone who enjoys them.

Preparation time: 1 hour
Total cooking time: 15 minutes
Makes 18


  • 2 sheets ready-rolled shortcrust pastry


  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 60g butter
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla essence


  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk, extra
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder


Preheat oven to moderately hot 210°C.

Using a fluted 7cm cutter, cut pastry into 18 circles. Press circles into shallow patty tins; prick evenly with a fork. Bake 10 minutes or until lightly golden.

Blend flour and milk in a pan until smooth. Stir over medium heat for 2 minutes until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat, quickly stir in yolks until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap; cool. Using electric beaters, beat butter, sugar and essence in a bowl until light and creamy. Add egg mixture gradually, beat until smooth. Spoon into pastry shells and smooth the tops.

To make Icing:

Combine sugar and milk in heatproof bowl. Place bowl over pan of simmering water, stir until smooth and glossy; remove from heat. Transfer half of icing to small bowl, add cocoa; stir until smooth.

Using a small, flat-bladed knife, spread plain icing over half of each tart starting from the centre and making a straight line with the icing, then pushing icing out to the edge. Allow to set. Reheat chocolate icing and ice other half of each tart.

Allow to set them enjoy.